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General Assembly - Informal Meeting on IGN

Date:

01/29/2019


General Assembly - Informal Meeting on IGN

Statement by Italy, on behalf of the “Uniting For Consensus” Group, at the Informal meeting of the General Assembly on 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---

Madame President, Distinguished Co-Chairs,

On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus group, I wish to thank you for convening this first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform. The UfC group looks forward to cooperating with you on advancing a reform process that needs to be credible, transparent and inclusive.

Madame President,

Let me express UfC deep appreciation for your presence, which testifies to the importance of the debate we will have here today. In your speech on the priorities for 2019 you called for the revitalization of the United Nations, in order to strengthen a multilateral rules-based world order. The UfC Group fully shares this objective. We believe that in order to strengthen multilateralism a reform of the Security Council is needed, to increase its representation, accountability, legitimacy and efficiency.

The success of a multilateral negotiation with such high stakes as this one depends on its transparency and inclusiveness and ultimately, in building trust. For this reason, the UfC group reiterates that the IGN remains the sole legitimate and appropriate negotiating setting – as established by Decision 62/557 of the GA. Only through a membership-driven process, which takes into account the voices of all Member States, will we be able to jointly define the consensual path to a legitimate and credible success.

Madame President, Distinguished Co-Chairs,

In previous debates, we heard some observations about the supposed lack of progress and, consequently, a request for text-based negotiations and a change in how we work together.

We have a different view. Thanks to the intense work and efforts of all of us in this room, there has been progress in the IGN. Thanks to the frank discussions on relevant issues, we continue building a foundation of trust and wide agreement. Broad convergences among Member States were found on the increase in non-permanent seats, on the need that such an expansion of seats should favor under-represented regions of the world and on a wide opposition to expanding the veto to other States and a growing support, instead, for limiting or abolishing it. Clearly, a process in which different positions and proposals are discussed is ongoing and we have to continue building on it in order to bridge positions and expand the areas of convergence amongst us all.

We should all be extremely cautious in considering alternatives to the present consensus-seeking Inter-Governmental Negotiations. It can be tempting to seek procedural “shortcuts” to the hard work of forging broad political consensus. It is tempting, but it is not wise. There are no drafting “fixes” for what currently divides the membership. There cannot be a reform of the Security Council if trust is breached or if the results are created artificially, to the detriment of any group or Member State.

UfC’s members are as keen and committed as any other to reforming the Security Council. This is why UfC along the years has been adjusting its proposal, seeking to address the legitimate interests of all, in particular those of our African friends. We urge other Groups and Member States to show the same flexibility, rather than remaining focused primarily on securing permanent seats for particular Countries. Last November we shared the details of our proposal, which - we believe - could actually gain widest support of the membership. We reiterate our call to address our proposal as a way forward.

We urge partners to further discuss the principles underpinning UfC’s proposal in this IGN format. The “raison d’être” of the IGN is precisely in the promotion of understanding and consensus.

We suggest in-depth discussion on the connections between all five clusters and, in this regard, in particular on the following issues:
- implications of categories of membership for an inclusive and accountable Security Council;
- implications of regional representation for a democratic and legitimate Security Council;
- implications of the question of the veto for an efficient Security Council;

Until greater consensus on the broad parameters of a reform has been achieved, other formats risk locking in positions and stalling progress. As a consequence, the Security Council reform itself would be the unintended victim.

Madame President, Distinguished Co-Chairs,

We commend your commitment to this important office. We trust you in the crucial duty of maintaining the negotiations on a consensual track. We encourage you to keep the current format and to structure the next IGN meeting agendas in such a way as to provide timely information and a clear vision of the goal of each IGN meeting. Transparency and predictability are crucial to fostering wider engagement among Member States. Guidance from you on the way forward for this negotiating session, as well as on its expected outcomes, is therefore important.

The UfC group is ready to cooperate with you, the PGA of course, and the whole membership to advance this process, for the common goal of increasing the Council’s legitimacy in the eyes of both the general membership and international public opinion, thereby enhancing its authority and, ultimately, its effectiveness.

Let’s not be pessimistic and let’s not undermine the progress already made in the IGN and the important existing convergences. Let’s continue our work in good faith to gather the broadest possible convergence.

Thank you.

 


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