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GA/12385
16 November 2021
Seventy-sixth Session, 35th Meeting (PM)

General Assembly Delegates Call for Breaking New Ground on Security Council Reform, with Many Denouncing Unfettered Veto Use, Lack of Transparency

Appointments Made to Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, International Civil Service Commission

The General Assembly continued its debate on Security Council reform today, with delegates continuing to call for urgent action given the multitude of new and complex global challenges.

Guyana’s representative, stressing that there have been 29 years of structured consideration of Council reform and 12 years of intergovernmental negotiations, called for political will to prioritize and normalize the intergovernmental negotiations process.  She advocated for expansion of Council membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories and the guaranteed presence of small island developing States.  Given their unique experiences, she said those States have important contributions to make, especially given the threat of climate change.

South Africa’s representative, also addressing the issue of Council composition, said that, apart from being historically unjust, the lack of Africa’s representation adversely affects the Council’s ability to address matters of peace and security on the continent.  As there is wider recognition and support for the common African position, she urged Member States to move forward on that basis and to begin negotiations.

Indeed, the Council must better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities, with greater representation for Asia, Africa and Latin America, said Australia’s representative, citing challenges ranging from rapid technological advancement to unprecedented security, economic and health challenges, including COVID-19.  Its working methods must also be improved to ensure it is more accountable to Member States.  Also, better standards must be developed for the more transparent use of the veto, he said.

Other delegates also expressed concerns about use of the veto, with Spain’s representative emphasizing that “the power of veto is an error” and that it should “head towards disappearance”.  Voicing support for the France-Mexico initiative on the veto — supported by 106 States — she said reinforced multilateralism necessarily must include reform of the Council.  Cuba’s representative said that, while her country has always been opposed to the veto, new permanent members must have the same prerogatives as the current ones.

Ukraine’s representative was one of several to offer views on the negotiation process itself, emphasizing that efforts must be ambitious enough to break the vicious cycle of year-to-year repetitions of positions.  New avenues for progress could be opened via text-based talks.  To ensure the success of future attempts, more time for drafting and broader ownership of a General Assembly decision are needed.  He called for a text that serves as a basis for negotiations, which reflects the entire scope of positions, and which acknowledges unchallenged proposals as commonalities.

Also today, the Assembly appointed members to four of its subsidiary bodies, on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary):  the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Committee on Contributions, International Civil Service Commission and the Board of Auditors.  It also confirmed two reappointments to its Investments Committee.

Also delivering statements on Security Council reform were representatives of the United States, Republic of Korea, Morocco, Malta, Argentina, Colombia, France, Venezuela, Belarus, Federated States of Micronesia, Canada, Nicaragua, Liechtenstein, Algeria, Slovenia, Georgia, Philippines, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Uganda, Libya and Indonesia.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 17 November, to take up the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Appointments

Acting on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the Assembly took up five reports under sub-items a) to e) of its agenda item on “Appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments”.

Taking up the report “Appointment of members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions” (document A/76/516), the General Assembly decided to appoint or reappoint Yves Eric Ahoussougbemey (Benin), Amjad Qaid al Kumaim (Yemen), Makiese Kinkela Augusto (Angola), Sharon Brennen-Haylock (Bahamas) and Jakub Chmielewski (Poland) for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2022.

Next, the Assembly considered the report “Appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions” (document A/76/517), deciding to appoint or reappoint Syed Yawar Ali (Pakistan), Phologo Kaone Bogatsu (Botswana), Jasminka Dinić (Croatia), Ihor Humennyi (Ukraine), Kitano Mitsuru (Japan) and Thomas Anthony Repasch (United States) for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2022.

Turning to the report “Confirmation of the appointment of members of the Investments Committee” (document A/76/518), the Assembly confirmed the Secretary‑General’s reappointments of Keiko Honda (Japan) as a regular member for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2022, and of Macky Tall (Mali) as an ad‑hoc member for a one-year term of office, beginning on 1 January 2022.

Taking up the report “Appointment of a member of the Board of Auditors” (document A/76/519), the Assembly decided to appoint the First President of the Court of Accounts of France for a six-year term of office beginning on 1 July 2022.

Finally, the Assembly considered the report “Appointment of members of the International Civil Service Commission” (document A/76/520), deciding to appoint or reappoint Claudia Angélica Bueno Reynaga (Mexico), Spyridon Flogaitis (Greece), Kaji Misako (Japan), Jeffrey Mounts (United States) and Shauna Olney (Canada) for a four-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2022.  It also decided to designate Boguslaw Winid (Poland) as Vice-Chair for a period of four years, subject to a corresponding extension of his term of office as a member of the International Civil Service Commission.

