Today I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of Four - Brazil, Germany, India and my own country Japan.
1. Let me start by pointing out a couple of elements on the process of our work ahead.
You have ably conducted so far the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) by emphasizing inclusivity and continuity. You decided, based on feedback from Member States, to integrate the three outcome papers of the previous IGN sessions into one single document, and to update and improve it through the comments given by Member States on the floor of the IGN meetings. The G4 supports your approach which seems to be a reasonable way to achieve a Member State‑driven process. The “Revised Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration”, which was distributed ahead of the third IGN meeting, was a step in the right direction toward an integrated document, although it needs to be further updated and improved.
However, we are here today with the same document as the one used in the third meeting. We spent the whole two-day session discussing this document. Ahead of today’s meeting, we were expecting and would have welcomed a new version which would reflect the comments and inputs made by Member States, including those provided by the African Group and SIDS. After the third IGN meeting, there were a series of consultations between the Co-chairs and various Member States and groups. Nonetheless, despite all these efforts, which we appreciate, we do not have an updated paper. We are unhappy that, after a whole month, we have not made progress.
- So, my first point on the process is to humbly ask you, Co-chairs, to set up at least one more IGN meeting to make up for such loss of time. The current session of the General Assembly lasts until 17th of September. We still have a significant amount of time left, and in past years IGN meetings have several times been held almost till the end of the GA session. I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that last year, in the 71st session, we discussed three versions of “Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration.” Now, even if the Co-chairs circulate a new version of the revised paper ahead of the next meeting in June, we will only be able to discuss two versions. All of this seems to demonstrate the need for at least one more IGN meeting after the June meeting in order to match last year and to discuss the paper in a sufficient manner.
- Second, a new and second version of the revised paper should be issued by mid-May to give Member States sufficient time to analyze it ahead of the June meeting.
- Third, I would like to emphasize that the revised paper is our paper which belongs to the Member States. While the Co-chairs facilitate the process, they prepare the revised paper based on the comments and inputs from Member States.
2. Allow me to make some general observations on the content of the revised paper.
- First of all, I would like to remind you of the proposals the G4 made during the last meeting, such as restructuring of the revised paper and attribution. Especially, I would like to stress the importance of attribution. Attribution is crucial not only for inclusivity but also for transparency, credibility and legitimacy of this process, since it will allow all delegations to follow and engage in this process.
- Second, I would also like to point out another important element, which is the reflection of the Common African Position based on Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration. The revised paper seems to aim at better reflecting it. But, during the last meeting and this meeting, Sierra Leone, chair of the C10, and many African countries pointed out the need for more accurate reflection. Therefore, the inputs from Africa should be duly taken into account.
- Third, during the last meeting, Italy, on behalf of the UfC, argued that the reference in Paragraph 4. “Categories of Membership” was a mere “artificial commonality” and should be moved to the section of “Issues for Further Consideration”. The G4 is of the view that we should focus on “Issues for Further Consideration”, and no change should be made in the Commonalities section which was agreed to during the 71st session.
3. In your letter of 25 April, you asked us to engage more specifically on three clusters, as well as some of the relevant paragraphs of the revised paper.
The G4’s position on these clusters is well known and is included in the Framework Document made at the IGN of the 69th session. So, I am not going to repeat all the details. Let me just highlight some of our ideas:
- First, the G4, together with many other like-minded groups and Member States, supports and calls for the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories. A reformed Council which is more legitimate, effective and representative will be able to better assume its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. However, the expansion of non-permanent seats alone does not improve the legitimacy in the permanent category. So, the reform of the Security Council must include the expansion of permanent seats, in addition to non-permanent seats.
- Second, concrete options of expansion with specific numbers of seats are key elements for making progress. In this context, III. 6. (j) of the revised paper is essential and should not be deleted. In addition, as the G4 has repeatedly stressed during previous IGN meetings, attribution is indispensable to update and improve this paragraph.
4. In concluding my intervention, let me stress what we have to achieve. Creating and improving the revised paper is not an end in itself. As we go down this road in the current UNGA session, there should be one single document which should serve as a basis for text-based negotiations. This is the task on our hands, as has been supported by 164 Member States. We will have to work on narrowing down the differences and the options.
We are at a critical juncture. Inclusivity remains key to success, as Security Council reform matters to all Member States of the United Nations. Active participation and intervention of as many Member States as possible is necessary. Every Member State should be encouraged to express its own view. No Member State should be asked to remain silent. That would be completely undermining the proper functioning of the United Nations. The G4 support the Co-chairs’ effort to listen to and reflect the voices of Member States in order to make this process truly Member State-driven. The G4 will also continue to support the Co-chairs in achieving tangible progress on this difficult but crucial issue.
Thank you, Co-chairs.