Solution to Reform of Security Council ‘Is in Your Hands’, General Assembly President Says as Member States Begin Annual Debate on Long-Standing Issue
Solution to Reform of Security Council ‘Is in Your Hands’, General Assembly President Says as Member States Begin Annual Debate on Long-Standing Issue
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
48th & 49th Meetings (AM & PM)
Solution to Reform of Security Council ‘Is in Your Hands’, General Assembly
President Says as Member States Begin Annual Debate on Long-Standing Issue
The General Assembly today returned to the long-standing issue of Security Council reform as it opened its annual debate, looking to end the deadlock among Member States over how to reshape what many speakers saw as the United Nations most powerful — and increasingly outdated — organ.
Although most of the nearly 50 speakers agreed that the Council could and should be more democratic and representative of a rapidly globalizing world where the centres of political and economic power had shifted dramatically over the past 25 years, delegations remained deeply divided over what form a revamped Council should take — especially how large it should be and which countries should be included if it were expanded.
Reform of the Security Council was essential to reaffirming the United Nations central role in global governance, said Assembly President Joseph Deiss. The joint debate, which included a consideration of the Council’s annual report along with the issue of reforming that body — which had not been restructured since 1963 when its membership was expanded from 11 to 15 — offered an opportunity to reflect on strengthening the cooperation between those two bodies, he said, with a view to ensuring that both were better able to promote the United Nations values.
With that in mind, he had asked that Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan, current Chairman of the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform, to continue work on the text that had emerged from the most recent round of talks by holding open consultations, and urged delegations to show flexibility, willingness to compromise and mutual respect in a transparent and inclusive atmosphere. “It must be very clear that the solution is in your hands, States Members,” he said. “It is your determination to make something of this process that will lead to progress.”
Many delegations stood by their belief that the current 15-seat Security Council, with its five permanent veto-wielding members — China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States — and 10 rotating members retained an outdated global balance of power. Reform of the Council was central to the overall process of revitalizing the United Nations, many said, and changes should represent both an expanded and diversified membership. Others said it was long past time to seriously examine the “privileged” status of the Council’s permanent five members.
At issue in the current discussion were five “negotiables”, or key agreed issues on which Member States weighed in: categories of membership; the question of the veto; the question of regional representation; the size of an enlarged Security Council; and the working methods of the Council, in addition to the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly. Consensus on the path forward appeared illusive today, with some delegations calling for “careful but swift consideration” and others urging “patient consultations [towards meeting] halfway”.
Also, in recent years, the Assembly had heard various opinions on a proposed “interim reform” measure, which would create a new category of seats that might be converted to permanent status after two years. Supporters of the interim solution pressed for changes by the end of the current year, while its detractors said that it did not take into consideration many important demands of Member States, including that of equitable representation by the African Group and others.
Egypt’s representative, speaking in his national capacity as well as on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said Security Council reform should be addressed in a comprehensive, balanced manner and should aim to limit use of the veto. In addition, the Council should adhere to the powers accorded to it under the United Nations Charter and stop encroaching on those of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. Further, it should avoid using Chapter VII as an “umbrella” to address issues that did not necessarily constitute a threat to international peace and security.
Continuing, he said Egypt was keen to reach concrete results in the intergovernmental negotiations and in that regard, stressed the need to safeguard the neutrality of the Assembly President and Chair of that exercise. The five “negotiables” had been clearly defined by the Assembly and constituted a package that must be agreed upon together. “We are not looking for any agreement, but rather we look for an agreement that would have an effect on the power structure in the Security Council,” he stressed.
The representative of the Philippines said that while Council reform was obviously “a work in progress”, that did not mean that the intergovernmental negotiations should be a never-ending process. In fact, it was imperative to move from “rhetoric to action” — for States to sit down and negotiate in order to produce results that they were all so anxious to achieve. In that regard, his delegation proposed the creation of an ad hoc group to help establish a blueprint and timeline for negotiations and modalities for agreements to be approved and adopted by the Assembly. However, the Philippines remained realistic that reform could only be achieved incrementally
The representative of Sierra Leone, speaking on behalf of the African Group, once again called for Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of an expanded Security Council as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. The aim would be to rectify the inequity faced by a continent with 53 States according about 70 per cent of the Council’s work — but no permanent membership on that body to date. The African Group reiterated its demand for two permanent seats together with all the prerogatives and privileges, including veto, and a total of five non-permanent seats, with the African Union being charged with the responsibility of selecting candidates.
Among the permanent members of the Council, all of which addressed the Assembly today, the Russian Federation’s speaker called for increasing the Council’s effectiveness by making it more representative, and added that such efforts should not have a negative impact on the body’s work. His Government favoured a compact membership, believing that ideas infringing on its powers, including on the veto, would be counterproductive.
Currently, models to reform the Council did not enjoy broad support and during the current session, States must continue negotiating to bring their positions closer. He said Afghanistan’s Ambassador would aim to provide as much assistance as possible to achieve that goal, understanding that the process must remain with States. Negotiations must be undertaken without instituting artificial timelines. That depended on the will of States to achieve an effective compromise.
Reiterating its support of an interim solution, France’s delegate stated that it was aware of all positions supported by the Member States, and noted that alternatives in the area of reform were clear — either urgent progress would be made, or, if the debate continued to linger, reform of the Council would “die a slow death” at the expense of all parties involved. Moreover, he was among the many speakers who emphasized that a shorter, more operational negotiating text was needed, and that commitment to reform was needed before the end of this year.
However, many delegations did not agree with the efficacy of creating a “new tier” of Council membership under an interim arrangement, while the representative of Indonesia said that the breakthrough in finding a solution to differences would come from beyond the negotiating text. He was among those calling for greater political flexibility to achieve commonly acceptable points. Progress would be made when the formula for reform was acceptable to the wide majority of countries.
Among the speakers addressing the Security Council’s annual report, the representative of Switzerland, speaking on behalf of the “Small Five Group” of countries dealing with the Council’s working methods, suggested the substantive involvement of Member States at an earlier stage of the report’s drafting process. Further, he encouraged the inclusion of an analysis of the Council’s challenges and its assessments and rationale for its decisions, and stressed the need to highlight links among thematic, regional and country-specific issues.
Among other matters addressed this year in the joint debate, Papua New Guinea expressed its disappointment that the Council had not yet taken up the issue of climate change, which threatened “the physical disappearance of entire nations” in its home region. Noting the Security Council had long recognized it must act to prevent disputes before they arise, he called on current members to place the issue on the agenda for 2011.
Introducing the report ahead of the debate, the representative of the United Kingdom, which holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency for the month of November, enumerated some of the Council’s efforts to address the requests and concerns of the international community, in particular with regard to improving its transparency and enhancing it working methods.
“There is always room for improving the report,” he said, adding that he would be happy to transmit any feedback from the Assembly to his fellow Council members. Noting that greater transparency in the Council’s work was a frequent request, he stated that the Council had worked towards that end, by, among other ways, supporting the live broadcasts of its meetings on the Internet and holding as many open meetings and debates as possible.
Also speaking today was a member of Parliament of India, was well as the representative of Belgium, Italy, Kuwait, Spain, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Venezuela, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Belarus, Bahrain, Romania, Mongolia, Colombia, Mexico, Swaziland, Cuba, Libya, Netherlands, Australia, United States, Argentina, Ghana, Jamaica (on behalf of the L69 Group), Lesotho, Costa Rica, Ukraine, South Africa and Canada.
The General Assembly will reconvene tomorrow at 10 a.m. to continue its joint debate on the report of the Security Council and equitable representation on and increase in the membership of that body.
The General Assembly met today to consider the annual report of the Security Council (A/65/2) and to take up the question of equitable representation on and increase in that 15-member body’s membership.
The report of the Security Council (document A/65/2) covers the period between 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010, and details activities relating to all questions under its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. That includes communiqués, monthly presidential assessments, annual reports of subsidiary bodies, peacekeeping and Council missions and other meetings.
A wide-ranging Part I deals with questions considered by the Council under its responsibility for international peace and security, including peacekeeping operations, the various international criminal Tribunals, women in peace and security and the protection of civilians in armed conflict. In part II, the report addresses individual country situations, including, among others, those of Haiti, following the major 12 January earthquake, and war-affected Afghanistan. Other matters considered by the Council, covered in part III, include the election to fill a member vacancy in the International Court of Justice.
The report’s part IV and V covers the work of the Military Staff Committee and presents matters brought to the Council’s attention without being discussed in meetings during the period under review. They include communications concerning country situations and sanctions, and communications from bodies such as the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. The report goes on to detail the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies in part VI, including the Governing Council of the Governing Council of the Compensation Commission, the International Tribunals and the various sanctions Committees monitoring implementation in specific country situations, as well as against Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Appendices to the report list the Council membership for the period under review, the presidencies and communications between the Council and the Secretary-General, as well as the representatives and deputy, alternate and acting representatives accredited to the Security Council.
The Assembly also had before it a notification by the Secretary-General under Article 12, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations (document A/65/300), asking him to notify the Assembly of matters relative to international peace and security that were being considered by the Council and those that the Council had ceased to consider.
