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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maurizio Massari on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group – The intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council

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Distinguished Co-Chairs, some general remarks on behalf of Uniting for Consensus (UfC) on the presentation on behalf of the L.69-Group by the Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, whom I wish to thank. We would also like to praise you Co-Chairs for actively participating in this exercise proposed by the Co-Chairs and for actively listening to feedback from other groups and delegations, with a view to bridge different positions and identify a common ground on this crucial matter.

As it is well known, UfC advocates for the basic principle of sovereign equality among Member States and therefore does not favor an increase in permanent members. As such, this would further alienate and marginalize in particular small and medium- size countries despite their contribution to international peace and security. The presence of permanent seats with the possibility of using the veto is one of the primary reasons why Council reform is deemed necessary today. Adding permanent members with vetoes can only aggravate the problem and limit further debates: multiplying a wrong does not make a right.

As UfC has had the opportunity to state many times, we do not support the concentration of the Security Council’s decisions among a few selected nations. We also reiterate that any fixed composition of a permanent membership will easily become outdated in the face of ever-evolving international realities and undermine the Council’s adaptability and relevance.

 

Notwithstanding the fact that Article 23 of the UN Charter refers to ‘equitable geographical distribution’ only with regard to non-permanent members and that adding permanent members does nothing to increase regional representation, we note that the model proposed results in inequitable regional distribution.

Furthermore, the change in percentage for the category of permanent members is double than that of the elected category. There is lack of accountability, which is the cardinal principle, as the 11 proposed permanent members would not be required to seek election or re-election regardless of their actions and votes, as well as their actual contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security. In a world of constant geopolitical changes, periodic elections are central to accountability and representation. Not to mention the fact that such an increase in permanent members would undermine even more the effectiveness and efficiency of the Security Council. How could such a model contribute to the improvement of  the functionality of the Security Council?

Finally, procedurally speaking the L.69 proposal is also unclear. It states that the amendments to the Charter will be adopted within 12 weeks after the adoption of a framework resolution and following the election of the new permanent members has taken place. Since the elections can only occur after the so-called “framework resolution” has been adopted, the model implies that elections would take place within a maximum of 12 weeks. In essence, there will be less than 3 months to decide which Member States will have the privilege to seat in the Council for the entirety of the 21st century and possibly beyond, likely within a very competitive and politically-charged scenario (a rather short electoral campaign for such an important competition…). In short, some of these procedural aspects raise concerns.

I thank you.