General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Wittig at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Dec 12, 2013

(as delivered:)

"Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join others in congratulating you on your reappointment as our Chair for this 10th round of Intergovernmental Negotiations. Let me assure you of our full support.

I wish to align myself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Mukerjee on behalf of the G4.

Let me also add a few points in my national capacity:

First and foremost, I commend our President and colleague, Ambassador John Ashe, for presenting us with a non-paper that has the potential to finally bring us from words to action.

The paper reflects in an objective and genuine manner the core of the proposals and ideas made by member states during the past rounds. As such, the non-paper should, as the President himself writes, be used as a guide for this new round of the IGN and beyond.


Mr. Chairman,

How to proceed from here, of course lies in your remit. But a look back may be helpful.

In 2009, for the first round of the IGN, you had structured the discussion along the five reform issues contained in decision 62/557.

This was a useful approach, meant to flesh out the scope of options and identify possible convergences.

In summarizing the discussion, you wrote to us in September 2009 that [I quote] “Member states over the course of three rounds of negotiations have now looked at the five key issues from virtually all possible different angles” [end quote].

Of course, many developments happened since then. Most importantly, we now have with the PGA’s non-paper a useful tool that can help us overcome the current deadlock and look at these five issues afresh.

Another round of meetings, each dedicated to focused discussions on the ideas contained in the non-paper under the five reform clusters, could be helpful in identifying realistic options and possible convergences.

We cannot afford to waste yet another year by simply repeating known positions.

We should make use of the initiative taken by President Ashe to take the next logical step forward: Let us clearly identify where the membership stands on the various issues.

This, Mr. Chairman, would enable us to finally zero in on those options that have the potential to garner the Charta-mandated majority.

This would finally allow real give-and-take negotiations to identify convergences and see if and how positions evolve. This is how we are supposed to work in the UN.

This would also mean that by 2015, the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we may finally have something concrete to show to our leaders who ten years ago had called for an early reform.

Mr. Chairman,

There is naturally an alternative course of action - or, to be more precise, course of inaction: We could simply continue our meetings for the next 70 years, based on a 30 page text, in the hope that by some miracle we reach consensus.

But let me be clear: Continuing this way will also ensure that the subject of our discussion, the Security Council, will in the meantime lose its relevance in the face of emerging challenges and shifting global realities.

I am sure that this is not what the vast majority of member states want.

So let us get to work. As always, my country stands ready to support you and all reform-minded partners in this endeavor.

Thank you."

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Reform of the United Nations

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