Statement by General Assembly President
Launching the day’s debate, General Assembly President JOSEPH DEISS said the annual Security Council report was an important instrument for interaction between the Council and the Assembly, and as such, today offered an opportunity to reflect on strengthening the cooperation between those two bodies with a view to ensuring that they were better able to promote the United Nations values. Recent years had seen positive movement towards greater transparency in the Council, efforts that should continue.
More broadly, he said reform of the Security Council was essential to reaffirming the United Nations’ central role in global governance, with almost complete consensus throughout the world on the need to adapt to changes that had taken place since 1945, which was why he convened a preliminary informal meeting on 21 October once Afghan Ambassador Zahir Tanin’s role as chair of the intergovernmental negotiations had been confirmed. It was essential to build on existing convergences and narrow differences, in order to reach tangible results.
With that in mind, he had asked the Chair to continue work on the text that had emerged from the second revision, by holding open consultations. Calling on States to support the Chair’s work, he said the Assembly would take stock of the negotiations at the start of the year. “It must be very clear that the solution is in your hands, States Members”, he said. “It is your determination to make something of this process that will lead to progress”. He urged States to show flexibility, willingness to compromise and mutual respect in a transparent and inclusive atmosphere.
Statement by the President of the Security Council
MARK LYALL GRANT of the United Kingdom, which holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency for the month of November, introduced the body’s report (document A/65/2), saying that over the past year, the Council had worked to address some of the requests and concerns of the international community, in particular with regard to improving its transparency and enhancing it working methods.
“There is always room for improving the report,” he said, adding that he would be happy to transmit any feedback from the Assembly to his fellow Council members. Noting that greater transparency in the Council’s work was a frequent request, he stated that the Council had worked towards that end, by, among other ways, supporting the live broadcasts of its meetings on the Internet and holding as many open meetings and debates as possible.
Frequent meetings between General Assembly and the Security Council, and regular briefings by the Council throughout the year had also increased transparency. In addition, the Council had adopted other measures, including a note (document S/2010/507) on transparency. The Council took into account many views of the Member States on its working methods.
Throughout the reporting period, some situations in which the Council was engaged remained unresolved. Those included, in particular, the situation in the Middle East, Cyprus and Western Sahara. New situations had emerged in Nepal, Guinea Bissau and other States, while “huge challenges” remained in some places, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
But progress had nevertheless been made, he continued, noting that the Council now worked “from a strong thematic focus” on issues that included conflict prevention, children and armed conflict, women in peace in security at the fore. The October 2010 commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Council resolution 1325 on “women and in peace and security” had been a “major landmark”, and had offered the opportunity for Member States to recommit themselves to their goals regarding the protection of women in armed conflict. There would be a high-level review on the resolution’s implementation in five years, he said, but stressed that the immediate challenge was to translate the Council’s thematic resolutions into action on the ground.
Conflict prevention remained essential to the Council’s work, he continued, adding that Council and the international community as a whole must be more active in preventing conflict - not just reacting to it. In that regard, the Council must have access to early warning analysis, and should be ready and willing to take necessary action based on those warnings. Strong resources for the Council’s work and for United Nations mediation, among other core activities, were essential to that effort, he said.
In the area of peacekeeping, the Security Council had intensified its efforts in inclusive and transparent dialogue with an eye toward achieving “substantial reform”. The Council would continue to engage constructively with troop contributing counties, civilians, non-governmental organizations and other actors, and indeed informal consultations were already taking place. Important contributions had been made to peacekeeping during the reporting period from the General Assembly, in particular the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), as well as other important United Nations organs.
He went on to welcome the report of the co-facilitators of the working Group dealing with improving the working methods of the Peacebuilding Commission, and stressed that the Council supported that body and hoped to make further use of its unique capacities. At the same time, he said it was important that the Commission remove all obstacles to its work, including that taking place in the countries on its agenda, Guinea Bissau, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and other States.
In the area of international sanctions, the Council’s work on peace and security had been improved through more targeted measures and fairer and clearer rules for listing and de-listing. In particular, sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had been taken during the reporting period. Regarding nuclear non-proliferation, he said the Council remained committed to its work including the implementation of its resolution 1887 (2009) on non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as to the work of the 1540 Committee. The Counter-Terrorism Committee also continued its core work and improved both its outreach and transparency through frequent briefings.
A wide geographical range of issues had been addressed by the Council throughout the reporting period. The situation in Sudan remained unresolved and would likely continue to occupy the Council in the year ahead. Nonetheless, the Council’s 2009-2010 engagement in Sudan had demonstrated its commitment both to the Sudanese people and to peace in general. Regardless of the outcome of the January 2011 referendum on southern Sudan, the Council would continue to support efforts towards peace in the region, including in Darfur. Additionally, the Council had visited Sudan in October and would continue to support the two missions there, United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Continuing, he noted that the situation in Somalia would also likely remain before the Council during the next reporting period. Progress in that country would require enhanced dialogue between the United Nations and the African Union, a relationship which must be placed on a more strategic footing, as it would continue to be critical for that continent’s broader peace and security, as well as for Somalia.
Regarding the situation in the Middle East, the Council had issued a statement following the tragic late May, early June 2010 incident involving a humanitarian relief flotilla, and had initiated an inquiry on the matter. Further, the Council continued to encourage dialogue leading to a two-State solution in the Middle East, and would continue to discuss and assess the situation there on a regular basis.
In May 2010, the Council visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the future of United Nations engagement there. During a visit to Afghanistan in June, the Council met with President Karzai, members of civil society and other key actors, and saw many examples of the Organization’s good work there. The visit, he said, underlined the scale of the work, as well as the Security Council’s commitment to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and to the country in general. The Council hoped that the mission would continue to work to improve its political outreach, support of electoral reform, and spearhead the transfer of security responsibilities there in the years ahead.
MAGED A ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said Security Council reform should be addressed in a comprehensive, balanced manner and aim to limit use of the veto. Enlargement and reform of working methods should lead to a more representative, accountable and effective Council. Acknowledging the historic injustices against Africa regarding its representation on the Council, he said the Heads of State and Government of the Movement took note of the African Common position, as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.
On improving the Council’s working methods, he recalled the comprehensive negotiating paper submitted by the Movement in 1996 as contained in the report of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation (document A/51/47), saying that transparency, openness and consistency should be observed in all the Council’s activities, approaches and procedures. The Rules of Procedure, which had remained provisional for over 60 years, should be formalized.
In that context, he rejected any attempt to use the Council to advance national agendas, stressing the necessity of impartiality in its work. The Council must adhere to the powers accorded to it under the Charter and stop encroaching on those of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. It should avoid using Chapter VII as an “umbrella” to address issues that did not necessarily constitute a threat to international peace and security. Objectives of sanctions regimes should be clearly defined and their imposition should be for a specific timeframe, based on tenable legal grounds and be lifted as soon as the objectives were achieved. Conditions demanded of the State or party on which sanctions were imposed should be clearly defined.
The Movement believed that there was room for improvement in the Council’s report to reflect its challenges, assessments and rationale, as well as decisions followed in each case covered within the reporting period. The report should be more explanatory regarding positions towards various issues, including cases in which it had failed to act and reasons behind the different outcomes. Also, it was vital to continue regular interactions between the Council’s Presidency and the wider United Nations membership in the preparation of annual reports, which would enhance the quality of those reports.
Speaking next in his national capacity, he said Egypt was keen to reach concrete results in intergovernmental negotiations on Council reform, based on decision 62/557. In that regard, he stressed the need not to jeopardize the neutrality of the Assembly President and Chair of those negotiations. The five “negotiables” of those talks had been clearly defined in the Assembly’s decision and constituted a package that must be agreed upon together. “We are not looking for any agreement, but rather we look for an agreement that would have an effect ton the power structure in the Security Council”, he stressed.
Principles, substance, terms and criterion should be agreed upon first, he said, before embarking on any drafting exercise. Agreement on principles should include an institutional agreement on ways to rectify the historic injustice to Africa as the only continent not represented as a permanent Council Member. Reiterating the strength of the African Common, he said limiting the Council’s expansion only to the non-permanent category was not an option.
Continuing, he said Africa believed the veto should be abolished, but as long as it existed, it should be extended to all new permanent members of an enlarged Council, in full application of the principle of equality between current and new permanent members. Negotiations should deal with veto rights, including misuse of the veto, which would necessitate serious consideration of restricting such rights to exclude, as a first stage, cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, grave violations to international humanitarian law, among other things. That would solidify permanent members’ commitment to protect people from such heinous crimes, which would, in itself, be the maximum signal of genuine global governance.
Africa demanded no less than two permanent seats with all prerogatives and privileges, he said, including veto rights, along with two additional non-permanent seats. The African selection of candidates should not be seen to contradict Article 23 of the Charter. An enlarged Council with at least 26 seats would not negatively impact the Council’s efficiency. Despite efforts to improve its working methods, none met the aspirations of the larger majority of States. Focus should be on consideration, adoption and implementation of proposals presented, including that of the Movement and the “Small 5”.
He said the intermediate approach did not respond to African demands or guarantee a true expansion in the permanent category, adding that Egypt would welcome clarification from its authors concerning the final objectives of such an exercise. Enhanced representation of developing countries and small States was fundamental to the reform process and he stressed taking seriously the position put forward by the League of Arab States demanding a permanent seat for the Arab Group.
