JOINT STATEMENT BY BRAZIL, GERMANY, INDIA AND JAPAN
ON SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
[New York, 11 April 2014]
I would like to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to you for convening today’s meeting. I thank you also for sending us the letter dated 8 April. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the G4 countries: namely Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
An enlarged Security Council is one of the core issues to be discussed for reaching meaningful reform. I believe that there is a consensus among us that the current composition of the Security Council does not reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century. It is well over-due that real and substantial reform is undertaken.
In view of this, the G4 has been calling for an expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories. It has been clear from the discussions so far, that a large majority of countries including L69 Group, the African Group, CARICOM and others, share the same position.
The objective of the expansion should be two-fold as emphasized in the 2005 World Summit Outcome (para 153 A/RES/60/I): namely to improve the Council’s representativeness and at the same time enhance its effectiveness.
As far as I see, concerning today’s topic on the size of an enlarged Council, everyone except a few supports expanding it to a number in the mid-twenties. This is in line with our proposal to have a moderate and balanced expansion with increased representation from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Western Europe and Other groups.
The G4 stands ready to engage in the discussions to determine a size that best reflects the realities of the 21st Century, with a flexible and constructive attitude.
Several countries stress the need for a “compact Council” to ensure its efficiency. Let me point out that there are organizations with larger membership producing tangible outcomes. Some of the previous speakers have eloquently argued about this point.
Can you really argue that expansion would automatically reduce the efficiency of the organization? In fact, is it not the use of the veto that has caused the impasse in the decision making of the Council?
Comprehensive reform of the Security Council entails not only expansion in its size but also improvement of its working methods. These two issues go hand in hand. It is necessary to enhance not only the transparency but also the efficiency of the Council.
In this regard, it is important to acknowledge that progress has been achieved under the leadership of the successive Chairs of the Informal Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
I have brought today 2 handbooks; the blue book and the green book. The Presidential Note 507 was adopted in 2006 under the Chairmanship of Japan. The 2006 handbook became to be known as Blue Book. The same Note was later revised in 2010, again when Japan was the Chair. The new 2010 handbook became to be known as Green Book. The Presidential Note 507 as revised has become the key framework on this endeavour.
We are encouraged to see that subsequent Chairs, namely Slovakia, Panama, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal and currently Argentina, have taken over this task by making substantive contributions. I also wish to mention that the recent initiatives by Lithuania and Luxembourg, as Presidents of the Council, are good precedents in this regard. However more needs to be done.
We expect that we, the Member States, will take serious consideration to the PGA’s Non-Paper which spells out concrete measures in Section 4 toward a more transparent and efficient Security Council.
On this point, I wish to emphasize that the improvement of working methods alone cannot be a substitute for a real and structural reform of the Security Council.
Finally, let me reiterate our request to you on the following. Many countries including the G4 have requested you to produce a summary with your assessment of where the membership currently stands. I hope you make a positive consideration in this regard. Your summary would bring this process forward to achieving concrete results in 2015.
In my personal capacity let me react to the statement of my friend Ambassador Cardi of Italy concerning the position of the G4. I agree to many parts of his statements such as the fact that Asia is the least represented in the Security Council. However, my view is different concerning the criteria to elect non-permanent members. Italy spoke on behalf of the UFC and mentioned to take due regard to the “principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the Charter”.
However, Article 23 of the Charter stipulates to take due regard in the first instance “to the contribution of Members of the UN to the maintenance of international peace and security” and also “to equitable regional representation” as the criteria for non-permanent members. On this point our interpretation of the Charter is different from the one of Italy.