Statements

MAJID TAKHT RAVANCHI (Iran) said improving the Security Council’s work methods and accountability, and ensuring that decisions are taken in accordance with international law, are no less important than the body’s enlargement. Many Council members are from the West, while the main regions are poorly represented in both number and privilege, including veto power, meaning that inequalities must be addressed both among and within the regions.  He expressed full support for addressing historical injustices towards the developing world, particularly Africa — and within regions, providing advantages to those States that have never served on the Council.  To that end, he suggested that factors such as population, economic power and regional position could be considered.  “A reform that serves the interests of only certain regions or a few States is not acceptable,” he said.  On work methods, which must comply with international law, he said sanctions must be applied rarely, in a smart and targeted manner, with limited scope and duration — and only when all “measures not involving the use of armed force” are exhausted.  Transforming the Council into a rules-based and accountable body must remain a top priority, he added.

THOMAS CARNAHAN (United States) noting that the intergovernmental negotiations framework remains the most appropriate forum in which to discuss any changes to the Council’s permanent membership, said the United States is open to any form of negotiation within that framework as long as it allows for a broad consensus.  Likewise, the United States remains open to an expansion of the Council for both permanent and non-permanent members, he said, noting that expansion should neither diminish the Council's effectiveness nor alter or expand the veto.  Calling the Council an “important tool” for addressing the most pressing threats to international peace and security, he nonetheless acknowledged that it occasionally falls short and that a well-executed expansion could help modernize the body to better reflect realities and increase its effectiveness.

MATHU JOYINI (South Africa), associating herself with the African Group and the L69 Group of developing countries, called for addressing Africa’s lack of permanent representation and under-representation in the non-permanent category.  Apart from being historically unjust, the lack of representation adversely affects the Council’s ability to address matters of peace and security on the continent.  She expressed full support for the common African position with the goal of Africa being fully represented in all decision-making organs of the United Nations.  As there is wider recognition and support for the common African position than in years past, she urged Member States to move forward on that basis.  The injustice of exclusion from the premier United Nations body must be undone and rectified as a matter of high priority.  As such, text-based negotiations must be set on track.  Delays in the Council’s reform will not help address threats to international peace and security.  She expressed hope that Member States will take seriously the mandate of the intergovernmental negotiations and thus, commence negotiations.

CHO HYUN (Republic of Korea), associating himself with the Uniting for Consensus Group, said the idea of reforming the Council by simply enlarging the problematic permanent membership will only amplify the deficiencies.  If it is difficult to eliminate permanent membership, “we must at least not add any new ones”.  The best way to reform the Council would be to increase the proportion of its members that are regularly replaced by the entire membership through elections at the General Assembly.  Increasing the number of elected members would allow representation from a variety of groups ‑ developing countries, Africa, small island developing States and small States among them ‑ to be strengthened.  He described such a change as “true reform for all”, which would make the Council more democratic, efficient and dynamic.  The intergovernmental negotiation process allows for frank, in-depth discussions in an informal setting, which was not available in the Open-Ended Working Group.  Member States have steadily narrowed their differences and moved towards finding common ground, allowing for the establishment of reform that enjoys the widest possible political acceptance.  True reform should be based on a clear vision of how global governance should be, rather than by narrowly defined national interests.

IMANE BENZIANE (Morocco), associating with the African Group and the Group of Arab States, said reform of the Council must be comprehensive, not gradual.  Expressing support for greater representation and effectiveness, she described the Council’s mandate as “clear and unambiguous” and said the current intergovernmental format must be preserved.  At the same time, increased representation should not be achieved to the detriment of effectiveness, efficiency and accountability, she added, describing the Council’s enlargement as an “absolute necessity”.  It is unacceptable that Africa is the only continent not represented as a permanent member and underrepresented in the non-permanent category, she said, calling for greater representation, notably as 10 of the 16 largest troop contributors, including Morocco, are African States.  Reiterating support for Africa’s equitable representation in both categories of seats, she said the Arab States Group similarly deserves greater representation and she described the current absence as “regrettable”.  Further, use of the veto should be more widely debated and made available to all permanent Council members.

VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta), associating herself with the Uniting for Consensus Group, said the COVID‑19 pandemic has further exacerbated the need to reform the Security Council and make it more credible and capable of responding to both longstanding challenges and emerging threats.  Voicing support for the expansion of elected members — an element which enjoys full convergence amongst all negotiating groups and delegations — she described that solution as a “truly democratic” one which will transform the Council and render it more representative, transparent, efficient and accountable.  “We cannot afford to have our next session be composed of the impasse that has overtaken the very essence of our work in past sessions,” she stressed, noting that talks should now lead to a common understanding of what “reform for all” should look like.

MARÍA DEL CARMEN SQUEFF (Argentina), associating herself with the Uniting for Consensus Group, said the Council continues to be non-representative and dominated by some members, due in part to the power of the veto.  Working methods lack transparency and permit reduced participation by non-members of the Council, which must now adapt to challenges emerging in the twenty-first century.  A real reform effort must truly alleviate some of the world’s problems, she said, noting that adding new members is not the solution.  Instead, elected members would make the Council more effective and dynamic.  While agreement on some issues is still far from being attained, intergovernmental negotiations are the most appropriate way to advance the progress, with discussions focusing on substantive issues and working towards consensus, as outlined in the Uniting for Consensus proposals.

MARÍA BASSOLS DELGADO (Spain) associating herself with the Uniting for Consensus Group, described the conclusion of negotiations on Council reform during the session and proposals for changing the format of those talks as “frustrating”.  The problem lies in the lack of agreement on the substance of the reform rather than in the negotiating format.  She expressed hope to see a Council that is more democratic, representative, efficient, accountable and transparent, based on the legal equality of States.  Stressing that the nine permanent Council members have become “different countries” in the course of 75 years, she called for agreement on the reform principles and for changes that are not “cosmetic”.  Turning to the expansion of the Council’s membership, she said countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as small island and developing States should have more voice in the Council.  With 21 elected members, the Council would be better equipped to address global realities.  Emphasizing that “the power of veto is an error”, she demanded that it “head towards disappearance”.  Voicing support for the France‑Mexico initiative on the veto ‑ supported by 106 States ‑ she said reinforced multilateralism necessarily must include reform of the Council.

GUILLERMO ROQUE FERNANDEZ DE SOTO VALDERRAMA (Colombia), associating himself with the Uniting for Consensus Group, said the intergovernmental negotiations are the only legitimate platform for discussing Council reform.  Calling text-based negotiations “unacceptable”, he explained that issues of substance must be the focus before matters of procedure.  Consensus is the only way forward, he said, urging Member States to persevere with collective focus.  On the composition of the Council, he said increasing the number of permanent seats with the right to veto would not only impede fair and comprehensive reform but would contradict the rights of all Member States to participate in international peace and security matters, deepening the imbalances.  Colombia does not support extending privileges and capacities to new members.  Instead, he proposed an increase in the number of elected members with a two-year mandate, as well as the creation of non-permanent seats with terms longer than two years, noting that longer-term seats would be more representative and efficient.  Moreover, a rotation system would open the door for developing countries from all regions to contribute, based on their capacity and under equal conditions.

BRICE FODDA (France), calling for “real negotiations”, supported proposals for greater transparency and, to this end, suggested that statements by like-minded countries be collected and made available.  Above all, the start of negations should be based on a draft, which would allow States to avoid the endless repetition of speeches.  Acknowledging that this task is extremely difficult, he called for the adoption of useful documents.  Enlargement of the Security Council would make it more representative of the world of today and bolster its authority while preserving its executive nature, he said, adding that it is up to those States requesting a permanent seat to decide on the “extremely sensitive” topic of the veto.  The objective must be to enhance the Council’s legitimacy, on the one hand, and to bolster its capacity to maintain international peace and security, on the other.

JORGE ARTURO REYES HERNÁNDEZ (Venezuela) said the function of the intergovernmental negotiations is to seek a balance on Council reform, and discussions in that format — based on inclusive dialogue — can facilitate finding a holistic solution to advance progress on equitable representation and enlarging its membership.  Given continued divergence on certain issues, forcing a text-based negotiation format could be counter-productive and even impact progress made thus far.  The principles of inclusion and legal equality among States are essential elements of multilateralism that should guide the negotiation process and related results.  Venezuela supports adequate representation for African States, which comprise one quarter of the United Nations membership and constitute 70 per cent of the Council’s work.  The intergovernmental negotiations clearly demonstrate the need to correct the historic imbalances inherited from colonialism, and to augment the presence of African States on the Council.

