Check Against Delivery
Delivered by Japan
Thank you very much for convening this debate. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the G4 countries – Brazil, Germany, India and my own country, Japan.
Allow me to congratulate you on the appointment of Ambassadors Her Excellency Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar and His Excellency Mr. Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark, as Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform. The G4 looks to your strong leadership, Mr. President, towards tangible outcomes during this session. Please rest assured that you and the Co-Chairs will have the G4’s full support throughout the session.
First of all, I would like to talk very briefly about the G4's position on the substance of Security Council reform. In the 75 years since the establishment of the United Nations, we have witnessed the emergence of a number of Member States on all continents with the capacity and willingness to substantially and continuously contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, other than the Council’s current permanent members. It is in the interest of world peace and stability that those countries be enabled to make constant contributions to the Security Council as new permanent members. Of course, these new permanent members would have to be elected by the members of the General Assembly, by a vote of two thirds through a secret ballot, as per the rules of procedure of the General Assembly. This is the basis of the G4 position.
When the discussion of Security Council reform gained momentum in 1993, some Member States argued that the reform should proceed “when the time is ripe” or that we should proceed “cautiously without haste”. It is strange that, 30 years later, these countries are still repeating the same argument in the IGN, that there should be no “artificial deadline,” in complete disregard of the agreement by all Heads of State and Government to support an “early reform” of the Council in 2005, and their commitment to “instil new life” into the discussion in 2020. The G4 hopes that these remarks are not intended to be “artificial delays” or “indefinite postponement.” We cannot let these decades-old narratives sabotage the consensus of all Heads of States and Government.
Let us be forward-looking. Let us be action oriented. How can we “instill new life” into our discussion and achieve “early reform”? All of us here know well how to do it: In the end, we need to adopt a GA resolution on the characteristics of a reformed Security Council. The real question is whether the present IGN process is enabling us to eventually move towards such an outcome or not.
In 2015, the IGN produced the framework document and its annex, which is “an encyclopedia” that compiles the detailed positions submitted by Members State and groups, including the Member States which submitted their positions as annexes but did not wish to include them in the body of the framework document. An encyclopedia is a useful reference but cannot yield reform by itself. The IGN also produced the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper during the last session as a provisional working document to guide our discussion. We believe the IGN should proceed with its deliberations based on the latest version of the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper. It should then add and clarify the attribution of different positions inscribed in it. Such exercise will lead us to where we are bound to go text-based negotiations.
A few Member States continue to argue that we should first agree on the basic principles of substance, before starting text-based negotiations. But let me ask you, Mr. President, and my distinguished colleagues: after 30 years of repeated statements of the same positions, will further statements of positions in this hall close the gaps? Let us not reenact the movie “Groundhog Day” at the United Nations. The first step to bridge the divergences is to spell out the positions of all actors in a single text. The exact position of each country is already in the framework document and its annex. Writing down those positions in a more workable single consolidated text is the only way. That is how we negotiate at the United Nations.
Mr. President, what we would like to stress is that the IGN Co-Chairs have the authority to present a text to the Member States, and that authority is mandated by you, Mr. President. There is a strange argument that the IGN Co-Chairs do not have this authority. This argument, in our view, is faulty and does neither do justice to your authority nor to the hard, substantive work displayed by IGN chairs.
Such argument is also contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of the membership. Let me remind you and my distinguished colleagues that 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, as many as 164 Member States have called for a text to serve as the basis for negotiations. The Co-Chairs already have all our positions at their disposal in the framework document and its annex; by presenting a text, they can facilitate Member-State driven negotiations.
During the High-level week this year, the G4 Ministers confirmed their clear support for the Common African Position. The G4 supports the Common African Position as a whole, and especially concurs that it is indispensable to expand the Security Council in both categories of membership to enable it to better deal with the ever complex and evolving challenges to the maintenance of international peace and security. The G4 expects that the Elements Paper will be further developed to contain a full and accurate reference to the Common African Position enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
In closing, the G4 would like to ask you, Mr. President, and the IGN Co-Chairs to clarify the expected outcome of this IGN session. The G4 would like to see, by the end of this session, a single consolidated Co-Chairs’ paper, containing attributed positions of all member states, which is updated at the end of each meeting, which can serve as a basis for a GA draft resolution.
The time is ripe to move to the next stage. You are the “President of Hope” for the majority of the Member States frustrated by the years of stagnation and aspiring a breakthrough in the IGN. We count on you, Mr. President, and the IGN Co-Chairs to fulfill our hopes by bringing us tangible progress.
I thank you.