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

Mar 19, 2014

Statement delivered by H.E. Amb. Harald Braun, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, on behalf of Brazil, India, Japan and Germany (G4)

Mr. Chairman,

As this is the first time for me to represent my country at the intergovernmental negotiations, let me begin by thanking you for your able steering of this process. I also look forward to constructive discussions with colleagues on this important issue.

I have the honor to deliver this short intervention on behalf of the G4 countries Brazil, India, Japan and Germany.

Mr. Chairman,

Today’s topic for discussion, the right of the veto, is undeniably the most controversial of the five reform issues we are currently debating on. We thus welcome the opportunity to discuss the issue in more detail today and hope that some convergence can be achieved. We are cognizant, of course, of the call for equal veto rights for new permanent members made by the African group and other relevant stakeholders.

To us, this is first and foremost a reflection of the urgent need felt by the overwhelming majority of member states, for a real, structural reform of the Security Council that adequately addresses its current imbalances. At the same time, we understand the concerns of many member states who regard the veto not as a stabilizing element, but primarily as tool to block Council action, leading to deadlock even in the face of urgent challenges to international peace and security. The various positions on the veto-issue are also reflected in the non-paper submitted by the President of the General Assembly.

As for the G4 position, we advocate for a pragmatic approach. This is included as Option 2.1.b) in the non-paper: As long as the veto exists, we are of the view that new permanent members should have the same responsibilities and obligations as the current permanent members.

However, we propose that new permanent members shall not exercise the right of veto until this issue has been decided upon in the framework of a review conference, 15 years following the Charter amendment. We also encourage other member states to consider whether such a provision could provide a way out of the current impasse on this particular issue. In this context, we also welcome the proposals made by many member states regarding the use of the veto in certain circumstances. We encourage member states to continue discussions and we look forward to receiving more details on these proposals.

In closing, Mr. Chairman,

We wish to reiterate our call for you to provide an assessment of the discussions and interventions made during this round. We took note during your closing remarks at the IGN discussions last week, that you are willing to do this is if there is a sufficient understanding in the room.

We have no doubt that there is enough support. Because there is simply no plausible reason why such an assessment should not be done – unless of course, one just wants to safeguard the status quo. This may indeed be the intention of a few. But we are confident that this is not what the overwhelming majority of member states want.

Clearly, the overwhelming majority of member states want concrete progress, so that by 2015, we finally have something concrete to show to our leaders who nearly ten years ago 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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