ROBERT AISI (Papua New Guinea), on behalf of the Pacific small island developing States, said reform of the Security Council was long overdue – that body needed to reflect contemporary geo-political and economic realities. Efforts must be redoubled to ensure the Council, charged with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, could effectively discharge its duties as detailed in the United Nations Charter. “Our commitment, as a global community to peace and security, is measured by our commitment to the effectiveness of the system we have put in place to safeguard all people from the ravages of war and conflict. So in delaying reform of the Council, we are contributing to the current global insecurity,” he said.
Expansion in both permanent and non-permanent members was critical, he continued, and the Pacific small island developing States did not support creation of new categories of membership in a reformed Council, such as a new category of extended seats. It was imperative to give permanent seats to Africa to correct injustices of the past. Meanwhile, Latin American and Caribbean countries were still not represented and Asia was underrepresented with only one State among the permanent members; therefore there should be two permanent seats for Africa and one from The Latin American and Caribbean Group as well as two additional permanent seats for Asia and one from the Western European and Others Group. “The expansion of the Council as we have described it attracts the widest convergence amongst the UN membership and we urge all countries to show flexibility so that we can move forward on this issue,” he said.
Regional group arrangements currently used to propose members for a two-year non-permanent seat in the Council also needed reform, he said. The existing arrangement was no longer equitable, and a more democratic and balanced system of selection was required. The option of allocating a seat for small island developing States must also be in guidelines for a realistic reform process, to reflect a more democratic sharing of the concept of equitable geographical distribution.
He expressed disappointment in the Council, in its current work, which had not taken up the issue of climate change. “We urgently call upon the Security Council to begin consideration of the threats to international peace and security posed by climate change,” he said. “In our region of the Pacific, climate change may result in the physical disappearance of entire nations, with their populations rendered stateless.” Noting the Security Council had long recognized it must act to prevent disputes before they arise, he called on current members to place the issue on the agenda for 2011.
PAUL SEGER (Switzerland) speaking on behalf of the S-5 Group (Small Five Group of Countries: Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore, and Switzerland), dealing with enhancing the Council’s working methods, said “global governance” - the theme of the Assembly’s current session - offered a good occasion to reflect on how to improve the Security Council’s annual report and the manner in which it was addressed.
In that regard, he offered three adjectives as the framework for future discussions: “informal, inclusive and interactive”. Success in those areas would enable all Member States to benefit in their common endeavour to strengthen international peace and security, while respecting tasks, mandates and competencies of both the Assembly and the Security Council, he said. Further, the Council could benefit from expanded input and political discussions with the wider membership, which would broaden political ownership of the Council’s decisions.
He went on to say that despite its lack of substance and process, the report showed progress, and offered his comments regarding areas for further improvement. Regarding process, he suggested substantive involvement of Member States at an earlier stage of the drafting process. Further, he encouraged the inclusion of an analysis of the Council’s challenges and its assessments and rationale for its decisions, stressed the need to highlight links among thematic, regional and country-specific issues, and suggested expanding the chapter on working methods by increasing the membership on the implementation of Presidential note 507. The revised document did not fully address the important areas of work, most notably, the absence of implementation mechanisms.
In closing, he said the Small Five Group would continue to focus on reforming the working methods of the Security Council and hoped the Assembly could pave the way for initiating substantive negotiations. If not, the Organization would be seen as incapable of reforming itself, which would undermine its credibility and badly reflect on all Member States. Therefore, Switzerland welcomed the early resumption of the intergovernmental negotiations, as well as the reappointment of Ambassador Tanin as its facilitator.
SHEKOU M. TOURAY (Sierra Leone), speaking on behalf of the African Group, stated that United Nations increased recognition as a norm setting institution required that “burning issues of democratizing the Security Council” be addressed. In particular, he said, there was a need to reform that body through equal regional representation to reflect current geo-political realities, and to make it more representative, transparent and accountable to the wider membership.
He recalled a closed informal plenary meeting, held less than a month ago, on the intergovernmental negotiations in order to sound the views of the membership on the review process and how to move it forward. In that meeting’s concluding remarks, he said, the Assembly President noted that “revision 2” of the single negotiation text could serve as a vehicle to move the matter forward. In addition, the President had stated that the facilitator should continue to work toward that aim through open and inclusive consultations that would allow the text to evolve in a “balanced and comprehensive way”.
Today’s debate would help to move those negotiations forward, he said, noting that during the closed meeting, the Assembly President had also stated that while the responsibility to move the debate forward lay with the General Assembly and that Member States should reflect on their positions and interact with each other “to find a way out”. The African Group unreservedly supported those remarks.
To the aim of moving the matter forward, he said attention should be given to improving the relationship between the Council and the Assembly and enhancing the efficiency and transparency of the Council’s work, as well as promoting more interaction and dialogue with non-Council members in the Council’s working methods. Meanwhile, the “most important issue” of the expansion of the Council - both the permanent and non-permanent categories - must be addressed. Bringing the two items 29 and 119 together in the joint debate, he said, was a clear indication that the two were interlinked.
In the area of transparency, the African Group acknowledged that the Council’s note S/20/507 had been adopted, but encouraged the Council nonetheless to continue with such measures aimed at improving, nurturing and enhancing its relations with relevant stakeholders. In particular, he stressed the need for increased transparency, inclusiveness, and legitimacy of proceedings, and was concerned that after 60 years in existence the Council’s Rules of Procedure remained provisional.
There was a need to identify and agree on the structure and approach of continuing the negotiations relating to Security Council reform, he continued. Consequently, it was the view of the African Group that “we should now aim at meaningful consultations and interactive approach that will move the process toward consensus building.” The African Group supported the continuation of the intergovernmental negotiations along with the facilitator, seeking to reach and agreement on the principles and criteria relating to the five key issues or “negotiables” as stipulated in paragraph (e) of the General Assembly decision 62/557.
The African Group’s call for Africa’s representation in both the Permanent and non-Permanent categories of the Security Council as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration hoped to address the injustice faced by a continent with 53 States according about 70 per cent of the Council’s work, he declared. Africa continued to demand an expansion in both categories with two permanent seats together with all the prerogatives and privileges, including veto, and a total of five non-permanent seats, with the African Union being charged with the responsibility of selecting Africa’s candidates. Any continued delay in making these changes, said the representative, would prolong the “historical injustice” and would adversely question the legitimacy of the Council’s decisions and the integrity of its proceedings.
THOMAS LAMBERT ( Belgium) said all United Nations Member States promoted effective multilateralism and thus must take account of current changes. The Security Council should better reflect that reality in an equitable manner. Welcoming the work of Ambassador Zahir Tanin in that process, he said delegations had contributed to negotiations by introducing proposals on the five major topics. Belgium was prepared to do more during the current session in that regard.
Calling on the Assembly to contribute to working towards a real negotiating text through proposals to improve the current document, he said that would be the main task of the current negotiating round. Maintaining traditionally held positions or those that were already well known was not an option. “We must produce results,” he said. Ideally, the Assembly should target the Council’s enlargement. The goals to be reached this year were clear and his delegation was ready to undertake its responsibility in an interactive manner.
PETER WITTIG (Germany) said the importance of Security Council reform could not be overstated, as there were concerns about global governance being restructured and the creation of new international formats like the “Group of 20” (G-20). The concern was that the United Nations would be left behind, as its structure had remained unchanged since 1945, while its membership had grown from 51 to 192 today. “Time does not play in favour of the United Nations, if an adaptation of its structures to the realities of our times cannot soon be achieved”, he said, stressing the need for a reform compromise for the Council to preserve its place at the heart of the multilateral system.
He welcomed that it was more widely recognized that the Council’s future composition would reflect current geo-political realities. United States President Barack Obama’s important speech this week in New Delhi had highlighted that fact. Ensuring that the Council could play its role was served best by an expanded Council membership in both categories. Germany and its “Group of 4” partners (G-4) supported that model and encouraged building upon the second version of the negotiating text put forward by the Chair of intergovernmental negotiations, Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan.
Negotiations in the informal plenary should be taken one step further to arrive at a third version of the text by year’s end, he said, noting that it should eliminate overlaps and merge identical positions. He called on the Chair of the negotiations to work with States, and possibly also in groups, to devise a shortened version by that time. A permanent African presence, as well as a permanent presence of other countries from the global South — notably Latin America and Asia — was essential. The largest contributors to the maintenance of international peace and security must equally assume their rightful place among the permanent members. Improving the working methods was also vital.
HASAN KLEIB (Indonesia), associating with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, lauded the Council for its efforts but said he would have preferred greater analysis and reasoning of the Council’s approaches in the report before the Assembly. Noting “there is always room for improvement”, he said it would be useful if the report included status of implementation of Council decisions, since it would give better understanding to Member States. “Also, the report should be not only about successes of the Council’s deliberations, but its failures to act on particular issues. The Council is not the edifice that is not prone to failure,” he said.
