Informal Plenary: Statement by Ambassador Berger on Security Council Reform

Jul 2, 2012

(Statement by Ambassador Berger in an informal plenary on Security Council Reform)

Thank you Mr. Chair,

my delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Ambassador Nishida on behalf of the G4.

I would like to thank Ambassador Tanin for his Chairmanship and for his initiative to discuss the five proposals, which proved to be very useful. Colleagues will agree that the past round of debates was particularly helpful to clarify positions and listen to each other’s views.

And despite existing differences, one fact has become clear: Of those delegations who participated in the debates, the overwhelming majority called for an expansion in both categories of membership – permanent and non-permanent. According to our calculations, support came from 80% of the delegates, and it came from all continents, from small and big states, and from the developing and developed world alike. It can therefore safely be said that it enjoys extensive support.  On the other hand, some models that keep reappearing clearly do not enjoy any similar kind of support.

This, Mr. Chairman, is a fact that simply cannot be ignored. We just need to take the next logical next step and acknowledge and record these results.  

This outcome also reinforces our conviction, that our goal is the right one: A reform of the Security Council that has at its core an expansion of the membership, in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. This expansion would take 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.

Mr. Chairman,

There was also strong support for further developing the Rev3 to fully unlock its potential for the negotiation process. 

Germany both individually and as part of the G4 has repeatedly called for shortening and focusing the Rev3 text to reveal those realistic options that will enable us to finally move to real negotiations. At some point we simply have to eliminate those options that, as has been obvious in these last debates, only enjoy minimal support and therefore cannot realistically constitute the basis for negotiations.

We have tried to move the debate forward instead of around in circles. We have suggested, in the form of a short resolution, a results-oriented and pragmatic vehicle towards substantial negotiations, which had gained broad and cross regional support. And we have also suggested others ways to determine the level of support among UN membership for key principles of Security Council reform, such as through a straw poll, where member states could decide which options to explore further in the negotiations.

As expected, we have heard much criticism for our proposals, especially from the small number of member states which are only seeking to maintain the status quo. But we have not heard any constructive alternative. Let me be clear: simply continuing our debates for yet another year without any tangible progress is not an alternative.

Mr. Chairman,

There is growing frustration among UN members with the continued deadlock; a frustration that was further fuelled by the events that led to the withdrawal of the S5 draft resolution. As a current non-permanent member of the Security Council, I would like to thank the S5 for their continuous engagement in favor of the improvement of the working methods. I hope that the new S5 continue with this engagement

But we cannot let the reform progress be held hostage by a blocking minority. We owe it to the United Nations and the authority of one of its main organs, as well as, in the long run, the perceived legitimacy of its decisions, that we make progress on this central question.  

We will continue to engage with all reform-minded member states on ways how to translate the will of the clear majority of member states into action. This will include discussions on the various modalities of an expansion in both categories.

As we near the end of this General Assembly, we call on you, Mr.  Chairman, to make full use of the trust and mandate given to you. We look forward to your comprehensive summary of this round of negotiations in the coming weeks – a summary that will adequately reflect the mood of the house and will suggest tangible and concrete steps forward.

Thank you.

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