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General Assembly – Plenary Meeting on on “Intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council”

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group, at the Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on “Intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council” —

Madam President,

On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus group, I wish to thank you for your leadership during the 73rd session of the General Assembly and for your words today.

We welcome the decision to continue intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform, and we believe the final version of the “Revised Elements” reflects much of the progress achieved, including the strengthened language on working methods, the interaction between the Security Council and the General Assembly, as well as the support for increased representation in the Council of developing Countries, Africa, SIDS and Small States.

In this regard, let me commend the work of the Co-Chairs, Ambassador Nusseibeh and Ambassador Braun. I wish to thank particularly Ambassador Nusseibeh for her presence today. To me this is the most meaningful testimony of her generosity and engagement in the process. Throughout the entire session this year, the Co-Chairs made intensive, laudable efforts listening to the views of all Member States to build upon previous documents and find new convergences. Notwithstanding the persistence of major differences, they managed to meaningfully expand the Commonalities section in the “Revised Elements.” This achievement confirms that the IGN is working and what is more important it is delivering results including through the commendable engagement of all Member States.

There are important points for which the UfC Group still has a different reading, in particular, the democratic principle, and we will continue to stress this as a fundamental element of Security Council reform. Moreover, we continue to maintain reservations on the Framework Document of 2015.

Madam President,

The divergent positions among Members States and negotiating groups on key aspects of Security Council reform, such as the veto and the categories of membership can be overcome only if we reach an overall agreement on the principles underpinning the reform itself. We can continue working on these issues in the upcoming IGN.

We regret that again today the working methods of the IGN have been questioned. This is not fair for the work of the Co-Chairs. Member States and other groups have made to foster dialogue and consensus. As repeated many times, the problem of the IGN is not the procedure but the substance. No drafting or discussion of text can fix what currently divides the membership.

The UfC Group firmly believes that the Security Council needs to become truly representative, accountable, democratic, transparent and effective. We need such a Council to foster the trust of public opinion in this institution and strengthen multilateralism. Our common goal must be to increase the Council’s legitimacy in the eyes of both the general membership and international public opinion. This would enhance the Council’s authority and, ultimately, its effectiveness, making the UN more fit to face new global realities.

We are convinced that -if there is the necessary political will and flexibility- the membership can progress towards the consensual and sustainable reform we have been striving for. We are looking forward to engaging in future negotiations in good faith, with the sincere conviction that Security Council reform is needed and remains possible.

Thank you very much, Madam President.