Statement by Ambassador Berger on the Reform of the Security Council in the informal plenary

Mar 2, 2011

(check against delivery)

Mr. Chairman,

Thank you very much for convening this first debate of the 7th round on Security Council reform. It is our first meeting in the informal plenary in 2011, and we are hopeful that the process will now pick up momentum and regain the speed necessary to produce a concrete outcome in the current session.

We note the third revision of the negotiation text presented by you, Mr Chairman, which includes a brief summary of contents. It is a first step in the right direction. The regrouping of Member States’ positions in the revised text renders similar positions and existing overlaps more visible and is, therefore, helpful. However, the text still comprises more than 30 pages, similar to the first and second versions. Let us be realistic: the Membership cannot negotiate a reform of the Security Council on the basis of a text of this length. The number of pages must be considerably reduced, clear minority positions need to be eliminated. We need a text which reflects the majority positions of Member States on the essential elements of the reform. We should focus on those principles on which we have already reached broad agreement - and try to narrow down our differences from that point onwards. Germany will support any efforts directed at achieving these goals.


Mr Chairman,

We agree with your statement in your letter of February 23 that the process of Security Council reform should evolve in a membership-driven manner. The ongoing process needs guidance from the Chair, but it also needs complementary initiatives coming from the Membership, initiatives which build upon the ongoing process in the informal plenary. A good example is the written request put forward by more than 140 countries in a joint letter at the beginning of last year in which these countries asked to continue the reform process on the basis of a negotiation text. More initiatives will be needed to take the process forward and to kick-start “real” negotiations.


Mr Chairman,

discussions on Security Council reform have been going on for almost 20 years. The world around us has been changing, but the UN has so far been unable to reflect the ongoing developments. It is now high time that the reform process deliver the results needed to adapt the Security Council to the realities of the 21st century.  We should therefore work together in a spirit of true cooperation in order to take the process towards a concrete outcome in the current session of the General Assembly.  There is no more time to lose.

Thank you for your attention.

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