General Assembly General Assembly


Thank you, Co-Chairs,


I align myself with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of St Vincent and Grenadines on behalf of L69 and the subsequent statement by the Permanent Representative of Brazil on behalf of G4. I would like to add a few additional points in my national capacity.




2.       When we received your letter dated February 15, 2018, in our Mission, what struck us most upon reading your letter was how closely the two of you have followed Einstein’s dictum - “God does not play dice”.


3.       Rather than make us follow a randomly chosen path, which may not indicate what will be in store at the next meeting, or the one after that, your detailed work plan provides a clear pathway to be followed for the rest of the session. Thank you for the clarity with which you have outlined the process you intend to follow. We welcome this Einsteinian approach of logic and predictability.


4.       We hope that this logical approach continues to imbue our thinking as we proceed to harmonize the outcomes achieved collectively in the last couple of years, into a working document for our discussions and deliberations at the next meeting.




5.       In your letter, you have asked us to give feedback and specific guidance on how to take the ‘Elements of Commonalities and Issues for Further Consideration’ paper forward and concrete suggestions on updating and improving the paper. We will, therefore, follow your Einsteinian logic and focus on specifics, rather than share philosophical responses which are known to all, as these have been articulated and responded to over many years.  In the statements made by speakers before me, very useful and innovative suggestions have been made. Each of these provide valuable inputs that you can consider as you update the last working document.


6.       From our own perspective, let me lend my voice in support of some of these and outline for you the rationale for our support.


  • First, we support the G4 proposal to structurally synergize both the sections of Elements of Commonality and the Issues for Further Consideration of each of the 5 clusters. Considering both these parts of every cluster sequentially, rather than in isolation from each other, will enhance linkages within the same cluster. It will also assist us in examining each cluster holistically rather than in a disparate manner.


  • Second, we endorse the L69 proposal which has also been supported by the G4 to subsume the 'Elements of Convergence' paper of the 70th session in our working document for this session, under the first two clusters i.e. 'Relationship of the Security Council with the General Assembly' and the 'Size and Working Methods of the Council'. This would harmonize our current work with the agreed outcome of the 70th session, incorporating all the elements of convergence identified and agreed to by all member States. It would, of course, also allow us to continue to work on issues for further consideration on those two clusters.


  • Our understanding of this suggestion is that it subsumes rather than supplants. For example, in the cluster on the 'Size of an enlarged Council and Working Methods of the Council', we would like to point out that one of the issues that was raised in the last session, but was not raised previously, was the need for a clear reflection of the request by several Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of their regular representation. In line with this, our suggestion is that in point 3(c) in the Commonalities section at page 3of the last outcome document, we could, after “cross-regional balances”, insert the phrase “especially for SIDS”, thereby inserting a commonality specifically for SIDS.


  • Third, we welcome the African Group’s desire for a proper reflection of the Common African Position in any document that we consider at the next meeting. This will place on record the wide support enjoyed by Africa for its representation in the permanent category in a reformed Security Council. Given the special nature of the quest to correct the historical injustice to Africa, it should be reflected in the Commonalities section in the forthcoming working document.


  • Fourth, we would want the document that we consider at our next meeting to be an inclusive one. By this, we mean the genesis of the various options that are listed for further consideration need to be identified.  In our view, this would address the concerns of the countries/groups who have felt that the option proposed by them has not been adequately discussed or reflected. This will also help us in enhancing our understanding of each other’s positions and highlighting the possible inter-linkages between an option in one cluster with an option in another cluster.


  • Fifth, even as we harmonize the outcomes of previous documents, we need to ensure consistency, to the degree possible, in our approach to various clusters. Currently, in the cluster on “Regional Representation”, the Issues for Further Consideration are framed very differently from all other segments. We, therefore, feel that this inconsistency is neither warranted nor desirable and needs to be redressed. This is the section that is of utmost importance to our friends from Africa, as they have taken a unique and explicitly regional approach to their representation in the permanent category.




7.       These are some of our suggestions, so as to enable you to move ahead and harmonize our work with the positions and proposals of all member States. Co-Chairs, I began by quoting Einstein, one of the finest human minds and would like to conclude by quoting him again – Yes, Einstein- once said, “It is the same with people, as it is with riding a bicycle. Only when moving can one comfortably maintain one’s balance”. Co-chairs, we request you, in line with Einsteinian logic of your letter, to please move ahead so that all of us, who are following this process under your stewardship, maintain our balance.


Thank you, Co-Chairs.