Statement by Ambassador Braun at the plenary meeting of the General Assembly on agenda item (122): Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council

Jul 19, 2017

Mr. President,

I have the honor and pleasure to speak today on behalf of the Group of Four – Brazil, India, Japan and my own country Germany. And I would like to make three points.

First, we thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership in the process of Security Council reform during the 71st Session of the GA. You guided us skillfully through sometimes stormy waters of the IGN Ocean and stayed the course despite strong winds blowing from more than just one direction at a time. You brought us one leg forward and made us not give up hope that we will eventually reach the shores of an accomplished reform.

We also thank the Co-Chairs of the IGN, Ambassadors Ion Jinga and Khaled Khiari, for their hard work in steering the ship. They made us work hard, made us question our positions and those of others and in this way they made us carve out broadly supported commonalities and identify issues for further consideration. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Second, Mr. President, we support the draft roll-over-decision you have presented and the paper contained therein entitled “Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration on the question of equitable representation and increase in the membership in Security Council and related matters.” Both the draft decision and the paper add a stroke of the rudder on our ship’s course towards Council reform. The draft decision also highlights where we come from, including the milestones achieved in the 69th and 70th session: Framework Document and Elements Paper. Both form, together with this year’s outcome document, the map for our course ahead.

Speaking of our course ahead, let me share with you a saying that fits our situation in the IGN. Translated into English, it goes: “The one who goes nowhere, also cannot arrive anywhere”. [Original: "Când pisica nu-i acasă, șoarecii joacă pe masă"]

For us, its meaning is clear: we must move, move away from our turning in circles. We must move, move forward from our repetitions. We must move away from talking about negotiations to beginning real negotiations, negotiations based on a negotiating text.

That this saying is from Romania is actually completely incidental, by the way.

Mr. President, it is this saying that leads to my third and final point. To all the well-deserved praise for your work and the work of the IGN Chairs, I would like to add an appeal – some may say: pour some water into the wine...

Of course, Mr. President, we cannot be completely satisfied with the outcome of the IGN in the 71st session. Not only because the General Assembly has not yet adopted a resolution reforming the Security Council. But also because we have not even set our sails on the course of text-based negotiations yet. It is the beginning of this standard-operating-procedure of all other UN negotiations that is missing. Our ship, the ship of the IGN, seems to have its rudders in the water on only one side. And while all of us are rowing as hard as we can, we move in circles. Text-based negotiations will mean rudders in the water on both sides of the ship – and full speed ahead to the shores of an accomplished reform.

Mr. President, there is no need for the next captain of the IGN to worry about taking this course. Almost all of the ship’s crew, at least 164 out of 193, have signed up for it - and are ready to row.

Thank you.

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