On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus group, I welcome the convening of this interactive dialogue among Member States. Such a format can be useful in exploring areas of complementarity and commonality among divergent positions and proposals. The UfC has always been calling for a compromise solution by exploring the middle ground, with the aim of reaching a “point of convergence”.
With this in view, and also taking note of the purpose of this meeting, which is – and I quote your letter dated May 7 – “to fully explore and gain greater clarity on Member States respective positions and proposals, as contained within the completed framework document”, we would like to stress the following:
• We clarified in our two letters of April 10 and May 1 what prevented the UfC from populating the framework document. Nonetheless, we fully respect the Members States who made their contributions to the framework document with the sincere will to move the reform process forward;
• The UfC has supported, as a starting point for our collective work, Rev-2 that was discarded because of its length and allegedly non-consensual status. The current starting point – the framework document – is neither short nor concise, and we are surprised to see it described as a document, which is “broadly representative” of the membership. No one can deny that what we have on the table today is a document that is similar to Rev-2, but is not broadly representative of the membership. So how can deliberations based on such a document serve to bridge differences among Member States?
• The UfC is also concerned by the exclusive way the framework document has been presented, distinguishing contributions of some Member States and groups from others, because of the different format with which their positions were submitted. We fail to see how such a distinction will be productive to the goal of these intergovernmental negotiations.
• As I said earlier, we welcome interactive dialogue among Member States to develop convergences among their positions. However, such points of convergence, in our view, should have been found first and foremost on the principles and criteria of the Security Council reform. We have therefore raised doubts about the utility of embarking upon a new drafting process without having a common destination point. It is not surprising that the current version of the framework document does not show significant shifts in the stated positions of the main negotiating groups.
The UfC has been tirelessly reiterating that, in order to achieve meaningful progress in the intergovernmental negotiations, we need to go beyond our traditional proposals and reach out to the other sides. Only then will we be able to achieve the widest political acceptance required for such a crucial reform, as clearly indicated in Decision 62/557.
The objective to bring about a Security Council reform with the widest political acceptance continues to be a priority for the UfC. We firmly believe that building consensus among the membership and, ultimately, sharing a new and modern vision of the Security Council is possible through compromise and spirit of flexibility.
We deserve a more democratic Council, based on merit and not privilege, that is accountable on a regular basis to the entire membership. We deserve a better representation of all groups, starting with those that are clearly under-represented in the Council, Africa first. We understand and heed the call from cross cutting categories of States, such as the Small Islands and Developing States, and from the many countries of the Eastern European group, which took advantage of the framework document to voice their request to be able to access the Council more frequently. In this respect, we are also in favor of considering the aspirations of the Arab countries.
Regional rotation is the solution, and elections are key. This is also true for countries aspiring to serve for longer periods in the Council. We have shown our readiness to cooperate with them to unlock the process by proposing the formula of longer-term re-electable seats. But we remain firm in our conviction that new permanent members, new veto powers, would not render the Council more transparent and effective, and we strongly believe in the general agreement on this very simple view.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.