On behalf of the “Uniting for Consensus” (UfC) group, allow me to first thank you for convening the 10th round of Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform.
We expect the negotiation process to take concrete steps forward, and on behalf of UfC, I wish to reiterate our ongoing commitment to engage in the process with flexibility and genuine political openness.
Divisions among the membership remain deep, and we see no signs of willingness to compromise. Let me point out that UfC is the only negotiating group that has shown flexibility by moving from its original position and has officially tabled two concrete proposals for Security Council reform, in 2005 and in 2009, for the purpose of contributing actively to the IGN process. We urge the other negotiating groups to demonstrate the same flexibility and to take similar steps forward.
UfC has taken and will maintain a constructive and forward looking posture. Our negotiating position -which addresses not only dimension but all the clusters of the reform- unlike other groups, is not carved in stone. Ours is a proposal, a simple proposal, that we are ready to discuss and revisit for the sake of improving it and making it compatible with the legitimate aspirations of the majority of the membership. UfC wants to bridge the gap with other groups.
As we have stated in many previous occasions, we continue to be perplexed, as is much of the membership, over the nature, mandate, and composition of the Advisory Group of the PGA. I would recall what we said in our statement of November 7th, in particular that we do not recognize the Group as entitled to perform any drafting role on behalf of other Member States because it would go fully counter to the membership driven nature of the process.
Having said this, and in response to your invitation to consider the “ways we can benefit from the Non-Paper”, we note that the Advisory Group has not produced the “set of ideas pertaining to the negotiations” to which President Ashe alluded in his letter of December 10th, but mostly a summary of the various negotiation proposals.
Decision 62/557 remains the basis for the Intergovernmental Negotiations, therefore the Non-Paper cannot be an instrument to assist in the organization of the IGN nor can it provide a basis to shape our discussions.
Finally, the Non-Paper doesn’t shed any light on the basic question, namely, how to move the process forward after the stalemate during the last session of the General Assembly. We need new ideas and an innovative methodology that will generate a dynamic of convergence among the membership.
It is on this basis that I wish to point out that, before embarking on any drafting exercise, UfC believes that the membership must first agree on: 1) a new methodology on the way forward; and 2) areas of convergence and compromise among the various negotiating positions. And these two possibilities can only be envisioned if there is a true political will for compromise.
Having made these observations, I would like to point out that UfC is not opposed a priori to a working document, provided that:
1) It emerges from the IGN and evolves through the IGN;
2) It reports every single one of the proposals and positions on the table, since all of them deserve to be discussed (a focus on a limited number of proposals would not be constructive);
3) Any attempt to arbitrarily merge, summarize, shorten or eliminate proposals would be unacceptable since all the positions have equal dignity and must be discussed in their entirety.
4) Only the IGN is able to produce a document that reflects all the positions in all their complexity.
5) Any attempt by other parties to simplify the different proposals on the table would comport the risk of “losing” some of the aspects of the different positions.
Reform per se is not a solution. The only solution is an effective reform, which can only be achieved through the widest possible agreement, arrived at through a Member State-driven process, with no artificial deadlines, within the framework of the IGN and Decision 62/557.
We need to come to an agreement on a reform that reflects the interests of the vast majority of Member States and that takes into account everyone’s proposals and legitimate aspirations. A reform that will not add another layer of hierarchy to the international community, or exacerbate rather than reconcile major differences and divisions.
Thank you, Mr Chair