To be more effective, the Council should conduct a more meaningful exchange of views with the Organization’s wider membership, especially with those States whose interests were directly affected by its decisions. The Council must address its lack of input from the vast number of developing countries from different regions if it was to be more representative, accountable and effective. “The future composition of the Council naturally should include the newly emerging powers,” he said. The breakthrough in finding a solution to differences would come from beyond the negotiating text — there needed to be greater political flexibility to achieve commonly acceptable points, and progress would be made when the formula for reform was acceptable to the wide majority of countries.
Indonesia believed expansion in both categories of membership offered the best potential to address the Council’s shortcomings, thought the “intermediate approach” on the key issue of categories of membership offered realistic middle ground that might garner the widest possible political acceptance. “In so stating, we are not jettisoning the possibility of a future reform involving an expansion in permanent members,” he said. Regarding size of a reformed Council, more work was needed to arrive at an agreeable number that reflected the world’s vast number of developing countries and regions in a more balanced manner, he said. The remaining three key Council reform issues could be reached through increased cooperation and dialogue.
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI (Italy) said his delegation agreed with the approach of Brazil’s representative, who during the September Ministerial Meeting on ensuring the Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security, had stated that non-permanent members must fully participate in the decision process, since they could bring diverse views and regional experiences, and it was not appropriate to call on them only to merely ratify decisions already taken by permanent members.
Italy understood and welcomed the will and capacity of Member States to contribute more and take on more responsibilities; it strongly believed the Council needed reform to be more legitimate, representative and effective. “This is why we do not believe that a democratic, representative and legitimate reform can be achieved by enlarging the Council, extending outdated and ineffective privileges such as permanent membership to few, neglecting the right of many,” he said.
The “Uniting for Consensus” proposal had the merit of making the Council adaptable, without the need of spending another 17 years looking for reform to adjust it to new members, he said. “If we add new permanent members now — say 4 or 5 — in addition to further non-permanent members, what shall we do in 10, 15 or 20 years’ time when other countries will be ready to assume greater responsibility? Shall we add other permanent members applying the same logic? Will we end up with a 30 – 35-member Council? Will it work better, or worse?” he said. The Uniting for Consensus proposal was genuine and doable, reflecting a fresh and compromising approach, he said. It was imperative that during the current session, the members of the Assembly show the same flexibility.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH A ALOTAIBI ( Kuwait), aligning with the Non-Aligned Movement, said negotiations should lead to an agreement that reinforced the Council’s role. The question of equitable representation on the Council was among the most important, and he expressed hope that reform of that body would move forward. No agreement had been reached, but nonetheless, progress in negotiations had been seen, especially on the Council’s working methods. Agreement on the expansion or reform of the Council should be generally agreed, including on the need for transparency and avoiding any unilateral movements aimed at achieving national interests.
Kuwait’s position had been discussed many times, he said, and was based on the idea that changes to the Council should be part of a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, aiming to allow the Council to meet challenges facing the global community. Any increase in membership should strengthen the Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security. Improving working methods and relations with the General Assembly was also important and he supported proposals by the Non-Aligned Movement for increasing transparency.
Full support was needed for limiting the Council’s role to those issues related to international peace and security, he said, adding that procedures on working methods should be codified. It was time for the Council to adopt a permanent Rules of Procedure. Kuwait supported electing non-permanent members, in line with Paragraph 2 of the Charter, as that would allow small States, which had not enjoyed membership, a presence. Limits should be placed on veto use, curtailing its use to issues under Chapter VII of the Charter. Arab or Muslim countries should not be denied adequate representation.
ROMÁN OYARZUN ( Spain) said it was imperative to improve interaction and cooperation between the Security Council and General Assembly, and the Charter provided the way for that. Open meetings of the Council should also become the norm for that body, allowing greater information on its activities to be shared with non-members. It would also be desirable if Council debates welcomed greater intervention from States interested in issues under discussion and greater interaction with those contributing troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said.
At the same time, he said negotiations on reforming the Council needed to move beyond reiteration of well-known positions officially on the record, including Spain’s, along with other members of the “Uniting for Consensus” Group, which continued to favour enlargement of the Council exclusively in its non-permanent category. “The word ‘negotiate’ is absolutely key here,” he said, calling for concrete proposals capable of generating consensus. “I think we need to acknowledge that something is not quite right when, in the three months following the presentation of the first version of the text […] we have not been able to shorten the document, not even by a single page,” he said.
“Unfortunately, negotiations have continued at an impasse similar to the one existing before we had a negotiation text.” He noted Spain was part of the only group that had proposed an alternative model — the “intermediate model” — and after five rounds of negotiations, the time had come for other groups to follow suit. Spain would also like to be able to plan ahead with a “road map” for the sixth round of intergovernmental negotiations, which would include dates and topics of each meeting. His delegation would also like to know if consultations would be held prior to the next round of negotiations, and if so, reassured they would not substitute for the real talks in the informal plenary of the Assembly.
Along with the “road map”, Spain attached great importance to rules for negotiations — that they must interlink and include the five key issues, remain transparent and inclusive and be “membership driven”. “In short, my delegation cannot accept that the rules of the game be changed mid-game, even if the argument is that it would be beneficial to the negotiations,” he said.
GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) stated that the increased quality of the Security Council’s annual reports had helped improve its methods of work, in particular by achieving more transparency and making them more inclusive. Nonetheless, the key questions of regional representation, categories of members, and how many members, remained essential. France was dedicated to an ambitious reform leading to a Council with a “more representative” nature.
Increased membership in the two categories, permanent and non-permanent, was being supported more and more, he said, but noted however that in the process of negotiations, States needed to avoid “getting bogged down” in intellectual positions. Instead, they needed to work to build on progress made at the Assembly’s previous session. Moreover, a shorter, more operational text was needed, and commitment to reform was needed before the end of this year.
He went on to say that reform of the Council must bear in mind the emergence of new powers that wished to make significant contributions to international peace and security under the auspices of the United Nations Charter. France supported membership for Japan, India, Brazil and Germany, as well as more African members and the possible permanent membership of Arab States. Further, France hoped to see these changes occur during the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly — “that is, without negations”. States would therefore need to implement an “intermediate step”. France and the United Kingdom had laid out such an interim plan, but the parameters of an interim solution must be a result of a negotiation.
France was aware of all positions supported by the Member States, and noted that it had heard them reiterated a number of times. The alternatives in the area of reform were clear — either urgent progress would be made, or, if the debate continued to linger, reform would “die a slow death” at the expense of all parties involved. Moving forward was then a question of a political will.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the fact that the Council, as in previous years, had tackled important security problems, showed it was dealing with the unique legitimacy of its decisions. The purpose of the Council report was to present work done during the year, and the current report had risen to that challenge. States had had other opportunities to become familiar with its work, especially through numerous open meetings. Other positive evolutions included the broadening practice for open debates and July’s adoption of Presidential Note 507, outlining areas for new work, and the intention to invite country configurations of the Peacebuilding Commission to participate an informal dialogue. In the Council’s future work, “a reasonable balance” between transparency and effectiveness must be maintained, he said. The Russian Federation favoured deepening cooperation between the Assembly and the Council, which must focus on spheres where such cooperation was mutual and necessary.
As a permanent member, the Russian Federation had called for increasing the Council’s effectiveness by making it more representative, he said, adding that such efforts should not have a negative impact on its work. His Government favoured a compact membership, believing that ideas infringing on its powers, including on the veto, would be counterproductive. Currently, models to reform the Council did not enjoy broad support and during this session, States must continue negotiating to bring their positions closer. Afghanistan’s Ambassador would aim to provide as much assistance as possible to achieve that goal, understanding that the process must remain with States. Negotiations must be undertaken without instituting artificial timelines. That depended on the will of States to achieve an effective compromise.
TSUNEO NISHIDA ( Japan) said it was fortunate that the Assembly President had suggested global governance as the theme for the sixty-fifth session. It also was timely that he had presided over the first meeting of intergovernmental negotiations on 21 October. “The Security Council must reflect the political realities of the twenty-first century,” he said, recalling that the Council had been reformed only once, more than 45 years ago. Realizing the goal of early Council reform required political will and high-level action by States. To that end, the “G4” Foreign Ministers had met in New York on 24 September to exchange views on Council reform and committed to continue participating in negotiations to achieve concrete results during the session.
Japan’s position was that the Council must be reformed through expanding both permanent and non-permanent categories, he said, as well as by improving its working methods, so as to make the body more representative, legitimate and responsible to current realities. An enlarged Council should include on a permanent basis those States that had shown the readiness, capacity and resources to play an important role in the twenty-first century. With that in mind, Japan’s Prime Minister had confirmed Japan’s determined aspiration to take on further responsibilities as a permanent Council member.
The current negotiating round must not hear continued debate or repetition of what had transpired in the previous five rounds, he said. Japan would spare no effort to speed such work to produce by year’s end a revised negotiation text. Turning to working methods, he said enhancing transparency, efficiency and interaction with non-Council members was essential for the Council to act promptly and effectively. During Japan’s Presidency in April, an open debate on working methods was held, with non-members calling for more interaction with the wider membership. The revised presidential note S/2010/507 clarified guidelines for preparing the annual report, he said, welcoming that the current report had been prepared in line with that note.
