(Check against delivery)
At the outset let me thank you for convening this session and for presenting a draft Oral Decision regarding the roll-over of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform.
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the G4 - Germany, India, Japan and my own country, Brazil.
We are here today to decide on the future course of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council Reform. It is equally important to take stock of our recent work, so as to better plan the steps ahead.
We appreciate your work and those of the co-chairs in this session. We note that this year’s roll over decision is different from all previous years and includes only two documents, this year’s Revised paper as well as the Framework document. While the end result of the current session was far from satisfactory and not even close to what we hoped for at the outset, the change in the roll over reflects the need for change in the IGN.
The conduct of the work of IGN in this session was perhaps symptomatic of all that is wrong with this process.
The outcome document was presented late in the process and Member States had only one round of discussions to consider it. The G4’s position was stated from the very first meeting of the IGN in 2019: we expected to have a document much earlier, so as to hold more focused and results-oriented discussions. Since that did not happen, the least we could ask for was additional sessions.
Regrettably, none of those requests were heeded.
It is simple logic: if the IGN are in fact a Member States-driven process, those same Member States should be afforded the opportunity to debate and convey their views on the document presented by the co-facilitators.
As for the substance, the G4’s proposals to the outcome document were also laid out since the first round of discussions. We requested, among others, a better reflection of the African position; the inclusion of a reference to Resolution 53/30, which is one of the legal basis of our work; a recognition of the fact that a majority of Member States want the start of text-based negotiations; and attribution of positions.
In spite of our efforts and openness to debate, those concerns were not duly incorporated in the final outcome.
On the other hand, proposals that were hardly discussed were included in the document. Even proposals that were not clearly supported by any Member State are mentioned therein. Actually, the final version actually regressed compared to the first draft. But there were simply no opportunities to discuss and try to correct those flaws.
We have discussed within the IGN for 10 years now and have not witnessed any tangible progress. Very frustrating developments seen in this session make it even more difficult for the G4 to accept business as usual. The IGN started one decade ago and it still has to fulfill its goal to kick start real negotiations.
As the United Nations approaches its 75th anniversary, we must urgently move towards a different type of process, with a renewed sense of urgency.
With that in mind, we have agreed to go along with the proposal of rolling over the IGN for one more year, with only two documents to guide our work: the Framework of 2015 and this year’s outcome. We do that reluctantly, with a view to being able to build on our past work and in the hope we will see a more focused process in the next General Assembly session.
Please allow me also to outline G4’s views on how the future process could be improved.
First, the IGN meetings should start earlier and should take place in an open and transparent manner. There are no reasonable explanations to launch our rounds of discussion only in January and conclude the sessions in May. If there are still divergences among Member States, it is beyond our understanding why we should work less. On the contrary: we must work more and more efficiently.
Secondly, we expect an early appointment of facilitators, so that the organization of future meetings can happen as soon as possible. The facilitators would also have more time to carry out ample consultations and to plan how to revitalize the process.
Thirdly, the discussions should be more focused and result-oriented. If our aim is to bridge our differences, there is no point in holding general debates as it has happened in the past 10 years. This preliminary work has been exhausted. We now need real negotiations, real give-and-take, in order to reach a workable text that can move us ahead in the process. Instead of repeating ourselves, let’s sit down and discuss concrete proposals.
Fourthly, it is high time to have a more open and transparent process. The IGN is very far from being a normal process within the General Assembly. There are no official records. Our sessions are not available on webcast. The institutional memory is flawed or non-existent. The outcome documents, due to the lack of attribution, do not allow us to identify the origins of the proposals, as well as their level of support. Civil society is also kept from obtaining basic information on the debates. For those reasons, in the next session we should make strides towards a more transparent process and discuss ways to make the IGN a more formal process in the General Assembly. We can look at other processes as a template such as the General Assembly revitalization process.
When the IGN were established in 2009, their purpose, as intended by Member States, was to move from discussions to negotiations, with a view to achieving an early reform of the Security Council. After ten years, we are still to live up to this expectation. In the session in which we are going to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, we hope to change this state of affairs.
If we do not change our way of working, breaking away from the endless cycle of repetition, the feeling of frustration amongst a wide number of Member States will persist, harming the very legitimacy of the process.
Being an unusual process within the General Assembly, the IGN seem to be today tailored to not work and perhaps is a increasingly becoming vehicle for the status quo. There is even a “de facto” veto from some which acts against progress. The fact is that we are not going to move an inch closer to a concrete result if we do not start to negotiate. Any acceptable model of reform will not come up from abstract discussions and repetition of positions, but from a real process of negotiation, as per the normal practice in the General Assembly.
After 75 years, we cannot envisage a Security Council that continues without representation for Africa in the permanent category, without the presence of important actors, as well an adequate representation of different regions. As the late Secretary-General Kofi Annan said almost 15 years ago, Member States should strive “to make the Security Council more broadly representative of the international community of a whole, as well as of the geopolitical realities of today”. Simply put, our challenge in the coming session is to get closer to this long overdue goal.
Thank you very much.