November 17, 2022
Thank you very much for convening this debate. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the G4 countries – Brazil, Germany, Japan and my own country, India.
- Allow me to congratulate you on the appointment of H.E. Mr. Michal Mlynár, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations and H.E. Mr. Tareq M. A. M. Albanai, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait, as co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform. Your decision to nominate the co-chairs early in the session is a positive sign, which we hope will be translated into immediately restarting meaningful engagement and lead to effective negotiations.
- The G4 is confident that the co-chairs will guide the Member States to instill new life in the process on UNSC reform. We hope your leadership of the IGN negotiations, will provide another opportunity to finally instill a strong breath of life into a process that has shown hardly any signs of life or growth in over four decades.
- We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the IGN live up to its original mandate, in which real negotiations on (the basis of) a text will pave the way for the early reform of the Security Council called for more than 17 years ago. We look forward to your leadership, Mr. president, towards tangible outcomes during this session. Rest assured that we stand ready to lend our full support to you and the co-chairs in this endeavour.
- The item on equitable representation in the Security Council was included on the General Assembly agenda more than forty years ago, in 1979. It is regrettable that work on the issue has nothing substantive to show even after four decades.
- Consequently, the Council still does not reflect the current geopolitical landscape. In contrast, many other major international institutions have made strides to change and adapt. There is simply no reason to leave the Security Council out of this process.
- It is also important to bear in mind that during this year’s High-level week, including the General Debate of the 77th General Assembly, more than 70 Heads of State and Government and high level governmental representatives underlined that reforming the Security Council should be one of our priorities during this session. This broad support for this topic confirms its relevance and urgency.
- The longer the Security Council reform is stalled, the greater its deficit in representation. And representation is – an inescapable precondition for its legitimacy and effectiveness.
- It is high time to bring the Council in line with its Charter responsibility to act on behalf of the entire Membership. This will not be achieved without enhancing the membership in both the categories. Only this will enable the Council to manage effectively today’s conflicts around the globe as well as increasingly complex and interconnected global challenges it faces today.
- As indicated in the recent document ‘A Call to Action’ signed by more than 35 UN member states, a diverse number of nations continue to voice their concern with the lack of openness and transparency in the IGN, underlining the need for enhanced working methods and the definition of the applicable rules of procedure to the process.
- It is also an indication that the IGN are not being used to enable real negotiations, but to prevent any concrete outcome. The very purpose of its creation fourteen years ago – to launch actual negotiations – is being voided by the lack of activity, by the absence of a negotiating text and by the unwillingness of some to truly engage in substantive discussions.
- We would like to emphasize an undeniable fact that as many as 164 Member States have called for a text to serve as the basis for negotiations according to the document A/72/510/Rev. 1, the letter of the Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines addressed to the Secretary-General dated 2 October 2017.
- We have been consistently asking for a single consolidated text and for renewed working methods, so as to bring about an open, inclusive and transparent process, with webcasting, record-keeping and the application of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly. Some argue that the IGN are an informal process. But this does not mean we should operate in the shadows, losing track of what we discuss there year after year.
- A single consolidated text, preferably with attribution, is the only means to move away from the cycle of repetition of well-known positions that have been the trademark of the IGN in the recent past. It is also the best way to identify commonalities and promote a give-and-take that may ultimately result in proposals that garner ample support from Member States.
- The position of the G4 on the substance of the reform is well-known. We uphold the need for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, with the expansion of seats in both categories of membership, equitable regional representation, more transparent and inclusive working methods and an enhanced relationship with other UN bodies, including the General Assembly.
- Our support to the Common African Position has also been clearly voiced. We are aware that other Member States have different proposals and diverging perspectives on how to reform the Security Council. But we are convinced that almost everybody would agree that the Security Council is in dire need of reform. This is why the Intergovernmental Negotiations were set up in the first place: to allow us to sit down and discuss how to bridge the gaps in our positions. Reaching consensus before negotiating was simply never the plan.
- Please rest assured that the G4 is eager to collaborate with you and the co-Chairs in bringing about a result-oriented process, as mandated by the General Assembly.
- Being faithful to the original purpose and mandate of the IGN is the only way to ensure the ownership of this process by all Member States and its preservation as the adequate setting for our efforts. In this regard, and depending on the results of our joint work, the G4 also reserves the right to revert to this item of the General Assembly agenda during the current session.
- We simply cannot allow the IGN process to cocoon itself in perpetuity without letting collective aspirations of the member states to take a definite shape.
- We hope this year IGN process will not be another missed opportunity.
Thank you very much.