18 February 2015
277th Meeting (AM)

Speakers Urge Revitalization of Organization, Special Charter Committee, as General Debate Concludes

Concluding the general debate for the session, speakers at the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization emphasized the urgency of revitalizing both the United Nations and the Special Committee itself through real political will and by fostering substantive deliberations on key agenda items.

The representative of Algeria, observing that recent proposals submitted by Member States were providing an important basis to rejuvenate the Special Committee, emphasized that “real political will” would be required to enhance that body’s contributions.  As well, an effective maintenance of international peace and security required full adherence to the Charter and a balance among the organs of the United Nations.

Delegates also expressed views on an array of subjects, including economic sanctions, clarifying the legal basis of certain actions aimed at maintaining international peace and security, balancing the roles of different United Nations organs, strengthening cooperation with regional organizations and improving the Special Committee’s working methods.

Speaking in his national capacity, Iran’s representative said that the use of arbitrary and unilateral economic sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy was not only morally wrong and ethically unjustified, but also infringed upon the right to development and led to violations of basic human rights.  A new proposal by the Non-Aligned Movement sought to ensure that the Security Council exhausted all measures set out in Chapter VI and avoided resorting to Chapter VII provisions where there was no actual threat to international peace and security.

The representative of India, while noting that the practice of imposing targeted sanctions had led to a considerable reduction of unintended harm, stressed that the resultant lack of requests from third States for assistance should not be reason for the topic to be removed from the Special Committee’s agenda.  He voiced support, in principle, for the proposal requesting an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the use of force by a State or a group of States without the express authorization of the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter or not in the exercise of the inherent right of self-defence.

The General Assembly, underscored Sudan’s representative, must strengthen its role in determining policies in maintaining international peace and security.  Although the Charter clearly delineated roles, the Security Council increasingly encroached on the jurisdiction of the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.  Stressing the need for “African solutions to African problems”, he also urged the United Nations to strengthen its relationship with regional organizations.

Turning to working methods, Thailand’s delegate suggested that the Special Committee appoint its bureau three months before the session in order to prepare effectively for more substantive debates on existing and new proposals.

Also speaking today were representatives of Ghana, Nicaragua and Belarus.

The Special Committee will continue its session through 25 February.

For information media. Not an official record.