JOINT G4 STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR ASOKE K MUKERJI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF INDIA TO UNITED NATIONS, ON BEHALF OF BRAZIL, GERMANY, INDIA AND JAPAN AT INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS ON SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
SUBJECT: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COUNCIL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[New York, 23 April 2014]
Thank you for convening today's meeting on the fifth cluster identified in PGA's non paper on the "Relationship between the Council and the General Assembly", as well as for outlining the broad parameters for this debate through your letter of 15 April.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the G4 countries: Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
Before I offer our ideas on the subject of discussion today, allow me to begin from where we left off at the last discussion. A very important idea of "convergence" was apparently "locked in" last time, which was very rightly interpreted by our distinguished colleague from Sierra Leone to signal the "overall sense of direction" in which our discussions were heading.
We all agree and accept the moot starting point, that the current composition of the Security Council, no longer reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century. We also agree that concrete outcomes on this debate are long over-due and that real and structural reform should not be delayed any further.
The most important convergence, to be drawn from our discussions so far, is the clear and explicit call you have heard for recognising the need for expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories. The support for this proposition evidently commands the largest possible number of proponents from the floor of the house, including the African Group, the L.69 Group, the CARICOM, Arab Group, the G4 and numerous other Member States.
Should opposition from only one vocal minority group, therefore, to resist any forward movement, imply that we do away with established norms of recognising convergences in UN meetings?
Building convergence around the clear majority view has been the standard operating practise, and we hope, that as Chair you would recognise this loud and clear call, coming from our discussions so far.
It is pertinent to recall, in this context that even UNGA Resolution 53/30, which was tabled by Italy, establishes 2/3rd majority and not consensus, as the threshold for arriving at substantive decisions on Security Council Reforms.
However, to hold the entire process in abeyance, by trying to shape the solution around the lone dissenting call, which is coming from evidently much less than even 1/3rd of UN membership, who project it as the only viable option, cannot and should not, be the way out.
This brings us to the key thrust of our submission on the subject of relationship between the Council and the General Assembly.
There is clearly a well defined role and mandate set out in Chapter IV, Articles 10, 11 and 12 on the nature of the relationship of the GA with the Security Council.
In our view, the relationship between the General Assembly and Security Council should not be competitive or adversarial, for such a relationship would not have any positive contribution to the collective interests of the organisation. The relationship should be one of synergy and complementarity as benefiting the overall objective of the promotion of international peace and security.
In this regard, the report of the Security Council is an important means for facilitating interaction between the most representative organ of the United Nations and its most empowered one. The larger membership of the General Assembly has often requested that this report be made more substantive, analytical and inclusive than just become a narration of events. This is also one of the measures indicated in section 5 a. of the PGA's non paper, in pursuance of Articles 15 (1) and 24 (3) of the UN Charter.
We also believe that it is important for the credibility of the Security Council to maintain a relationship based on transparency, mutual trust and frequent interaction with all Member States, including through increased dialogue of the Council with the General Assembly.
Similarly, there has also been a proposal to move forward the date of Security Council elections for non permanent seats so that the elected members are better prepared before they assume their role in the Council. While this figures on the agenda of the "revitalisation of the GA" it is a proposal that deserves consideration by the wider membership, as it is likely to enhance not just the performance of the Security Council, but also improve its relationship with the Assembly.
Mr. Chairman, with these objectives in mind, we would like the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly to continue to improve in terms of greater transparency and consistency.
However, our discussions on this cluster should not detract us from achieving the call for early reforms which we all committed ourselves to in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit.
Given the snail paced progress of our discussions, in the absence of a real negotiating text, we are forced to ponder the meaning of the phrase "early" as was meant by our leaders in 2005.
We therefore hope that after ten long years since then, in 2015, the 70th anniversary Summit of the UN, would be 'reasonably early' for delivering concrete outcomes on what each and every member of the United Nations committed themselves to in 2005.
A small step in that direction, for this 68th GA Session, would be a Chair's assessment giving an updated status of where member states presently stand on each of the cluster's under discussion. Flowing from the PGA's non-paper, it would help the wider membership in pushing forward with real momentum towards a text based, genuine give and take negotiation exercise. The G4 stands ready to work with you and all other delegations in pursuance of that endeavour