Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, May 4

05.05.2021 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Dear Co-Chairs,

I spoke this morning on behalf of the G4, and now I would like to speak in my national capacity. I congratulate you, Co-Chairs, on the broad support that you have with your paper. I was listening very carefully to all the group statements, in particular from the African Group, L.69, Benelux, the Nordics and CARICOM. I even heard an opening in UfC. Thank you very much for your work. I would like to encourage you to continue.

You asked for today's session to be interactive, so I would like to follow up on your request. I listened very carefully to all the statements this morning and this afternoon, and I found a significant correlation between those who criticize having the Co-Chair’s text as the basis for future negotiations and those who actually want to stop the discussion this year. I would ask some of these colleagues to explain their logic.

This afternoon, I heard a number of colleagues from the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe all lamenting the historical injustice that has been done to Africa and insisting that it be remedied. At the same time you are asking that the discussions in the IGN not be continued. I just don't understand this logic. Maybe a colleague from one of those countries I mentioned would like to explain to the audience here how the Common African Position would be promoted by not continuing to discuss and work towards having it fully implemented into the text that the Co-Chairs have tabled.

We are in early May now, and we have not nearly had enough meetings. Why do we want to stop this dialogue artificially? The 75th session still has four months left. There is momentum building, so I plead for additional meetings. I must say that I was not really surprised that China and Russia from the P5 were against continuing. I was however disappointed that the US delegation – now under the new administration – was also against the continuation of a debate which aims at the modernization of the Security Council to represent today's realities more accurately.

I would be happy if one of the African countries could respond why they don't want to continue. The colleague from Belarus spoke highly about the valuable dialogue here, but then said, let's stop it. I don't understand that. 

Our American colleague took up paragraph four in the convergences part of the Co-Chairs’ paper and asked to go back to the original text. I looked at the Co-Chairs’ text and saw that it reflected the Common African Position. It tried to be precise about how the African Union has decided its position. Perhaps the US colleague could explain why he doesn't want the Common African Position reflected as a convergence in this paper. Does it mean that he doesn't support it and doesn't want to have that in the text?

The next item I followed was that everybody said it is a member states-driven process. Yes, of course it's about member states. At the same time, when it comes to the text and attribution to members in the text, the same delegations who ask for a member states-driven process refuse to actually attribute their names to what they are asking for. Again, I do not understand why, in this phase where we want to achieve progress, we are refusing to have real negotiations where we attribute positions. Maybe somebody who is promoting this idea can explain why not having your position identified is a reflection of Cartesian logic.

I must say I was a bit disappointed after the last session. In our interactive dialogue, I remarked that the UfC group is regularly meeting with China as an observer. I was told that I would receive an invitation to the UfC group. I never received it. As a response to the announcement of an invitation to the UFC, I invited our Chinese colleague to a G4 meeting. Unfortunately, our Chinese colleagues said that he could not attend.

I find all this very sad. I think that, as the UN family, we should have the wish to move this organization forward, and have the composition of the Security Council represent the realities of today.

To those who now drag their feet, who don't want to have additional sessions, who want to have many other texts, who don't want attribution, my question is: do you really want the UN to thrive?


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