General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Thoms at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform

Mar 13, 2014

"Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join others in welcoming the resumption of the intergovernmental negotiations.

At the outset, I wish to align myself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Patriota on behalf of the G4.

Let me add a few points in my national capacity:

As this is my first time to represent my country in the IGN, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your able steering of this process. I also look forward to a fruitful round of negotiations with colleagues on this important issue.

Mr. Chairman,

your proposed schedule of meetings is a constructive one. To focus discussions on each of the five reform clusters and cross-cutting themes could be helpful in identifying realistic options and possible convergences.

I say it could be helpful, because it will only help us take a step forward if we finally produce a tangible outcome.

Ambassador Patriota has made two concrete proposals on how to benefit from this new round. I look forward to constructive comments from colleagues.

Mr. Chairman,

Regarding the “categories of membership”, a quick look back is instructive:

In summarizing the first round of the IGN, you wrote to us on 10 September 2009 that an expansion in both categories [I quote] “over the course of three rounds of negotiations has commanded the most support from delegations taking the floor” [end of quote].

Two years and several meetings later, in your reflections on the eighth round of the IGN on 27 July 2012, you again stated that [I quote] “during negotiations a majority of delegations taking the floor have voiced support for an expansion in both categories” [end of quote].

Ambassador Patriota rightly stressed that an overwhelming number of member states, individually or represented by the Africa group, the L.69, CARICOM, the Arab Group and of course the G4, have publicly called for an expansion in both categories.

And I would be surprised if today’s interventions did not confirm this fact once again.  

So why do we not take this clear majority view as a basis and seek to foster convergence around it?

How is it that we cannot start real negotiations on the basis of a text presented by the Chairman?

Why is it, that the IGN process has been held hostage for years by demands from some member states that find no basis in the UN Charter?  

Why is it that even mentioning the concepts of “majority” and “minority” has become a taboo in the IGN? Are these not the normal benchmarks for multilateral negotiations and decision-making?

Mr. Chairman,

The PGA’s non-paper provides us with a useful tool to look at the five reform issues afresh.

On “categories”, the non-paper contains various options. These should be put to a reality test. Clearly, there is overwhelming support for a reform that leads to new permanent membership. How much support do other options in fact enjoy? Do all options still merit discussion or have some of them become outdated?

It is high time to get a clear assessment from you, Mr. Chairman, on where the membership stands on the various issues, starting today with the categories of membership.

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 would also mean that by 2015, we may finally have something concrete to show to our leaders who in 2005 had called for an early reform of the Security Council.

Thank you."

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Reform of the United Nations

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