AMBASSADOR RAYMOND WOLFE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF CARICOM
AT THE 13TH INFORMAL MEETING OF THE PLENARY
ON THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS
ON THE QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE COUNCIL
ON THE “SIZE OF AN ENLARGED COUNCIL AND WORKING METHODS”
INFORMAL PLENARY OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON
SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
TUESDAY 7TH APRIL 2009
It is again my privilege in this continuing debate on Security Council reform, to take the floor on behalf of the 14 States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). I take this opportunity to express our satisfaction with your guidance of the process so far, under the different clusters, and to reassure that CARICOM will continue to support your efforts, as you seek to advance the process of Security Council reform, in up-coming meetings.
From the outset CARICOM would like to indicate its support for earlier suggestions that today’s topic would have best been dealt with in two separate clusters; firstly, one meeting to examine the “size of an enlarged Council” and another, specifically to look at “working methods”. Having said that, however, CARICOM concedes to the wisdom of the Chair and trusts that you will likewise have the full support of other delegations which share similar views.
CARICOM recalls that in earlier deliberations on the size of a reformed Security Council, the range of existing proposals stood between twenty five and twenty six seats. In any computation or provision for new seats, strong recognition and careful consideration and support must be given to the African position, a position which CARICOM fully endorses, along with the many compelling arguments put forward by many delegations for Africa’s inclusion in both categories of an expanded Council.
In addition to these earlier proposals on the table, Mr. Chairman, CARICOM is convinced of the merits in favor of dedicated SIDS representation, taking into account equitable geographical distribution of seats, on a reformed Security Council. As highlighted in our last discussion Mr. Chairman, SIDS share common vulnerabilities, threats, concerns and perspectives which have several dimensions beyond any single threat or challenge, a fact which therefore makes our case even more convincing.
In response to the arguments that have already been advanced by certain delegations that the efficiency of the Council would be compromised by any significant expansion in the overall size of the Council, CARICOM emphasizes the following:
I now turn to the other part of the question for today’s debate, “working methods”.
CARICOM is of the view that a number of excellent proposals have to date been made on this topic.
CARICOM takes this opportunity to emphasize that the main elements which must be advanced in the overall efforts to reform the Security Council should include: transparency, openness, accountability, access and consistency. These fundamental elements must underpin and indeed become the new ethos in the Council’s working methods and decision making process.
Unfortunately, such elements have been missing from the Council’s work, for example, the surprise scheduling of “open debates” with selective notification, reluctance in convening open debates on some issues of high significance, restricting participation in some of the open debates and discriminating between members and non-members of the Council, particularly with regard to sequencing and time limits of statements during open debates. There is also continued failure to submit special reports to the General Assembly as required under article 24 of the Charter, as well as the submission of annual reports which are still lacking analytical content. The Council must comply with the provisions of Article 31 of the Charter which allows any non-Council member to participate in discussions on matters which affect it. Rule 48 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Council should be thoroughly observed. Closed meetings and informal consultations should be kept to a minimum and as the exception they were meant to be.
CARICOM is of the opinion that where decisions by the Security Council require implementation by all Member Sates, the Security Council should seek the views of the Member States and ensure that their ability to implement decisions is taken into account, in the decision making process.
The Security Council’s subsidiary bodies should include in their work, on a case- by-case basis, non members with strong interest and relevant expertise. Additionally, Member States particularly affected by sanctions should, upon their request, be given the possibility to participate in the meetings of the relevant sanctions committee.
The Security Council should give States confronted with special economic problems arising from preventive or enforcement measures imposed by Security Council, the opportunity to consult with the relevant sanctions committee on a timely, efficient and substantive basis, in accordance with Article 50 of the Charter.
Additionally, where sanctions involve lists of individuals or entities, sanctions committees should establish procedures reflecting standards of due process to review the cases of those claiming to have been incorrectly placed or retained on such lists.
As indicated in earlier statements Mr. Chairman, CARICOM remains firmly of the view that a Permanent Member should refrain from casting a non-concurring vote in the sense of Article 27 (3) of the Charter, in cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, but by no means of any less significance, it would be inconceivable to contemplate comprehensive reform of the Security Council without considering the fundamental tools necessary for its efficient and predictable functioning. In this connection, CARICOM calls for the early adoption of its draft rules of procedure bringing it in line with the Council’s importance as one of the main organs of the United Nations.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.