Informal Plenary: Joint statement by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan on Security Council Reform

Jan 26, 2012

Joint introductory statement by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan at the informal plenary of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council Reform

(as delivered)

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour of making a joint introductory statement on behalf of the G4.

We welcome your decision to provide Member States with a work plan for the remainder of the eighth round of intergovernmental negotiations.

We highly welcome the opportunity for Member States to present in this forum their initiatives on Security Council reform as a means of moving discussions in the intergovernmental negotiations forward. We are thankful for your invitation to present today our initiative on the short resolution. 

Mr. Chairman,

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan are bound together by a common vision of an enlarged Security Council that better reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century.

This Council should be expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, taking into consideration the contributions made by countries to the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the need for increased representation of developing countries in both categories. On numerous occasions, we have reconfirmed our view that Africa should be represented in the permanent membership in an enlarged Council.

Today, we focus on the initiative of the short resolution, an initiative that was launched in March last year.

As repeatedly stated, the G4 is fully supportive of the intergovernmental negotiations. We contribute constructively and with an open mind to the process and we welcome your personal engagement in achieving decisive progress.  

Unfortunately, progress has been limited to date. For example, there is much resistance to streamlining the Rev.3 document to a short document with realistic options that reflect majority positions. This clearly does not respond to the call for urgent reform, that numerous Heads of State and Government have repeatedly made, most recently at the opening of the 66th General Assembly.  

Our initiative intends to provide renewed impetus towards real and substantive negotiations.

Mr. Chairman,

Our proposal is straightforward. It focuses on two aspects of Security Council reform, on which according to our outreach, large majorities exist among Member States: firstly, that expansion in membership should be in both categories, permanent and non-permanent, and secondly, that the working methods of the Council should be improved. Nothing more, nothing less.

Our initiative is an attempt to complement and facilitate the ongoing intergovernmental negotiation process and operationalize it by proposing that the General Assembly give us political guidance on these two important aspects of Security Council reform. Therefore, we look forward to the results of today’s discussion and of those in the coming weeks.

You had stated in your letter dated 23 February 2011 that the process of intergovernmental negotiations established by General Assembly decision 62/557 should evolve in an open, transparent, inclusive and comprehensive membership-driven manner.

Accordingly, the G4 has been reaching out over the past months to other Member States. As you are aware, the short resolution finds resonance with many reform proposals and positions, including the African Group position articulated in 2005.

We believe that our proposal can generate the momentum needed to kick-start real negotiations. Some call this “piecemeal” or “cherry-picking”. We call it a realistic and results-driven approach. Let us agree on what most Member States agree on and let us then tackle the other issues.

Mr. Chairman,

As you have witnessed in various debates on Council reform, our initiative has garnered wide cross-regional support from Member States. Thus far, nearly 80 Member States have expressed their support in writing, in addition to a substantial number of strong commitments.

This demonstrates that a wide coalition of Member States supports expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories and improvement of its working methods.

This is a reality that needs to be acknowledged. It also needs to be adequately reflected in the intergovernmental negotiations. The G4 is of the view that such strong support should be considered as the basis for further discussion in the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations to create the momentum needed for real negotiations among Member States on this all-important matter.

We have no doubt that today’s discussions will once again underline that real, substantive reform of the Security Council can only be achieved by an expansion in both permanent and non-permanent membership. 

I thank you, Mr. Chairman

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