Joint Statement by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan
Delivered by H.E. Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Joint Debate of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly
On Agenda Item 123: The Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters
and Item 29: Report of the Security Council
7 November 2013
Before I make a statement on behalf of the G4 countries, I wish to thank you for your very constructive statement we have just heard. I wish to assure you, Mr. President, that Japan will participate in the negotiations on Security Council reform with “openness and flexibility” to use your words. I also thank the Permanent Representative of China for introducing the report of the Security Council document A/68/2.
Now I wish to make a statement on behalf of the G4 countries; namely Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
We wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations and to assure you of our steadfast support. The G4 countries greatly appreciate that you have chosen to give the reform of the Security Council the attention that it deserves. We also commend your concrete initiative to drive the process forward. We further appreciate your commitment to the issue clearly stated in your letters of 22 October and 6 November, 2013.
The G4 countries would also like to congratulate H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin on his reappointment as Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations and look forward to his continuing stewardship of the process.
As the United Nations approaches its 70th Session of the General Assembly, it is time to reflect on past achievements, current developments and future challenges. The approaching year 2015 reminds us that, 10 years after the World Summit, not everything that was agreed upon has been realized. We therefore need to intensify efforts to translate, at the latest by 2015, the existing agreement into concrete outcomes. The 2005 Outcome Document, agreed at the highest political level, serves as a yardstick to help us deliver on the mandate given collectively by our Leaders. While important progress has been achieved over the past years, including in the reform of the UN architecture, a severe shortcoming remains: the lack of Security Council reform. Only a reformed UN Security Council reflecting contemporary realities will be able to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.
It is worth recalling that the 2005 Outcome Document calls for an early reform of the Security Council. It is in this spirit that the G4 countries have reached out to all regional groups. We aim to find a path that will reflect the dominant call by Member States for a reform of the Security Council leading to an expansion in both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent. In so doing, we have, together with our partners, pursued a constructive approach, calling for action - not only words, and for progress - not the status quo. We are encouraged by the broad and cross regional support that our efforts continue to enjoy.
Our position is well known. As recently as 26 September this year, the G4 Foreign Ministers reiterated their common vision of a reformed Security Council. We took into consideration the contributions made by countries to the maintenance of international peace and security and other purposes of the organization, as well as the need for increased representation of developing countries, especially Africa, in both categories of membership of an enlarged Council. We have also repeatedly underlined that the Council’s working methods need to be improved in order for the Council to become more transparent and effective. The proposals contained in our comprehensive 2005 draft resolution remain valid.
Despite all differences among members on the context of reform, it should not be difficult to find common ground on at least one aspect: the need to finally start text-based negotiations. Only then, will there be a chance to identify areas of commonality among membership and to engage in a real give-and-take process.
We thus compliment you, Mr. President, on your initiative and welcome your decision to establish an advisory group of eminent Ambassadors to provide an input for the start of the IGN. As you indicate, such input should reflect the ideas put forward in the negotiations so far and also should identify available options. We, the G4, firmly believe that the work of the advisory group will enable the IGN to move to text based negotiations. We congratulate our colleagues on their appointment and look forward to the result of their work and the resumption of the IGN.
On our side, in response to your call in the letter of 6 November, the G4 countries are ready to take part in “collective actions”, in order to search common ground on the issue of Security Council reform. We stand ready to actively contribute to this process in a spirit of flexibility. We also encourage others to show the same spirit of compromise required to engage in a negotiation process that deserves to be called so in content and not in name only. Objection to text-based negotiations not only runs counter to the spirit of the Outcome Document, but also the basic logic of multilateral diplomacy. Let us strive together to fulfil the outstanding task and prove that a reform of the UN Security Council is possible.
In closing, we once again thank you for your initiative, which has the potential to bring us one important step closer towards our common goal: a Security Council that is more broadly representative, effective and transparent.