(Check against delivery)Co-Chairs,
I make this statement on behalf of the G4 - Brazil, Germany, India and my own country, Japan.
We appreciate your dedicated work in this session and your update of the revised paper that you circulated on May 7, 2019.
However, we must register our deep disappointment and dismay with the fact that the paper was circulated just before what is supposed to be our last meeting. Moreover, this text is supposed to reflect the nature of our discussions in this session. Instead, we see a wide gap between what we heard this year in the IGN meetings and the updates that we see on these pages. In the last several meetings, especially in our last meeting, the G4, together with other groups, presented a number of suggestions which are supported by an overwhelming majority of the membership. This was hardly the first time we had made these suggestions. But almost none of them were taken onboard.
Among other things:
- we proposed attribution;
- we proposed an appropriate reference to Resolution 53/30;
- we proposed reflecting the fact that a majority of Member States support text-based negotiations, as reflected in A/72/510;
- we proposed reflecting the great support for the Common African Position;
- we proposed recognizing that the allocation of seats should take place on the basis of the currently constituted regional groups;
- we proposed acknowledging that restriction on the veto has the widest possible acceptance;
- and we proposed restructuring the text by merging the Revised Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration according to the relevant clusters.
None of these proposals are included in the document. There is no reference to the widespread call for text-based negotiations. There is still no attribution. Attribution is particularly important because so much of our time each year is wasted reiterating our positions to ensure they are on the record, even though we all already know them.
We heard support from many delegations to include the text of the Common African Position as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration as an annex to the paper. It is not there. If we went by absolute consensus, all of the Issues for Further Consideration would have to be deleted. We therefore question the methodology being used by the Co-Chairs in updating this paper, and insist on clarification on this issue.
We have submitted our comments on the document to the Co-Chairs. We would like to reiterate our proposals and request that they be reflected in a revised version. We also request the Co-Chairs to reflect the African colleagues’ widely supported request to attach their common position as an annex.
We also note with dissatisfaction that some revisions appear to have been made in a non-transparent manner with scarcely any regard to our deliberations and reflect changes which were not requested by any Member States, at least in this session of the IGN. For example, all references to the framework document were deleted, something that no delegation had asked for. A reference to intermediate options was added, even though we do not know what this “intermediate option” should mean or who has called for it.
We believe that in our discussions there were few references from the floor to the question of “whether the allocation of new seats will be on the basis of the currently constituted regional groups or whether they should be reserved for regional representation”. We recognize the aspiration for cross-regional seats, but we have heard hardly any voices seeking that a “new mechanism for selection and election be established” for that purpose. We haven’t heard the formulation in 6 g) on page 8 brought up at all in this room, and yet we see this included.
The G4 is of the view that Security Council reform should be an outcome of a real negotiating process amongst the UN Member States. The outcome should reflect the contemporary realities of our world, where there are more Member States that have the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security. The new addition of 1 c) on page 6 contradicts the long standing commonality of 1 c) on page 2 and undermines the spirit of this process of building on commonalities that exist.
We also note that 6 k) of Issues for further consideration reads, “Member States continue to discuss criteria to be applied for election in a reformed Security Council”. But we heard strong opposition during this session to discussing any “criteria” other than those in Article 23(1) of the Charter.
On the whole, we have to say that these changes only appear to expand unnecessary divergences. We cannot help but conclude that we are unable to find progress in this document. On the contrary, we have actually regressed. We believe more work will be needed to improve the text and bring it to a level where it accurately reflects our discussions of this year and can therefore be adopted. A Members-driven process should not imply a veto for those who do not wish to see progress. A Members-driven process is a process where the voices of Member States are heard, not ignored.
This year we have heard many Member States demanding that tangible progress should be made in this session. All of us here, all Member States, are responsible for making such progress happen. Otherwise, more delegations will find this process valueless and see little meaning in actively participating. The continuation of this process hinges on the progress. From this perspective, the G4 requests that one single document which duly reflects our discussions should be rolled over from this session. That can at least prove that the IGN process is building on the work of previous years.
While the G4 is disappointed today, we stand ready to continue our work here. We believe this cannot be the end of our consideration of Security Council reform in this session. To stop now would be a regression even from previous years, where Member States gave multiple rounds of comments to the first Co-Chairs’ draft paper, leading to a revised version. We need to avoid future IGN sessions being a mere repeat of this one–again and again, over and over.
Therefore, the G4 again strongly calls for further meetings in this session to consider a revised version of this document so as to improve the process of our work, and to make this text more fit for purpose as the basis for the true intergovernmental negotiations that we should have started long ago. In this regard we would like to ask you Co-Chairs to announce a date for another meeting at the end of today’s discussions - and to allow for actual progress to be made - finally.
If we choose the right direction, you can rest assured that the G4 will do our utmost to work constructively with you as you prepare a revised paper to complete our work this session and ensure that the IGN process moves in the right direction; actually going forward.
Thank you, Co-Chairs.