ARTSIOM TOZIK (Belarus) said that moving Council reform discussions beyond the intergovernmental negotiations framework would lead to a “dead end”.  Calling on States to adhere to clearly agreed-upon terms and a timeline for the next round of intergovernmental negotiations, he warned against extending or increasing the number of meetings.  Pointing to fundamental differences in States’ approaches to reform, he said none of the proposed configurations has yet received any tangible support.  Therefore, reform must be incremental, inclusive and based on dialogue. Drawing attention to the prematurity of negotiation outcomes, he opposed calls for text-based negotiations and requested at least one additional non-permanent seat for the Eastern European States.  He said the Council’s expansion is a State-owned and State-driven process while cautioning against disregarding the principle of consensus, which would be tantamount to discriminating against States.

ROSA AMELIA GUERRA TAMAYO (Cuba) said that to advance the intergovernmental negotiations, Member States must continue to work since what has been achieved.  The Council must be efficient, democratic, transparent and representative, including through informal negotiations.  She expressed support for enlarging the membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories to rectify the insufficient representation of developing countries.  While Cuba has always opposed the veto, she stressed that new permanent members must have the same prerogatives as the current ones.  She rejected the creation of new categories or sub-categories, which would promote divisions.  The Council must stop interfering in areas outside of its jurisdiction, she added, especially those within the purview of the General Assembly.

JANE J. CHIGIYAL (Federated States of Micronesia) associating herself with the L69 Group, called for a reformed Council that is fit for today’s challenges and responds to even the smallest of its members.  “This is our collective time in our history to reform our United Nations and the United Nations Security Council that was built in the 1940s,” she said.  She called for improved work methods within the intergovernmental negotiations framework related to documentation and record-keeping, which are critical to enhancing the efficiency and transparency of the process.  She underscored the importance of attribution.

Ms. TUDOR-BEZIES (Canada) said her country will do its best to achieve the broadest consensus possible, as Council reform is of capital importance.  “The expectations of so many Member States are at stake,” she said.  The Council must be accountable, transparent and efficient.  Canada will continue to work with Member States from Africa, small island developing States, small States and developing countries to expand representation, she stressed, noting that any reform effort must address Africa’s historically unjust treatment.  A reformed Council should better serve everyone.  Recalling that consensus should not be a goal “in and of itself” but rather, a visible demonstration of collective will, she said reform will come through an amended United Nations Charter, which will require an intergovernmental process.  When a proposal for a reformed Council is presented to Governments, it must one that is aligned with the commitment to a renewed social contract and to a multilateral system that is accountable to the people it is meant to serve.

ALINA J. LLANO (Nicaragua), associating herself with the L69 Group, said the United Nations has not yet managed to achieve the goal set forth in its Charter, so a vital transformation must now create an Organization that better serves humanity.  The Council must be reformed to ensure that its composition reflects reality in the twenty-first century.  Africa must be heard, as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.  Likewise, the aspirations of the Arab Group, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and other regional groups must also be heard on achieving equitable representation in the Council.  Considering these and other concerns, efforts to advance negotiations must be made with a view to finalizing a real process for reform.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said an intermediate model, featuring long-term renewable seats without additional veto rights for any State, has the potential to better represent the geopolitical realities of today.  It is unacceptable that some regions, such as Africa, are underrepresented on the Council, he said, noting that Liechtenstein fails to see how adding new veto powers can be considered beneficial to the Council’s effectiveness.  Noting that the permanent presence of additional countries can establish a healthier power balance, he said that meaningful reform must include an agreement on use of the veto.  He cited the proposal for a code of conduct on mass atrocities, joined by 122 States, as a positive initiative, observing that use of the veto has increased in recent years.  He called on States to create an accountability mechanism, potentially convening the General Assembly each time the veto is cast in the Council.  The Council also must embrace the security of human beings as a new security paradigm, he said.

ZAKIA IGHIL (Algeria) said that despite existing divergences, it remains critical to engage collectively towards a comprehensive reform.  Algeria remains committed to a meaningful reform and fully engaged with the common African position, as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.  Africa continues to endure a historical injustice that must be redressed by granting it two permanent and two non-permanent seats.  Veto power ‑ as long as it exists ‑ must be extended to the new permanent members.  The upcoming session should be an opportunity to sustain momentum and preserve the gains made thus far while also addressing intractable issues related to the process, she said, adding that Algeria stands ready to engage constructively in the intergovernmental negotiations process, which must be membership-driven, inclusive and transparent.

