Statement by Ambassador Asoke K. Mukerji, Permanent Representative on Agenda Item 119: 'Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Council' at the United Nations General Assembly on November 12, 2014
I congratulate you on your effective and impressive Presidency of the 69th UNGA since you took office in September this year. You have the fullest support of my delegation in assisting you in all your endeavours in this session of the General Assembly.
2. Allow me to first align myself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of St. Lucia, on behalf of the L.69, as well as with the distinguished Permanent Representative of Brazil, on behalf of the Group of G.4.
3. I would also like to convey my delegation’s fullest endorsement of the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Guyana, on behalf of the CARICOM.
4. I would like to submit the following for our consideration today:
First, we warmly welcome the appointment of Ambassador Courtney Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica, as the Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations. We have been impressed by the constructive manner in which Ambassador Rattray has conducted the proceedings of the First Committee, and we are confident that his appointment will bode well for this Inter Governmental Negotiation. We thank the distinguished Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Ambassador Zahir Tanin for having skillfully guided our process so far.
We now look to you, as the President of the General Assembly, to truly empower our Chairman by giving him, under your authority, a text on the basis of which all of us can begin to engage in actual negotiations. This will provide a refreshing contrast to all previous rounds of this process so far, where we must be the only forum in the United Nations to be negotiating without actually having a negotiating text on the table before us. As my delegation has stated so many times in the past, without a negotiation text, it is impossible for any us to demonstrate our commitment to multilateralism, and our flexibility in reaching an outcome to be reported to our Heads of State and Government in September next year.
As in all other negotiating processes underway under the General Assembly, our Inter Governmental Negotiation should not be perceived to be biased against any individual country or group of countries just because a text is on the table. However, if there is no negotiation text on the table, then we would surely have just cause to detect a bias against those of us who are seriously engaged in implementing the explicit mandate given to us by our leaders in the 2005 for “early reform” of the Security Council.
Secondly, my delegation is of the firm view that the wish of the vast majority of member states participating in this Inter Governmental Negotiation is in favour of recommending expansion in both categories, permanent and non-permanent, of the reformed Security Council. This includes several member states, who do not belong to any groupings, but as well as large and pro-reform groupings like the L.69, the C-10 representing the Ezulwini Consensus of the Africa Group, CARICOM, Small Island Developing States, G-4,and most recently, the Arab Group’s demand for a permanent seat.
Our assessment is based on the statements made by these member states both in our Inter Governmental Negotiation process so far, as also on the more than 100 statements made by Heads of State and Government during the recent High Level Segment of the 69th General Assembly in September and October this year. The latter is a recorded fact, Mr President, and must not be ignored or questioned while considering the assertion just made by us.
Thirdly, Mr President, we believe that to insist that no forward movement can take place in our process,until we have 'complete consensus' on any text at the very beginning of our process, is not in keeping with the unanimous consensus for “early reform” of the Council mandated by our leaders in paragraph 153 of the 2005 Summit Outcome Document. We therefore request that once the negotiation text authorized by you is placed before us by our new Chairman, we engage in the give and take of actual negotiations to define what “early reform” of the Council actually means for the vast majority of us in this Assembly. It would be a blot on the collective integrity of this organization if we were to turn our backs to this subject and ignore it completely when our leaders meet next year for the historic 70th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations.
Finally, Mr. President, my delegation would like to once again put this issue in the context in which the Security Council of the United Nations is actually required to function. The Council, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter, and which acts under Articles 24.1 and 25, on behalf of all of us member states, is today a seriously impaired organ. The litany of crises dotting the international landscape, involving the lives of millions of people, which the Council does not have the will or the resources to address, demonstrates this vividly. Even in the area of its core competence, the Council is unable to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature. For the Council to become more effective, early reforms, as envisioned by our leaders collectively ten years ago, is an urgent necessity. Such reforms, if implemented properly, will restore to the Council its credibility, enable it to share the responsibility of its functions with fresh and needed resources, both financial and intellectual, and most importantly, restore the provisions of Chapter VI of the Charter, which requires recourse to peaceful, non-violent means, based on the rule of law, to settle disputes, as the preferred means to maintain international peace and security.
5. As the Prime Minister of India stated from this very podium on 27 September this year,
“We must reform the United Nations, including the Security Council, and make it more democratic and participative. Institutions that reflect the imperatives of 20th century won't be effective in the 21st. It would face the risk of irrelevance; and we will face the risk of continuing turbulence with no one capable of addressing it… Let us fulfill our promise to reform the United Nations Security Council by 2015.”