LI BAODONG ( China) said the United Nations Charter entrusted to the Council the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, recalling that over the last year, the Council had been active in Afghanistan, Haiti and Timor-Leste, among other countries. It had supported the deployment of peacekeeping operations in Sudan, and more generally, preventive diplomacy and peaceful dispute settlement through consultations. It also had strengthened cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. However, Middle East peace faced challenges, and the Council must play a bigger role in addressing longstanding hotspots. Increasing transparency would allow it to better undertake its responsibilities.
Describing progress, he recalled that the Council had held more open meetings during the past year, and had increased communication with both the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council, as well as with non-council members and troop contributing countries. China supported the Council in further improving its working methods. His Government expressed hope that it would place more emphasis on African requests and support African Union efforts to work for peace and security on that continent. China supported “necessary and reasonable reform” of the Council, he said, which should include expansion of its representation and improvement of working methods, which in turn, would improve the Council’s authority and effectiveness. The top priority should be to increase the representation of developing countries, notably from Africa.
Calling reform a “complex and difficult engineering project” that involved the immediate interests of all States, he said it was necessary to stick to “patient consultations and to meet halfway”. China opposed setting an artificial time limit, believing that the five clusters of reform should not be addressed in isolation. A step-by-step approach led nowhere. China supported continued negotiations and appreciated efforts made by both the Assembly President and Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations in that regard. He hoped that talks would continue to be transparent and inclusive of Member States.
BYRGANYM AITIMOVA ( Kazakhstan) reiterated the call for greater transparency and wider participation of the general United Nations membership in peace and security issues. Kazakhstan was committed to the Council’s reform and to increasing its non-permanent and permanent membership in order to enhance regional representation in that body. She confirmed Kazakhstan’s commitment to increasing the Council’s membership to 25, including six permanent members – two each from Africa and Asia and one each from Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe - and four non-permanent members – one each from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
She said the current negotiating process called for a new intermediary formula to bridge the differences between Member States favouring an increase in both categories and the “Uniting for Consensus” Group, which had proposed expansion only in the non-permanent category. That strategy should be examined in the spirit of compromise and inclusiveness rather than starting a fresh round of negotiations. She proposed giving new permanent members the right to veto only after assessing their work and contribution to peace and security through an ongoing mandatory review at the Conference.
Continuing, she called for strengthening the cooperation methods between the Council and Assembly. She welcomed the measure to increase the number of open Council sessions and reduce its closed sessions, but she also expected greater transparency. At present, non-members invested much time and effort from external sources to seek vital information and closed consultations. The data could be too late, unavailable and inappropriate. Non-members needed to know firsthand the deliberations, decisions and positions of each Council member on subjects considered so that their Governments could more appropriately decide on State policies and actions, thereby strengthening the Council’s authority and the public’s trust in its mandate.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said her delegation’s experience as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for seven of the 12 months covered by the report before the Assembly had made it even clearer there was an urgent need to expand both categories of the body’s membership. It had become evident that participation of both developed and developing countries needed to be increased to preserve and enhance the Council’s legitimacy and effectiveness. Most Member States favoured expansion in both categories, to a total of around 25 members, and it was clear the mere addition of non-permanent members, even if their terms were longer than the current two years, would only preserve the status quo. True reform of the Council required the establishment of new permanent members committed to such reform, she said.
Brazil’s experience had also shown that more perspectives and positions represented in the Council were needed so that body could better cope with the challenges of maintaining international peace and security. “We must therefore see the number of seats increased to around 25 or 26, numbers that seem to accommodate all those perspectives,” she said. “We cannot spend yet another year making statements,” she said, calling for “decisive progress” during the current session. During the following months, Brazil and its G-4 partners would reach out to fellow delegations to seek ways to bridge gaps in different positions. “My delegation has always engaged in the negotiations on Security Council reform with both an open mind and determination. We will continue to do so,” she said.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) associated himself with Switzerland’s statement made earlier on behalf of the S-5 Group. He said consideration of the Council’s annual report was one of the most important elements of the relationship of accountability between the Council and United Nations Member States as established by the Charter. It was up to the Council to make the debate more meaningful, particularly by offering a report that could serve as the basis for substantive political discussion. He noted that the S-5 Group appreciated improvements made with regard to the report’s format and commended the practice of consultations with the wider membership before producing the report.
That practice, he said, should be combined with a further informal consultation once the draft report was available. Further, the report should reflect the cross-cutting impact of thematic issues so as to help the Council overcome the weakness of its substantive work. While it was a useful compilation of available tools, Presidential Note 507 did not address some important subjects nor provide any mechanisms for the consistent implementation of measures it contained. “507 can therefore indeed not be the end, but at best the end of the beginning of the process to improve working methods,” he stressed.
Continuing, he pointed to a substantive link between working methods and the enlargement of the Council, noting that progress on the former did not hinge on a decision in the latter. The current composition of the Council did not faithfully reflection United Nations membership or today’s geo-political realities. In that regard, enlarging the Council was an urgent need. The S-5 Group had submitted a solution to create a new category of seats, allowing Member States to serve for longer terms, stand for immediate re-election and serve on a permanent basis. The new regime would be subject to a review after the completion of two terms, he noted.
JORGE VALERO ( Venezuela) said the Council’s current method of working generated “a number of concerns”, including that the 15-membered body continued to take over items from the agenda of the General Assembly. Such moves weakened the role that could be played by the wider community of nations, which were part of the “G-192.” That problem had been starkly revealed by the increased number of thematic discussions being held by the Council, including on violence against children in conflicts, sexual violence against women in conflict and justice and the rule of law, among others. In that regard, the Council had surpassed the mandates of some of its own resolutions on peacekeeping operations, and assumed responsibilities related to the electoral system reforms and correctional and public safety reforms, among others.
Venezuela observed that sometimes developing countries were “criminalized” for allegedly disrespecting Security Council resolutions and the United Nations Charter, while at the same time those who violated with impunity their international obligations were “absolved”. He said that a clear example of that was the way the Government of Israel violated the rules of international law, its obligations concerning human rights and the Geneva Convention in the Middle East, including in Palestine. The Security Council report did not include many of the observations that various countries who did not form part of the Council had made in open debates in the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, and the Question of Palestine.
For Venezuela, the issue of equitable representation on the Security Council and increasing its membership, and related issues, were closely related to the Organization’s capacity to fully comply with the purposes and principles enshrined in its Charter. In that sense, a negotiating document that listed the positions of Member States and highlighted the progress made to date in intergovernmental negotiations was needed. It was now necessary to move toward a synthesis that compiled the majority of positions in the five areas that had been addressed during the informal negotiations.
It was clear that most countries favoured the expansion of the Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. An “overwhelming majority” agreed that the expansion should allow for the participation of Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as those in Africa and Asia. Furthermore, he said, a majority supported the limitation of the veto power to some degree. Venezuela itself continued to stress the need to eliminate, per se, the right to the veto.
ERTUGRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) stated that the report of the Security Council provided an accurate account of the Council’s work. The report could have been more analytical and less descriptive, said the representative, noting however that his delegation was aware of the complexities with which it was challenged. Nonetheless, there was still “much room for further improvements” of the Council’s working methods in order to enhance its transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Turkey continued to support all the efforts to this end.
Turkey had taken an active part in the intergovernmental negotiations that had commenced in February 2009. It believed that organization’s wider membership remained seriously divided on issued such as categories of membership, regional representation, and the question of the veto. Turkey believed that the experience of serving as a member of the Council should not be limited to a small group, but should be available to all aspiring Member States, large or small, developed or least developed.
In particular, he said those Member States endowed with the means and capacities to provide peace and stability in their region and beyond should be allowed to take a more active part in the work of the Council. Turkey was therefore supportive of the extended representation of such Member States, as well as the correction of the “historic injustice” against Africa by substantially improving its representation on the Council. Turkey was against the expansion of the Council in the permanent category. Additional permanent seats would not contribute to a democratic, accountable and transparent Council, he said, adding: “If a reformed Security Council is to be the Council of not only today, but also the future, it is imperative that we all concentrate our best efforts of proposals that will provide [it] with the necessary flexibility as regards its composition.”
MARCIANO R. DE BORJA ( Philippines), aligning his statement with that made by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said his delegation continued to strongly support Security Council reform and noted that its position dated back to the beginning of the United Nations, when the Philippines advocated reforms of the Council several years after its creation. Today, his country was among the Member States that was requesting the Chair of the intergovernmental talks to summarize the views of various delegations in writing, which was aptly reflected in the report. The “working draft” could serve as a basis for meaningful and substantive negotiations for future amendments or revisions. Although the Philippines proposal to increase the size of the Security Council to 31 members was seen by some as extreme, the rationale was that the Council must conform to the principle of equitable and balanced geographical distribution. That forward-thinking proposal was democratic and representative of all Member States.
While the Philippines recognized that Council reform was a work in progress, he said that did not mean intergovernmental negotiations should be a never-ending process. In fact, it was imperative to move from “rhetoric to action” — to sit down and negotiate in order to produce results that they were anxious to achieve. In that regard, his delegation proposed the Council create an ad hoc group to help establish a workplan, timeline for negotiations and modalities for agreements to be approved and adopted by the Assembly. However, the Philippines remained realistic that reform could only be achieved incrementally. “Only after collecting the agreed points can we then agree on its totality,” he said. In closing, he said that while there was hard work ahead and obstacles to overcome, “no big achievement is ever attained if it is not fuelled and sustained by enthusiasm and the belief that success is possible”.
