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Statement by Mathias Licharz, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations, in the General Assembly Debate on Security Council Reform - November 20, 2018

20.11.2018 - Pressemitteilung

(check against delivery)

Thank you, Madam President,

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by India on behalf of the G4. Allow me to add a few remarks.

Last year, in this very spot, our Permanent Representative referred to the tedious job a squirrel has when it slowly, but surely collects all the nuts and acorns it needs in order to be prepared for winter. The German saying “Mühsam ernährt sich das Eichhörnchen” mirrors this sentiment.

For Germany within the G4, this tedious process has continued throughout the last year - and the years before. We struggled hard to arrive at text-based negotiations. We spoke to as many groups as possible in order to finally make progress within the IGN. We tried to be as well prepared as possible.

Sadly – we are still not prepared for winter. We are still no closer to real text-based negotiations than we were a year, two years or even five years ago. Soon, it will be four decades that the process of reforming the Security Council has gone on without much progress.

This has been frustrating. The IGN appears less and less to be the  right forum to achieve progress on this extremely important issue. The IGN’s focus on consensus decisions rewards the nay-sayers, as Ambassador Akbaruddin has very aptly pointed out. We cannot allow the great majority of member states who want to make progress to be held hostage by a small number of states who refuse to move from a circular discussion to a linear negotiation process.

I am not saying we do not need to build consensus. This is what we always strive for in this GA. But what is alien to our way of working in the GA is to arrive at any ‘prior’ consensus before even starting to negotiate.

If we do not succeed in reforming the Security Council, the Security Council will lose even more of its already dented credibility and will be overshadowed by other global decision-making bodies - or worse: unilateral decision-making alone.

Surely, we cannot let the Security Council stay captive in a structure that mirrors the Cold War. If we do not change it, it will become irrelevant. The Security Council needs the political backing of the broader membership, otherwise its ability to resolve international crises will further suffer. 
Almost 90% of member states want  reform. It is high time. And it is worth taking new initiatives for pushing it along its way.
We need strong, legitimate and representative United Nations that can help us restore confidence in global governance and cooperation.  This is especially true in these testing times. Many of us share the concern that the rules-based international order is under threat and lament a resurgence of unilateralism - as has been stressed in the important debate under the current Chinese UNSC Presidency. We need to stand up together for the preservation and further development of our current order. We need to make it work!  And for this to happen, we need a representative UN Security Council.
In this sense, we very much look forward to working together with all of you, with Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh from the United Arab Emirates and Ambassador Christian Braun from Luxembourg, whom I congratulate on their appointment as Co-chairs – and with you, Madam President.

Thank you.

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