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UNGA 59th session
Agenda items: 11 and 53
STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. CHOISUREN BAATAR
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
12 October 2004
I would like first to thank H.E. Mr. Emyr Jones Parry, the Distinguished Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, for introducing the Report of the Security Council to this august body yesterday morning. My delegation fully agrees with the assertion that the work of the Security Council had been intense during the reporting period. And it is particularly gratifying that the Council was able to overcome the divisions and discord brought about by the military action in Iraq, and moved forward in a constructive way in fulfilling its responsibilities to maintain international peace and stability.
The past months have once again proved the central role of the United Nations in general and the leading role of the Security Council as an irreplaceable instrument of the international community in maintenance of world peace and security.
Concerning the agenda item 53- the Question of equitable representation and enlargement of the membership of the Security Council and other related matters, my delegation fully shares the view that the issue of the Security Council reform is a key to the overall reform of the United Nations and is now long overdue. In this respect, we commend the hard work of the president of the 58 session of the GA and the Open-Ended Working Group in making some progress on the issues under Cluster II last year. The OEWG, however, remains deadlocked and unable to agree on the most important issues under cluster I, including the enlargement of the Security Council, question of regional representation, criteria for membership, the use of the veto, accountability and relationship between the GA and Security Council etc. Indeed, if the Security Council is to carry on its role as the principal organ for effective multilateralism and deal with existing and emerging threats and challenges, it has to be thoroughly reformed. It is our expectation that the Secretary General of the UN will come up with breakthrough reform proposals on the basis of the report and recommendations by the High-level Panel.
Mongolia shares the view that the composition of the Security Council should better reflect current world reality. My delegation wants to stress that Enlargement is not a goal in itself. The need for enlargement arises from the necessity to ensure the right balance of representation in this important body and the credibility of its decisions. As stipulated in Article 24 (1) of the UN Chapter - “Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf”. The Security Council, thus, represents all of them. Yet, the ratio of this representation has decreased by 2.7 times over the past 59 years, compared to the figure at the time of the Organization’s inception. So, the issue now is how to bring the composition of the Security Council to a level that would duly reflect the current realities of the general membership.
Mongolia stands for a just and equitable enlargement of the Security Council by increasing the numbers of both permanent and elected seats while ensuring the representation of developing and developed countries. It is hard to understand why Africa and Latin America do not have any permanent seats in the Council. Likewise, I do not think that it is just and right, when Asia - home to more than half of the world population - has only one permanent seat. Why should Japan, whose contribution to the UN budget exceeds that of the 4 current Permanent Members combined, be denied a permanent membership?
My delegation is of the view that in selecting additional permanent members, a package approach could be adopted, including criteria such as the geographical distribution, genuine commitment to the goals and objectives of the United Nations, and capacity to contribute substantially to maintenance of international peace and security. In this respect, Mongolia supports the legitimate aspirations of such countries like Japan, Germany and India who are willing and able to shoulder greater responsibility in pursuit of international peace, security and development.
The composition of the Security Council should be small enough to work effectively and large enough to duly represent the present UN membership.
We all know that the greatest strength of the UN in general and the Security Council in particular is their legitimacy. It is our belief that if the general membership has a feeling of being rightly represented in the Council, its decisions will bear more legitimacy and credibility, and the member states’ willingness to abide by decisions of the Council will naturally increase, thus greatly enhancing moral and political impact of its actions. However, such compliance could not be granted if the perception of the legitimacy of the Council’s decisions is in doubt among wider UN membership.
Another important aspect of the Security Council reform relates to the very way it works and functions. This body is ought to be democratized. The historical evidence clearly proved that veto power has been used more often for defense of national interests of the permanent members rather than for the sake of a common cause, thus becoming one of the main impediments to the effectiveness of the work of the Council. In this regard comprehensive review of veto power should be one of the first priorities. We believe that proposals expressed by some delegations on limiting the veto power to matters under Chapter VII deserve our close attention. Veto could be replaced gradually by consensual decision-making.
Further democratization of the work of the Council through increased transparency and openness is also important, especially in light of reviewing its relationship with the General Assembly. We notice some progress in this direction.
Effectiveness and efficiency of the Security Council as an institution depend also on further elaboration and development of specific responsibilities of both permanent members and elected members. If we manage to overcome the structural weaknesses of the Security Council and to create such built-in incentive, clear-cut sense of common responsibility will emerge and all the Security Council members could work closely together for the common good. The privileges should come together with elaborated responsibilities. My delegation would like to stress that the reform of the Security Council, its empowerment, should go in parallel, not in detriment to the increased authority and role of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative body of the United Nations.
The reform of the Security Council and especially its expansion, require taking of bold political decisions. Perhaps more than 10 year fruitless talks and deadlock prompted the Secretary General to establish High Level Panel of experts. We should be mindful that time is essence. If we keep failing in our efforts to come to consensus and to solve the issue of reform of the Security Council, voices for solving the institutional reform outside the UN bodies could take upper hand. We sincerely hope that sense of genuine political will and determination among us will prevail at last.
Thank you, Mr. President