AMBASSADOR RAYMOND WOLFE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
REPORT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
THE QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND
12TH NOVEMBER 2007
The Jamaican delegation welcomes another opportunity to participate in a debate on the Question of Equitable representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council Related Matters to the Security Council. This is an important opportunity to build on the momentum created earlier this year during the 61st Session, towards meaningful progress on the contentious issue of Security Council reform.
This delegation would also like to acknowledge with deep appreciation, the efforts made by the President of the 61st Session H.E. Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain who, in a committed, dedicated and transparent manner successfully built on the work of her predecessor in putting the reform of the Security Council at the forefront of the agenda of the General Assembly.
The Jamaican delegation wishes to reiterate its position regarding the reform of the Security Council. As I have stated previously, it has been recognized, and generally acknowledged that the initial positions of many groups and some individual States on the reform of the Security Council are not attainable. The situation as it now stands, in my delegation’s estimation, is for all States to show greater flexibility in order to curtail the continuous cycle of consultations and routine placement on successive agendas of the General Assembly which has characterized the debate on the reform of the Council, over the past ten to fourteen years and to advance the process towards meaningful intergovernmental negotiations. We therefore welcome the strides made in this regard, in the just concluded 61st session.
We support the notion that any solution or formula found must have the support of more than just a majority of States, but one which can attract the widest possible acceptance of the Members of the United Nations, namely support by the required two thirds majority vote, including ratification by the P5, as stipulated by article 108 of the Charter. Such a solution must also address the question of access namely on two counts, firstly increased opportunity to serve on the Council, including representation by developing countries and secondly, involvement outside of it. In this regard, its working methods need to be urgently comprehensively overhauled as well.
Whilst we may not achieve consensus on all the broad elements, we must necessarily be cautious in proceeding on a partial approach which does not seek to address the most glaring inequities in the structure and operations in the Council. We are naturally concerned that the transitional arrangement now being proposed seeks to proceed along the path of expansion of the non-permanent seats only, and that, a decision on the creation of new permanent seats should be deferred until a later stage. In essence, it seems to be adopting one option over another and fails to take into account the support of a vast majority of States, for expansion in both categories. Additionally, the proposals for the creation of new non-permanent seats, as well as an intermediate category, is one which require the most carefully and cautious examination. In this regard, there are serious issues arising which require clarification such as whom would be eligible; for what duration and what would be the implications as regards the crowding out and overshadowing of other members in the non-permanent category.
It should also be kept at the forefront of our minds that amendments to the Charter are not “every day” occurrences and proposed amendments would have to proceed on the basis of the broadest agreement among Member States, including the P5. Proposed amendments as envisaged under Article 108 of the Charter should therefore not be interim but of a long-term duration.
There are other contentious issues such as the veto. The vast majority of Members agrees that the veto is anachronistic, obsolete and undemocratic and should therefore be abolished. Until such time, we could agree to the other more readily achievable steps such as: ways of enhancing accountability for its use; limitations of the scope of its application and individual or collective pledges to refrain from its use in certain instances. The P5 should be encouraged to support the reform in all its aspects.
We do not see much difficulty in reaching agreement on expansion in terms of the additional number of seats and Jamaica could agree to one or two options which were suggested in the 61st session, while paying due regard to reconciling concerns to make the Council both efficient and representative. However, we must emphasize that this should ensure expansion in both categories.
Working methods should go hand in hand with the broad reform of the Council. However, as we wait on the full reform, action could be taken on some of the more egregious deficiencies which impede access for non-Council Members.
Finally Mr. President,
The debate on Security Council Reform has gone on for much too long. We are not entirely sanguine that the current process of consultations or even negotiations which are currently being called for, will find a way out of the impasse by way of a political consensus, but there is no question as to the urgency for the intergovernmental negotiations to be allowed to commence in earnest. It is clear to us, that if positive strides are going to be made, we, the member States, will have to find the will and create the necessary resolve to overcome the barriers which have retarded our every move to march forward. In the absence of consensus, let us resolve and indeed, summon the political courage, within this 62nd session, to put to the test, a resolution which can garner the widest possible support within the General Assembly by the required two thirds majority, as stipulated by Article 108 of the Charter and Rule 83 of the Rules of Procedure, of the General Assembly.
I thank you, Mr. President.