FEDERICO CUELLO CAMILO ( Dominican Republic) welcomed progress by the Security Council enhancing transparency and accountability, but said there was room for further improvement. His country supported comprehensive reform of the Security Council — its existing membership structure was clearly unbalanced and did not reflect many aspects of the current state of the world. More opportunities should be given to developing countries, particularly small island States that had never served in the Council.
“We do not really see any justification for the perpetuation of a historical injustice that has kept regions like Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean relegated in terms of representation from a body whose structure does not correspond to the geo-political realities of the twenty-first century,” he said. After five rounds of negotiations, the document presenting various proposals by Member States was very long, and it would be very difficult to identify areas of convergence for pragmatic negotiations. “We would like to see a much shorter and practical text allowing us to move forward with concrete steps and the speed demanded by the current circumstances,” he said.
ZOYA KOLONTAI ( Belarus) was keen to see Council reform that led to a more balanced, equitable redistribution of powers. Belarus supported increasing seats on the 15-member body to include all regional groups. Indeed, the Eastern European Group was underrepresented among non-permanent members and the Council should thus be expanded in that category. Her Government had noted the importance of including non-members in the Council’s discussions and welcomed the recent practice of holding regular briefings for such delegations. She also commended the exchange of information between the Presidents of the Council and the Assembly.
She also supported the involvement of non-Council members in decisions affecting their interests, holding more open meetings and maintaining close interaction between the Sanctions Committees and those countries subject to them. Attempts to bring before the Council internal State situations not linked to international peace and security did not have legal grounds and only undermined the Council’s work. In closing, she urged strengthening the Council as the main element in the system for maintaining international peace and security.
TAWFEEQ AHMED ALMANSOOR ( Bahrain) said the Assembly’s review of the annual Security Council report, as important as it was, would be truly important if the Assembly was provided with some substance. Indeed, the debate could be much more useful if the report contained more analytical, updated information that would allow for keeping up with the pace of the Council’s deliberations. That could be facilitated by providing more details of its work, holding more open meetings and reducing the number of closed meetings. The Council also must make more sustained efforts to address the issues that were undermining stability.
It was also important to explain the circumstances that prevented the Council from finding solutions to certain issues. The Council’s responsibility must be shouldered in the most effective manner possible in order to find those solutions. While welcoming the Council’s attention to Africa, the theatre for many conflicts, he said it had not been able to find solutions to the situations like the Palestinian cause, which did not enjoy the attention that it deserved. Relations between the Council and the Assembly should be promoted.
He said intergovernmental negotiations must be based on transparency to reach feasible proposals on representation. He urged increasing the number of members and improving working methods. The Council’s agenda must reflect the needs of developed and developing countries, and ensure a seat for the League of Arab States. Relations between the Council and the Assembly must be characterized by true partnership and, in that context, he urged not resorting to Chapter VII of the Charter, which should be used only as a last option when all others had been exhausted. Also, the veto was an obstacle to decision-making and the Rules of Procedure should become official.
SIMONA MICULESCU ( Romania) praised the Council’s efforts to increase openness and transparency, which gave all United Nations Members a chance to more significantly contribute to the maintenance of peace and security. During the reporting period, the Council had rightfully geared its efforts to efficiently resolve demanding situations in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Sudan and Timor-Leste, among others. But the situation in Georgia should not fade from the Council’s radar as it may critically affect regional and global peace and security. Some claimed that the Council’s report did not provide a comprehensive picture. She believed that the document could and should not just provide statistical information, but also a more analytical assessment. On Council reform, she stressed the importance for all Member States with the capacity to serve on the Council to have the opportunity to do so. The Council’s enlargement should be given “careful but swift consideration” in order to ensure that it better reflected current global political realities.
A solid political foundation for reforming the Council could only be built if both categories of members were expanded, she said. For the next enlargement to work, it was critically important not to exclude anyone and to ensure the principle of equitable geographic representation prevailed. She called for better representation of the Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean States, African and Asian groups of countries. Improving the Council’s working methods was equally important to make the Council more transparent, inclusive, accountable and effective. While a higher number of seats would allow more frequent presence in the Council for rotating members, improving working methods could ensure that all States eligible for non-permanent membership had access to Council activities at any time. She expressed hope that the next round of negotiations would provide a decisive boost for Council enlargement.
PHILIP PARHAM (United Kingdom), speaking in his national capacity after opening the meeting with a presentation of the Council’s annual report on behalf its current presidency, said that his earlier address aimed to move towards honest assessment of the Council’s work and look ahead to some issues on its agenda. “We should aim to have a genuine debate about the Council’s work and move away from a fixation with the report itself. For all its faults, it is purely a tool that records the work of the Council from August to July,” he said. The United Kingdom was committed to Council reform and had been using its Presidency to bring some small innovations to its working methods, including greater use of videoconferencing, and more interactive consultations within the Council.
“On the Council’s structure, we continue to support permanent membership for Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, as well as permanent representation for Africa,” he said. It was clear there was collective desire to move the process of Council reform forward, and while progress may not have been as fast as some might wish, there had been concrete progress. The United Kingdom continued to advocate considerations of alternative opinions, he said. The intermediate model could provide for a new category of seats with a longer mandate than that of members currently elected. When the intermediate period was completed, a review would convert those new seats into permanent ones.
ENKHTSETSEG OCHIR ( Mongolia) praised the Security Council for delivering momentous decisions during the reporting period, including the adoption of resolution 1887 (2009) on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. He lauded efforts made by the Council to improve cooperation with the Secretariat and its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, which had helped promote both cross-cutting and mission-specific issues. Despite that progress, there was still room for advancement, notably through the provisions from political support to peacekeeping operations and ensuring active participation by all stakeholders. In that regard, his delegation called for a full implementation of the revised Presidential Note. He further noted that despite its progress, the Council’s report lacked a substantive analysis of activities. As for the intergovernmental process, he said that in order to move forward, the Chair of those talks must produce a short, manageable text in the next round.
He went on to say that Mongolia continued to support the increase of both permanent and non-permanent members to the Council, while ensuring due representation of developed and developing countries, particularly the non- and underrepresented regional groups. Mongolia reiterated its support of Japan, Germany and India as permanent representatives, along with equitable representation of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, it was difficult to support the proposed intermediate model, which entailed the creation of a third tier of Council members. Mongolia was in favour of a restricted use of veto power, in particular with regard to Chapter VII related decisions, and supported an eventual abolition of the veto power. As long as the veto right existed, it must be extended to new permanent members. In that regard, he also supported aspirants to have a voluntary moratorium on the use of the veto until the proposed Council review conference.
NÉSTOR OSORIO ( Colombia) addressed the Assembly for the first time as a permanent representative of the General Assembly and reiterated his country’s support and commitment for the body’s “lofty” cause. The recent election of Colombia to a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the next two years would provide an opportunity for his country to express gratitude for the confidence of the other Member States. There was undeniably a heartfelt need by the delegates to update the working methods of the Security Council and it was imperative that progress be made on the new modalities of reform. In that regard, the category of non-permanent membership should be based on fair geographical distribution, noting that balance could be achieved with “roughly” 25 members.
A reform model presented by Italy and Colombia that reconciled various approaches and laid down a framework for Council reform, he said, represented areas on which Member States must focus and prove their shared commitment towards ushering in progress. Among the current proposals were establishing a more open dialogue, improving the relationship between Council and Assembly and creating a mechanism for review of any reform measures eventually agreed. “ Columbia would be on the vanguard to contribute to this,” he said.
BHUBANESWAR KALITA, Member of Parliament of India, in aligning his statement with that to be made by Jamaica on behalf of the L69 Group, said the Security Council report was an important means for facilitating interaction between the most representative organ of the United Nations and its most empowered brethren, and therefore, it was imperative that it highlight and analyse the measures it had decided upon. He noted that the Assembly had repeatedly requested that the report be more analytical and incisive, and not just a “mere narration” of events. While he credited the Council for its progress, he stated that “we may have covered a few years, but we still have miles ahead of us”. The report continued to be a statistical compilation of events, a “bland summary” and listing of meetings and outcome documents. The solution for a more credible Council lay in the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership categories and in its working methods.
Next, he expressed his gratitude that countries and leaders around the world had articulated their support for India as a permanent member of an expanded Security Council, noting the United States’ recent affirmation of its support, and called on other nations to extend their support to his country. Further, he called for the expansion from the current 15 members to a “figure in the mid-twenties” with a mandatory review after a period ranging from 8 to 15 years. The G-4 position on the question of veto was unambiguous and constructive, and stressed the need for an outcome that ensured the democratization of decision-making within the Council. India associated itself with the growing clamour for early reform of the Council’s working methods.
