H. E. RAYMOND O. WOLFE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF
THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM)
17TH 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
“RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY”
New York, 20TH APRIL 2009
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the 14 Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and my own country Jamaica.
Firstly, please allow me to use this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to you on the very positive manner in which you have conducted these deliberations under the various clusters on Security Council reform to date. CARICOM certainly looks forward to your continued guidance and candor, as together we all seek the best way forward, to reconstruct our individual desires into a positive unified force, leading to an acceptable conclusion.
CARICOM is of the view that the consideration of this cluster, “Relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly” is one which would have been best been linked to cluster 4, and here I refer specifically to the aspect of that cluster, relating to “Working Methods of the Security Council”. While we are convinced that there is a clear linkage between the two areas, we will abide by and fully support the Chair’s decision.
From CARICOM’s perspective, the central issue of concern in the seemingly unbalanced relationship between the two main organs of the United Nations is the lack of political will and commitment in respect of the accountability of the Security Council to the General Assembly, pursuant to Article 24 of the Charter. The Caribbean Community recalls in particular that Member States of the United Nations have conferred on the Security Council, the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security as enshrined in Article 24 of the UN Charter and that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility, the Security Council acts on their behalf.
We cannot overemphasize the need for greater accountability and transparency as well as strict adherence to the respective roles, functions and powers of each organ, in order to correct the disparity which exists in the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly.
In this connection, Mr. Chairman, it is imperative that the Security Council observe the relevant provisions of the Charter as well as the resolutions which clarify and define its relationship with the General Assembly (the chief policy-making organ) and other UN organs. In so doing, the Council will undoubtedly set the tone to command and galvanize the all-round respect it deserves, even for its own resolutions. Having given the matter very careful examination, CARICOM feels it necessary that practical considerations to correct this anomaly should include the following, several of which have been espoused over the years by the Non-Aligned Movement and the S5:
§ The Council should confine its consideration of thematic debates to areas which constitute direct threats to international peace and security;
§ The annual report of the Council should contain a high level of qualitative and analytical content, in assessing the work of the Council, including such cases in which the Council fails to act, as well as the views expressed by its members during the consideration of the agenda items;
§ Special reports: Pursuant to Articles 15 (paragraph 1) and 24 (paragraph 3) of the Charter, the Council should submit special reports for the consideration of the General Assembly;
§ General Assembly recommendations: The Security Council should fully take into account the recommendations of the General Assembly regarding matters concerning international peace and security, consistent with Article 11 (paragraph 2) of the Charter;
§ The monthly assessments by the Security Council Presidency have proven to be informative and very useful for the general membership of the UN. However, these assessments need to be provided in a more timely fashion and should be analytical and comprehensive in content.
§ Briefings by the Secretariat, including Special envoys or Representatives of the Secretary-General should be convened in public meetings of the Council barring exceptional circumstances. Additionally, it is not only necessary to increase the number of public meetings but also, in accordance with Articles 31 and 32 of the Charter, to ensure that they provide real opportunities to take into account the views of and contributions of the wider membership of the UN, particularly non-Council members which have issues relating to them, under consideration by the Council;
§ Subsidiary organs of the Council and their support mechanisms, if and when needed, should be established in accordance with the letter and spirit of the UN Charter. These subsidiary bodies should function in a manner that provides for adequate and timely reporting of their activities to the GA.
On the basis of the foregoing, CARICOM proposes that since there are no substantive issues or contending proposals to be negotiated under this cluster, the President of the General Assembly should therefore immediately proceed to undertake a compilation of all existing proposals and positions relating to relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. Additionally every effort should be made to reinforce and highlight Article 24, as well as other relevant provisions of the Charter, as the underlying basis, establishing the relationship between the UNSC and the UNGA.
I thank you.