Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, March 17

17.03.2021 - Speech

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Madam Chair,

I was born in 1973. In 1973, the two German states became members of the United Nations. This was an important milestone on our way back into the international community. Since then, the political world map has undergone profound change. Today, Germany is united. The Cold War is over. New states have emerged. The global balance of powers has shifted with the impressive rise of China. The 54 countries on the African continent have become key actors inside the United Nations. During all these years of change, the Security Council has not been reformed a single time.

Dear co-facilitators, we therefore warmly welcome your courageous promise to instill new life into the debate on Security Council reform and to overcome the status quo.

But what does it mean to instill new life? For us, it means that we need to move away from declarations, and we need to move towards negotiations. The best way to achieve that is to base our discussion on a single document.

I find it encouraging that this point has been made by many colleagues over the course of the past few days. Something in the dynamics of this debate is changing! Something is happening here at the GA hall! We therefore believe that the time has come to merge the input of all delegations in this room into a single version of the Commonalities Paper. This paper should show which convergences we share. It should also show which points are still contested among us. And it should attribute positions to those of us who maintain them.

In this endeavor, we should take into account that in this room, there is broad support for the Common African Position and, even more so, for the notion that the historic injustice that has been done to the African countries must be corrected. We just heard from the Ambassador of from Sierra Leone how crucial this is. It has been made eloquently by our colleagues from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa.

Now timing is key. We have spent 13 years in the IGN format without making any significant progress. The time for a single document is now. It should be rolled over immediately after this session and before session number four scheduled for April.

It is then only logical that we take more time in this year's debate. We need additional meetings in May and June.

Instilling new life into the negotiations is the right thing to do now for two reasons. Firstly, we all believe that a reform of the Security Council is overdue. Yet, 13 years of talks in the IGN format have not yielded the necessary results. We therefore need to fix the format.

There is a second reason why instilling new life is vital: There is a majority of member states who has requested that we base our talks on a single document. This is a new, important and positive development, and it must be taken into account. It is important to note that this is not just the G4 group, but a very broad group of countries from all parts of the earth and from all schools of thought on Security Council reform.

Madam Chair,

I thank the co-facilitators for the courage to instill new life into the negotiations. Let us all muster this courage and take the next steps – not as G4, not as Uniting for Consensus, not as the African Group, not as L69, not as CARICOM. Let's take the next step as the United Nations that we are and that Germany was so glad to join in 1973.

Thank you.  

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