Regarding the issue of regional representation, India supported a Charter-based distribution of seats that addressed the lack of representation of African, Latin American and Caribbean countries and Asian countries in permanent membership and non-permanent membership of developing counties, including the least developed, landlocked countries and small island States. In closing, India called for the Assembly and the Council to respect each other’s distinct roles to secure the effective functioning of the United Nations. India was ready and willing to reach out to work in close cooperation with other countries. In that regard, the Council must shorten the negotiation text and proceed wholeheartedly into real negotiations.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said since adoption in 2008 of Assembly resolution 62/557, Mexico had participated in five negotiating rounds on the question of Security Council reform. Proposals had been compiled into one document by Ambassador Tanin and it was now for States to show the political will needed to achieve progress in comprehensive Council reform with the broadest possible support. Mexico had shown flexibility in its desire to improve the document, however, was surprised that more States had not been willing to negotiate, preferring instead to stay with their initial positions. Mexico had also been surprised by “unilateral moves” to determine the Council’s composition as such statements only exacerbated divisions. Reform could not be imposed by a small number of States or decided upon in other negotiating forums. Mexico did not support expanding the permanent member category and encouraged that the facilitator’s document be refined.
Continuing, he said Mexico had assisted in the preparation of the annual report and transparency was seen in the report’s introduction, which had been undertaken with input from the General Assembly. However, there was still room for the report to be improved. Recalling challenges during the reporting period, he cited the devastating Haiti earthquake, while instability in Somalia had made it necessary to take measures to deal with piracy. In Sudan, the United Nations monitoring capacity was enhanced. In Afghanistan and Iraq, insurgents required attention, while in Kyrgyzstan a humanitarian crisis was avoided. Successes had been seen with the Council’s enhanced capacity to monitor, demobilize and reintegrate minors involved with armed conflict. The adoption of resolution 1882 (2009) and the Presidential Statement on that issue were significant achievements. On the protection of civilians, benchmarks had been established to protect women and children. In sum, he said Mexico would continue to play an active part in efforts to reform the Security Council.
ZWELETHU MNISI ( Swaziland) said we had witnessed “a bare knuckle exchange of views” on Security Council reform, and hoped that it would lead to real negotiation with real trade-offs. “The intergovernmental process has revealed a horde of differences that are daunting. Some are interregional and some are based on the continued display of narrow interest and the desire to perpetuate the status quo,” he said. Swaziland rejected the intermediary approach, which was a “clear divide and rule strategy” that would take years, if not decades, to disentangle, adding to the apathy of the five permanent Council members and its slow approach to the reform process.
The historical injustice and regional bias within the Security Council is unmistakable, he said. “More than half of the Security Council agenda is laden with items relating to Africa. Doesn’t that warrant the need of institutional memory from Africa?” he said. “The need for no less than two permanent seats and five non-permanent seats can never be overstated. Africa needs to find a voice within those ranks and the sooner that is internalized, the better the prospects for the region in dealing with its peace and security dynamics,” he declared.
RODOLFO BENÍTEZ VERSÓN ( Cuba) said his country recognized some effort had been made to improve the Council’s annual report, but it remained a descriptive document that lacked the analytical and substantive approach needed to assess that body’s work. Cuba also wondered why the Council never submitted to the Assembly the Special Reports stipulated by the Charter in its Articles 15 and 24, which would be a very useful complement. It was the Council’s responsibility to duly account to the Assembly, and it needed “urgent and deep reform”. Yet despite the interest of the vast majority, it had not been possible to hold true negotiations, and there was growing risk of repeating the process of endless deliberations with no concrete results, which for more than 15 years had taken place in the Assembly’s Open-ended Working Group on Council Reform.
Actual reform of the Council must increase its size to no less than 26 members; rectify underrepresentation of developing countries; increase both permanent and non-permanent members; give new seats the same rights enjoyed by current seats; eliminate veto power as soon as possible; deeply transform working methods to make them more transparent and efficient; and grant permanent status to at least two countries from Africa, two developing countries from Asia and two countries from Latin America and the Caribbean. “We advocate a Security Council in which closed-door consultations are the exception,” he said, adding the following: “We want a Council that actually takes into account the opinions of the membership of the Organization before making decisions, and ensures real access of non-Member States to this body.” And while acknowledging the topics were related, he said Cuba considered that the Council’s annual report and reform of the body were matters that, due to their importance, deserved to be separately discussed at the Assembly.
IBRAHIM O. DABBASHI ( Libya) said his country was determined to continue its support, along with other Member States, of all efforts aiming to make tangible progress in Security Council reform and the expansion of its membership. He underlined the necessity to correct the “historic injustice” and marginalization against the African continent by not granting it representation in the Council’s permanent membership category. He said granting Africa one of the two requested permanent seats before the end of the intergovernmental negotiating process would promote the success of the negotiations.
Reforming the Council would require cooperation of Member States to abandon the “moulds” made by the permanent members. To that end, he said full powers should be granted to the Assembly, and its resolutions should be binding to all Member States and United Nations organs. As such, the Council should become a mechanism for implementing the Assembly’s resolutions, he added. Furthermore, consideration should be given to the idea put forth by Libya, to replace permanent membership of the States with regional unions, and veto privilege should either be granted — or withdrawn — from all Council members.
Council reforms should also be made regarding that body’s working methods, transparency and ensuring participation of non-member States in its meetings, particularly those directly concerned with issues under consideration. In closing, he said the reports of the Council submitted to the Assembly did not provide a clear picture of the Council’s activities, nor its commitment to implementation of Assembly resolutions. He hoped the General Assembly would take action to recover the shortfalls of the Council, including double standards and the use of veto privilege.
PIET DE KLERK ( Netherlands) said for the Security Council to remain effective, a balance needed to be struck between its legitimacy and its effectiveness. “After the announcement made by [ United States] President Obama earlier this week, the eyes of the world opinion are once again focused on the question of Security Council reform, giving a new impetus to the process that was launched at the end of the sixty-third session,” he said. The negotiating text as presented by the Chair this summer should be drastically shortened into a condensed and consolidated document, and if Member States did not manage to do it themselves, other ways should be explored to achieve that end.
Members this year had mentioned the “intermediate solution” more frequently than in the past and there was momentum building for such a temporary and transitional measure, which was a crucial step towards a more permanent solution, he said. “Naturally, this transitional measure can take many forms and shapes; this is a debate that has yet to start,” he said, adding that declarations today created expectations and obligations, so subsequently doing nothing can lead to the conclusion that the United Nations just could not deliver. “It’s up to us to prove the UN pessimists wrong,” he declared.
ANDREW GOLEDZINOWSKI ( Australia) praised the Security Council for its report but noted that while reform was one of its most important issues, there had been little progress and few substantial negotiations. Still, Member States should not shy away from the important issues, most notably, the absence of permanent membership from the African continent and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, which he called “a striking injustice”.
An impasse on consensus on the form and size of the Council, however, should not be an obstacle to reform of its working methods. In that regard, he welcomed the President’s Note 507 but called the absence of the implementation mechanisms a grave oversight. Furthermore, he called on the Council to take up the issue of climate change and security and called that an action to deliberate on this existential threat be placed on the 2011 agenda. In closing, he pledged Australia’s continued support and confidence in the Security Council.
ROSEMARY A. DICARLO ( United States) said the Council’s annual report provided a transparent review of its work and she expressed hope it would enhance cooperation between the Council and the Assembly. The United States took seriously that States should be informed of, and involved in, the Council’s work. Indeed, the Council had worked to ensure that more meetings were open. During the United States’ presidency next month, her delegation would continue to provide briefings to non-members on the programme of work.
Welcoming Ambassador Tanin’s reappointment as Chair of the sixth round of intergovernmental negotiations, she said the United States supported his efforts to shepherd those talks forward, and hoped that States would approach them with a pragmatism and flexibility. While disagreement remained, she hoped the talks would lead to reform that was State-driven. The United States believed the Council’s long-term viability depended on it reflecting current realities. Reform, however, should not diminish its effectiveness or efficiency.
The United States was open, in principle, to a modest expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories, she said, adding that any consideration must be country-specific in nature. In assessing that issue, the United States would take into account the ability of countries to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security. Her Government was committed to engaging more powers in the international architecture. The United States was not open to enlargement that changed the current veto structure, but was committed to working with others to find a way for the Council to enhance its ability to carry out its mandate and meet the challenges of the new century.
DIEGO LIMERES ( Argentina) said Council reform was a matter of the highest importance, due to its implications for the entire United Nations. It could not be a process in which each position competed for a specific number of followers; rather, it should lead to a changed Council. The five issues identified for reform were closely interlinked, meaning that reform must lead to a more transparent, democratic and effective body. There were possibilities for consensus. For example, the idea that working methods must be improved by adopting relevant measures to that end was one that had been generally approved. The divisive aspect of membership categories should not hamper comprehensive reform. To make progress, consensus was imperative and he reiterated that a solution that achieved such support would not come about through a transitional approach. Rather, a compromise solution must be found which envisioned the expansion of non-permanent seats.
Such a solution would provide for a more representative Security Council, he continued, as it would correct the lack of representation of certain regions and of developing countries. The idea that increasing non-permanent members would maintain status quo was “fallacious”. Indeed, it must be recalled that permanent members had emerged from a particular moment in history.