BOŠTJAN MALOVRH (Slovenia), noting that discussions on reform of the Council have “fallen short of actual progress”, said intergovernmental negotiations should be as effective and results-oriented as possible, building on previous negotiations, avoiding repetitive statements and potentially moving to a text-based format.  They also should be more transparent and open, by applying the Assembly’s rules of procedure, so that there are records of discussions and repetition is prevented.  He called for greater representation for Eastern European States and African States, underscoring the “great responsibility” of those wielding veto rights to refrain from misusing that privilege.  He expressed support for suspending veto use in cases of mass atrocities and expanding both categories of Council membership.

SERGIY KYSLYTSYA (Ukraine) said efforts must be ambitious enough to break the vicious cycle of year-to-year repetitions of positions.  New avenues for progress could be opened via text-based negotiations.  Being ambitious also means moving beyond the technical rollover nature of a decision at the end of the session, as was seen during a relevant discussion at the Assembly’s plenary meeting in June.  To ensure success of future attempts, more time for drafting and broader ownership of a General Assembly decision are needed.  A text that serves as a basis for negotiations should properly reflect the entire scope of positions and proposals and acknowledge unchallenged proposals as commonalities.  Among these unchallenged proposals is strengthened representation in the Council of the Eastern European Group.  Ukraine also advocates phasing out the veto right and strongly supports all initiatives aimed at limiting its use, as it is absolutely inappropriate that a permanent member has a privilege to exercise a veto right during consideration of situations in which that member is directly involved as a party to conflict.  Since its signing, the United Nations Charter has been amended five times, reflecting a changing world, where such artificial entities as the Soviet Union are now “a thing of the past”.  They disappeared from the world map, yet are still present in the United Nations Charter, which in its current wording does not reflect today’s world, he said, adding:  “We have opened different clusters in our negotiations, but we cannot agree on the fundamentals; it is time to do it.”

KAHA IMNADZE (Georgia), stressing the importance of starting text-based negotiations, said the “elements paper” produced by the co-chairs, together with previous papers, including the framework document of the sixty-ninth session, can easily serve as a starting point.  Voicing support for the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, he underscored the need to allocate additional seats to the Eastern European States to ensure better regional representation and parity.  Highlighting the importance of additional seats for African States, he added that meaningful reform should also imply reform of veto use, namely its restriction.  Citing Article 27 of the Charter, he added that the veto right should be restricted when the decision of the Council aims to prevent crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide, and when a member is involved in a conflict under consideration and, therefore, cannot exercise that right impartially.

ENRIQUE AUSTRIA MANALO (Philippines) said the Security Council still has not adequately responded to changing geopolitical developments, in terms of its representativeness and working methods.  Expressing support for the Non-Aligned Movement’s position that such changes are crucial for the organ’s effectiveness, he called for more participation, transparency and accountability to non-Council members.  “Participation should not be token or perfunctory in manner, but [be] meaningful and effective,” he stressed.  Given that the Council’s rules of procedure are provisional, they are essentially unpredictable and non-transparent.  Specific actions to be taken under specific circumstances should be agreed.  Concerning the Council’s relationship with the Assembly, he called for regular coordination and interaction as well as respect for the specific competencies and mandates of the United Nations other principal organs.

MITCHELL FIFIELD (Australia) said new and complex global challenges — from rapid technological advancement to unprecedented security, economic and health challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic — can only be addressed by an effective United Nations architecture.  The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of international cooperation and the crucial need for coordination across agencies.  The Security Council — the only United Nations organ with a mandate to make legally binding decisions — requires reform to ensure its primacy as guardian of international peace and security, he asserted.  The Council must better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities, with greater representation for Asia, Africa and Latin America; its working methods must be improved to ensure it is more accountable to Member States.  Also, better standards must be developed on the more transparent use of the veto.

RÓBERT CHATRNÚCH (Slovakia) said Council reform must be an integral part of a larger effort to make the United Nations fit for its purpose in the twenty-first century.  The Council must be more representative, efficient and transparent, he said, joining the call for text-based negotiations to accelerate progress based on five identified areas for discussions.  Slovakia calls for an increased membership of 25 with equitable representation, including an additional non-permanent seat for the Eastern European Group.  Welcoming positive movement in improving Council relations with other United Nations organs, he said Slovakia anticipates constructive negotiations with a view to reaching agreement on critical matters.

