Statement by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, on behalf of the Uniting for consensus group in occasion of the General Assembly meeting on the Security Council reform.—
On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus group, I wish to thank you for your leadership during the 71st session of the General Assembly. I would also like to commend the IGN Co-Chairs, Ambassadors Khiari and Jinga, for the transparent and inclusive manner in which they discharged their duties. Their stewardship fostered a constructive atmosphere during this IGN session, which enabled all delegations to engage in frank and substantive discussions.
Today, Mr. President, we have agreed to continue intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform building on the work undertaken by Member States throughout the IGN process. In fact, all sessions of the IGN have made important contributions to the reform process, with a view to a solution that can garner the widest consensus among Member States.
In this IGN session, discussions among Member States allowed Co-Chairs to identify commonalities and issues for further consideration, as reflected in the document they have authored. This document has not been endorsed or adopted by Member States, but we acknowledge its contribution toward a consensual solution.
Like others, the UfC has shared its views on the elements of this document, including on the commonalities that clearly need more deliberations. To this regard, we wish to stress that – regardless of its placement in the document – the expansion in other categories of membership is an issue that requires further consideration. Nonetheless, Mr. President, just as you have underlined in your letter dated 27 June, we also believe that the Co-Chairs’ document can be considered as a step in the right direction.
At the beginning of this negotiating session, we urged the membership to work on a common definition of the principles that should inspire Security Council reform. As this session comes to a close, we are more convinced than ever that, once a consensus on these principles has been reached, the next stages of the reform process will be more fluid. In this perspective, we are glad to acknowledge the repeated references in the Co-Chairs’ document to the principles underpinning Security Council reform.
We were however surprised at the opposition shown by some delegations to including the two cardinal principles of democracy and representation as commonalities. Confronted with this opposition to the fundamental principles promoted by the United Nations, the Co-Chairs were forced to keep them as issues that need further consideration with a view to achieving the objective of a more democratic Security Council.
The UfC firmly believes that a serious discussion on these two key principles for Security Council reform cannot be postponed any further. Therefore, it is our expectation that Member States will finally be given such an opportunity during the 72nd session of the General Assembly.
Last November, during the general debate on Security Council reform, we recalled that no Member State disagreed with the idea of adding new non-permanent seats on the Council and favoring the under-represented regions, and that a significant and growing number of Member States opposed an expansion of the veto.
Today, we acknowledge the Co-Chairs’ conclusion that the expansion of non-permanent members is accepted by all Member States as part of a comprehensive reform of all five clusters indicated by GA Decision 62/557. We also agree that the question of the veto is a key element of Security Council reform: if there continues to be a sharp and enduring disagreement among Member States on this issue, it is because of the demand for additional permanent members.
Today, like last November, we are persuaded that there is common ground that can help us find the solution to finally unlock the reform process. Flexibility and spirit of compromise can lead the General Assembly to the consensual and sustainable reform of the Security Council we have been striving for. Building on these bases, the UfC group is looking forward to engaging in future negotiations with the sincere conviction that Security Council reform is possible and within reach.
Thank you, Mr. President.