H.E. RAYMOND O. WOLFE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON AGENDA ITEMS 117 & 30: “QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND OTHER MATTERS”
AND "REPORT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL”
AT THE JOINT DEBATE OF THE 67TH SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THURSDAY, 15TH NOVEMBER 2012
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the L69 Group of countries. The L69 Group comprises a diverse group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, who are united by a common cause – to achieve, lasting and comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council.
The Group is cemented in its firm conviction that expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the Security Council is needed to better reflect contemporary world realities, and achieve a more accountable, representative and transparent Security Council.
We were instrumental in starting the intergovernmental negotiations. We remain engaged in these negotiations on the understanding that the UN Charter, the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly as well as relevant GA resolutions requires support from two-thirds majority of the UN membership for any decision in this regard.
At the outset, I would like to place on record the Group’s appreciation for the work of Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan during the last GA session. He has been an integral and invaluable part of the intergovernmental negotiations since 2009.
During the eighth round of intergovernmental negotiations held during the previous General Assembly session it was clear that the UN membership desires early reform that comprises expansion in both the existing permanent and non-permanent categories and improvements in the Council’s working methods.
Secondly, the membership acknowledges the positive and constructive role that has been and continues to be played by the L69 Group. Indeed, the fact that ours is the only Group which has increased in membership over the years testifies to the Group’s influential role. In keeping with our tradition of active support for the reform process, we have also put forward a number of proposals for transforming our interactions and deliberations into real negotiations.
Thirdly, our Group has also been able to enhance convergences with other like-minded groups, in particular the African Group.
The L69 and the C10 of the African Group have been collaborating closely for convergence between them that embraces comprehensive reform.
Let me reiterate today that the L69 acknowledges the African common position. We are of one mind in stressing that the reform we envisage is far-reaching and intended to ensure that the Council’s structure and its way of doing business is fundamentally changed to make it reflective of current geopolitical realities.
On each of the five key issues of Security Council reform there exist clear convergences. To the L69 Group, these convergences are the following.
First, the Security Council must be enlarged in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
Second, the new permanent members should have the same prerogatives and privileges as those of the current permanent members, including the veto.
Third, additional seats in an expanded Council should include permanent members from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean region, as well as from the Western European and other States. There should also be additional non-permanent seats from Africa, Asia, Eastern European Group, Latin America and the Caribbean region as well as one non-permanent seat for Small Island developing states across all regions. Further, regional groups should coordinate to ensure that there is regular representation for small developing states in the non-permanent category.
Fourth, the Council should be expanded to the mid-twenties and it should adapt its working methods so as to increase the involvement of States not members of the Council in its work, as appropriate, enhance its accountability to the membership and increase the transparency of its work.
Fifth, the General Assembly’s role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN must be respected in both letter and spirit.
It is the considered view of the L69 Group that intergovernmental negotiations should be immediately started with the aim of formalizing the convergences that I have just articulated.
In closing allow me to recall paragraph 30 of the Millennium Summit Declaration in which World Leaders inter alia resolved to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects.
I would also like to specifically highlight paragraph 153 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome document in which Leaders further resolved to support early reform of the Security Council as an essential element of overall efforts to reform the United Nations in order to make it more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus further enhance its effectiveness and legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.
The L69 Group is committed to playing its part in ensuring that this comprehensive reform is not left to future generations.