TOFIG MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan), calling for a more representative, democratic, transparent and accountable Council, said that intergovernmental negotiations are the most appropriate platform towards this aim.  The negotiations are reasonably based on the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, he noted, pointing to the large variety of opinions, particularly in relation to the membership categories, the question of the veto and regional representation.  Highlighting areas of convergence, he drew attention to the need for increased representation of developing countries, Africa, small island developing States and small States, as well as to the importance of strengthening the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly and improving the Council’s work methods.  A balanced expansion of its membership could help enhance its authority and ensure its greater legitimacy, he stressed, adding that more in-depth analysis is needed to explore whether and how the veto impedes the effective functioning of the Security Council.

ENKHBOLD VORSHILOV (Mongolia) associating himself with the L69 Group, voiced support for the just and equitable expansion of both categories of Council membership, as well as for better geographical representation, including of Asian States.  Veto power should be gradually eliminated or, otherwise, extended to all Council members.  He further called for convening open meetings and for granting access to non-members to the Council’s records and to its debates.  The Council should strengthen its relations with troop- and police-contributing countries as well as the General Assembly, he said, noting that an analytical and comprehensive evaluation of the Council’s work should be included in its annual report to the General Assembly.

CAROLYN RODRIGUES-BIRKETT (Guyana), noting that there have been 29 years of structured consideration on the question of Security Council reform and 12 years of intergovernmental negotiations, stressed the urgent need for political will and commitment to prioritize — and normalize — the intergovernmental process and concentrate on achieving actionable outcomes.  She also called for applying the Assembly’s rules of procedure, adding that a webcast of negotiations would enhance the transparency and inclusivity of the process.  Noting that agreement on the text is a crucial component to the credibility of the process, she said the forthcoming round of negotiations would be another opportunity to instil new life in the discussions.  She advocated for expansion of Council membership in both categories and the guaranteed presence of small island developing States.  Given their unique experiences, those States have important contributions to make in matters of peace and international security, especially given the threat of climate change.

SOVANN KE (Cambodia) reiterated his country’s support for the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats in the Security Council to an extent that will ensure the organ’s effectiveness.  An increase in the representation of developing countries, especially middle-income and small countries, should be duly considered, so that their voices can be heard and their concerns can be effectively addressed.  He added that any attempt to force a text-based negotiation, without a consensus reached first by all Member States, will be counterproductive and hinder the negotiation process.  He emphasized that the Intergovernmental Negotiations framework should be the only primary mechanism for conducting negotiations on the matter of Security Council reform.

JOHN BAPTIST KAYOBOSI (Uganda), associating with the African Group, underscored the need for a comprehensive reform of the Council that considers the interconnectedness of the issues at hand.  Uganda is opposed to all selective approaches that contradict the spirit of a comprehensive reform, he said, reiterating support for the common African position, which outlines no fewer than two permanent seats that carry all related privileges, including the veto right.  He underscored the need to expand both permanent and non-permanent seats and rejected the creation of other membership categories, which would clearly undermine Africa’s quest for full representation.  Reaffirming Uganda’s strong commitment to the intergovernmental negotiations framework, he said it would be premature to call for text negotiations before generating the widest possible consensus.

ESAM O. BEN ZITUN (Libya), endorsing the positions of the African Group and the Arab Group, expressed hope that a new phase of negotiations can advance efforts to achieve the goal of Council reform.  The United Nations Charter aims at governing relations among States and preventing wars by engaging in preventive diplomacy, among other measures.  However, the world today is different than in the 1940s, requiring new efforts to match emerging circumstances, including by reforming the Council in a comprehensive manner.  To right historical injustices, he said African States must have representation on the Council, in line with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.  Intergovernmental negotiations must focus on enhancing mutual understanding to work towards commonly desired objectives and begin with a view to realizing comprehensive Council reform in an efficient manner.

PANGERAN IBRANI SITUMORANG (Indonesia) said the ongoing conflicts around the world require the Council’s action, and he called on States to demonstrate greater political flexibility in order to reach agreement on its reform.  Pointing to the commonalities and consensus identified over years of deliberations on expanding the Council’s non-permanent membership, he stressed that the voices of people in Africa and Asia must be heard.  The Council’s working methods could be improved by sharing information and engaging with States outside the security body.  Urging States to build on the momentum generated by pandemic recovery efforts, he called for moving beyond traditional discussions of text-based negotiations and rules of procedure, which have “affected the focus” of reform efforts.

For information media. Not an official record.