Argentina supported the “Uniting for Consensus” position, emphasizing those States understood that reform must be based on a realistic formula and had worked in a flexible manner. He disagreed with suggestions made this morning, whereby progress would be made with a shortened version of Ambassador Tanin’s document. Such a matter could not be dealt with in a process whereby positions were eliminated in an informal document. Transparency was a sine qua non and open consultations were the only appropriate framework for such a significant issue.
EBENEZER APPREKU (Ghana), associating with remarks delivered on behalf of the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement, said interaction between the Security Council and the General Assembly should, while respecting each body’s mandate, strive to complement their activities for their common goal of attaining the objectives of the United Nations, including respect for the principles and purposes of the Charter. Regional organizations such as the African Union were important to attain objectives of the Organization, and the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at enhancing cooperation should be evaluated.
The Council had done significant work, but its activities would be strengthened through reform. Intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in membership and other related matters must be given renewed urgency. “Like other African States, Ghana looks forward to an outcome of the negotiations which will lead to the creation of additional permanent seats to be allocated to African States,” he said. “Amending the Charter to allocate permanent place for African States on the Security Council is long overdue.”
RAYMOND WOLFE (Jamaica), on behalf of the L69 Group, said efforts of the Security Council to improve its working methods and enhance transparency were important, but could not substitute for comprehensive change required in composition of the membership of the Council to render it more reflective of contemporary global realities. He expressed hope that through further discussions and negotiations, the text-based document could be condensed to be made more manageable. The L69 Group — countries from Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific who were unified to achieve lasting reform of the Council — supported expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. “It is only through such expansion which addresses the lack of representation among African, Asian and Latin American countries that we can achieve a more representative, legitimate, credible and effective Council,” he said.
New permanent members should be selected based on criteria established in the United Nations Charter, and the L69 Group supported an increase in membership to the mid-twenties. The Group also supported a review of the composition of the permanent membership after a period of 15 years to ensure it continued to reflect global realities, he said. “We are also of the view that the Council must become more accountable, fair, inclusive, open and consistent in its actions,” he said. There must also be restrictions on enlarging the scope of Article 24 of the Charter, formalization of Council’s Rules of Procedure, improved consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, reasonable restrictions on use of the veto, more open briefings and debates, wider and earlier circulation of draft resolutions and draft Presidential statements, rational use of sanctions, rationalizing of the Council’s agenda, and changes in the scope of decision-making.
He also called for an improved relationship between the Council and the Assembly, through improved reporting, regular consultations and strict adherence to their respective mandates. “The L69 Group is committed to playing its part in ensuring that this comprehensive reform is not left to future generations. We must work together to realize a reformed, more representative and more accountable Security Council, in order to ensure that future generations are able to live in a more safe and secure world,” he said.
MAFIROANE MOTANYANE (Lesotho), aligning with the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, said Council reform recalled the very reasons why the United Nations had come into existence — to unite in strength to maintain international peace and security and, to that end, take effective collective action to prevent and remove threats. The Council should not be the exclusive domain of a few and its reform was long overdue. In 1945, all regions were represented, including Africa by Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia and others. However, the African continent did not make it “into the Council’s mainstream”. Nonetheless, it would never be too late to reverse the situation, and in that context, he urged reform that included all five clusters, namely membership categories, veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Council and working methods, in addition to the relationship between the Council and the Assembly.
Turning to the annual report, he said Lesotho had noted considerable strides made in discharging the Council’s mandate, however, efforts to enhance transparency in its working methods required more efforts. The Council’s rules remained provisional and there was a lack of adequate consultations between the Council and the Assembly, which was a concern. It wished to see the report be more detailed and analytical on how its efforts impacted peace processes in conflict areas, and whether there was variance in the levels of compliance with its directives and resolutions. The spread of war and instability only exacerbated the already dire situation of people around the world. The onus was on States to unite for the common good. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” he said.
EDUARDO ULIBARRI ( Costa Rica) aligned his delegation’s statement with that made by Switzerland on behalf of the Small Five Group and said the debate offered an excellent opportunity to ponder the work of the Security Council in four areas: efficiency, transparency, representation and legitimacy. Further, progress would require a consideration of the balance of power and a lively interaction between the Assembly and the Council. The presentation of the Council’s annual report should not be a purely rhetorical exercise and must go beyond narrative. In that regard, he reiterated the needs of the Council to present a special report pursuant to Articles 14 and 15 of the United Nations Charter, which was vital to new peacekeeping operations when there was a change of mandates or when sanctions were established.
He urged Council members to hold interactive debates that included all Member States prior to drafting its report. He noted that Costa Rica’s presentation of its annual report at the 2008 Presidents of Council meeting had introduced a novel element, by encouraging members to comment on the report. Presentation of annual report, he said, must include an outline assessing efficacy of Council’s efforts. In closing, he said the Council must be pragmatic without losing sight of goals. He welcomed the reports revision of the President’s Note 507, more open debates and inclusion of chapter on working methods. However, he was dismayed by the absence of a chapter on implementation mechanisms. He urged the Council to hold informal meetings with Assembly members, in an effort to encourage negotiations and make debates less rigid and more lively.
DINA MARTINA ( Ukraine) said preventative diplomacy was an indispensable yet often overlooked instrument of the Security Council, and his delegation hoped that the “horizon-scanning” exercise introduced earlier this month could help shift the Council’s focus from conflict management to prevention. “We would like to hear more about the first ‘scanning’ session, as well as whether that exercise would become an established Council practice from now on,” he said. But the Security Council should not be overburdened with matters that ought to be tackled in other United Nations forums. The Ukraine was also encouraged by the Security Council’s attention to peacekeeping, and its positive procedural innovations, such as videoconferencing with field commanders. Yet troop-contributing countries, especially middle-ranked ones, needed to be given a strong voice in decisions on peacekeeping operations.
He also recalled a practical suggestion of formalizing the valuable, but so far ad hoc, practice of monthly briefings to regional groups by non-permanent members delegated to the Council. In principle, there were no obstacles for permanent members getting engaged in that outreach, as well as to sharing benefits of their institutional memory. Ukraine considered enlargement of the Council and improvement of its working methods priorities of reform, and was open to discussing all possible options and new, creative approaches. But its standpoint remained immutable; any increase in non-permanent membership of the Security Council should ensure enhanced representation of the Group of Eastern European States with the allocation of at least one additional non-permanent seat.
DIRE TLADI (South Africa), aligning with the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, called on the Council for greater engagement with non-members, especially those parties directly affected by or involved in a specific conflict. He was pleased that document S/2010/507 committed the Council President to providing “substantive and detailed briefings to States” in a timely manner, which was a concrete commitment to more transparency. However, the Council could not abdicate its role as the global body tasked with maintaining international peace and security to smaller contact groups that were unaccountable to the wider United Nations membership. Nor could it shirk its duty by failing to address long-standing conflicts in the Middle East and in Western Sahara, which were being addressed without any meaningful action. It also must redouble its efforts to deal squarely with the situation in Somalia.
Sustainable peace could be achieved only by addressing security and development challenges confronting countries afflicted by conflict, he said. Peacebuilding and peacekeeping were not linear processes; they should be carried out in an integrated manner. Welcoming the thematic debate on protection of civilians, among others, as well as increased cooperation with the African Union, he said Council reform remained a top priority. There was no going back into the mode of endless consultations. Now was time for meaningful give-and-take negotiations. To that end, he said that a streamlined text that identified areas of convergence was required, with deletion of redundancies in the current text taken as a first step to preparing such a text. Proposals that offered no prospect for an outcome must be identified and discarded, while those offering the best prospects for a solution should be consolidated. Progress could be achieved based on a convergence of views that reforms would require expanding both membership categories. Efforts to build on the convergence of views on working methods and the relationship between the Council and the Assembly were also needed.
JOHN MCNEE ( Canada) said the past year had seen a number of critical issues that required the Council’s urgent action, recalling that it was only 10 months ago that a devastating earthquake had hit Haiti. The Council had ensured that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was sufficiently bolstered to provide assistance to the Government and he called on both the Council and the international community to continue providing much-needed support. The Council’s report outlined progress in consulting troop- and police-contributing countries and Canada strongly supported such outreach. Given the importance of those operations, Canada had hosted informal discussions on the various aspects of peace operations and urged the Council to continue enhancing its consultations, both on specific mandates and on broader peacekeeping thematic issues, with the wider United Nations community.
The past year had also been important with respect to peacebuilding, he said, and as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Sierra Leone configuration, Canada had appreciated the mutually reinforcing role those bodies could play in advancing such work in a post-conflict country. Thus, he urged more engagement in the year to come. Turning to the Council’s working methods, he said “considerable” work was required to enhance transparency, especially as the report still failed to provide analysis of how and why the Council’s decisions had been taken.
To achieve democratic and accountable reform of the Council, there must be an increase in the number of elected, non-permanent members, which would allow all regions, especially Africa, representation. Such an increase must allow the Council to remain a “manageable” size, capable of quick and effective action. Serious consideration also must be given to improving working methods and restricting veto use, especially on issues related to “genocide”, among others. He also urged that the intermediate option, put forward by Colombia and Italy, attempted to bridge various positions on Council reform and might form the basis of an agreement.
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