Statement by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz at the General Assembly meeting on Inter-Governmental Negotiations

14.02.2020 - Speech

(check against delivery)

Thank you Co-Chairs,

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by India on behalf of the G4. Allow me to add some additional points from our national perspective.

As pointed out at the General Assembly in November, Germany is growing increasingly frustrated with what we would call the lack of real progress in the IGN process.

However, we can still turn this around and make our joint work more meaningful and substantial. We still hope that the IGN process will move things forward more substantially than it did in past years. We would – just to give one example – hope to be able to have one single document to be rolled over this summer.

In order to make real progress toward finally reaching text-based negotiations, we need a text to talk about early on during this session of the IGN. I believe we can all rightfully say that we have exhausted discussing the five clusters and their interconnections. Only having a cursory glance at the text at the very end of the IGN will get us nowhere. Rather, we should take key elements from the 2015 Framework Document and integrate them into the Issues of further Consideration part of the Revised Elements Paper as soon as possible, that is after the second and before the third IGN session. We should also use attribution as has been called for repeatedly by many member states.

It is always possible to take on board member states’ views and integrate them into the text. This is indeed what we should do, and it is actually fairly simple. We should then try and come to an agreement on the Elements of Commonality before we devote ourselves to the Issues of further Consideration. As we said last year, prior consensus is not needed to talk about the text.

Let me stress one point: Africa needs to sit at the Security Council table – and it needs to do so permanently. As many of you will have noticed, the G4 position and the position of the African Group have moved much closer together. The G4 are ready to support the Common African Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. Please highlight these words in your cables to your capital.

The Security Council is losing credibility and authority more and more these days. But this is the Security Council we have – and we need to make it work more efficiently and keep it relevant. It is essential to managing, solving, preventing conflicts. This is why it urgently needs to be adapted to the realities of the 2020s, both when it comes to regional representation and when it comes to giving those countries a permanent voice which contribute most to the United Nations, be it financially or otherwise.

Finally, we need increased transparency in the IGN. This includes a live webcast and proper record-keeping. There are various informal fora that provide such transparency on their deliberations – major negotiations, such as on Agenda 2030, took place entirely under the eyes of civil society. We need to finally open the proverbial curtain and shed light on what is going on in the IGN.

This fall, we will collectively celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary. We need to really put our minds to making real progress towards reforming the UN’s central organ. The G4 therefore stand united in making Security Council reform a key element of the 75th anniversary celebrations.

As for the IGN: we have said repeatedly that if we do not make progress in this forum, the debate would – at the end of the day - have to shift back to the General Assembly proper. We sincerely hope this will not be necessary, if we get our act together here in the IGN, but we would be ready to considering taking appropriate steps, if and when necessary.

Thank you.

Top of page