On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus group, I wish to thank you for convening this additional meeting to discuss your Elements Paper, which helps identify areas of convergence on two key-issues of Security Council reform.
While we welcome further discussion on the substance of the paper, we believe it is also important to seize this occasion to draw some conclusions in view of the resumption of our work in the next IGN session.
As you wrote in your letter of June 14th, we should continue to seek a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, taking into account the inter-linkages between the five reform clusters. In this regard, we believe it would be appropriate in the introduction of the paper to make reference to Decision 62/557 and the guiding principles of the IGN process. We also agree with you on the need for more work to be done on the three remaining clusters of reform that are not included in your paper.
In our view, the new element that has emerged from discussions during this IGN session is the increasing support for the so-called “intermediate approach.” The new voices in favour of a compromise solution should not be ignored: instead the next IGN session should build on this trend to attain meaningful results. The whole membership can count on the UfC group to re-double its efforts in this direction.
A new Security Council grounded in a democratic and inclusive vision remains our political priority. To date the reform exercise has been defined too narrowly by the issue of creating new permanent members. Today, we wish to reiterate the need for a radical change in our collective approach to Security Council reform.
A spirit of flexibility and political will must be two key elements of this IGN process going forward. These elements should consistently inspire our action to achieve the solution that can enjoy the broad consensus required for a timely reform.
Over these 23 years of discussion, Countries belonging to today’s Uniting for Consensus group have steadily advocated a reform leading to a more democratic, representative, accountable, transparent and effective Council.
True to our search for a compromise solution, this unity of purpose has not prevented us from putting forward different proposals. If we focus on “categories of membership,” one of the more controversial reform clusters, our original proposal called for additional non-permanent 2-year seats; in 2009, the Italy-Colombia paper offered a new option – the creation of non-permanent seats with a longer term; in 2014, the UfC took the additional step of flagging the possibility of an immediate re-election for longer-term seats.
During the 71st session of work, the UfC stands ready to engage with other negotiating groups willing to show the same flexibility and search for a compromise solution that can finally unlock this reform process.
We believe that your initiative to identify broad convergences among Member States exemplifies the consensual path needed to achieve concrete results. All we have to do is stay on this path over the next session of work and genuinely commit to reforming the Council in a manner that takes into account the interests of all Member States.