STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. CHOISUREN BAATAR,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
"IN LARGER FREEDOM" CLUSTER IV: THE IMPERATIVE FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION: STRENGTHENING THE UNITED NATIONS

/2 May 2005, New York/

 

 

 

Mr. Facilitators,

1.         First of all I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you and other facilitators for holding these thematic debates. It is my view that such a thorough exchange of views among Member States, focused on particular aspects of the Secretary General’s report, is of immense importance as it allows us to engage in constructive and open debate on most pressing issues on our agenda.

2.         Mongolia broadly aligns itself with the statements made by Malaysia and Jamaica on today’s topic -"Strengthening the United Nations" on behalf of the NAM and G-77 and China respectively.

I will not, therefore, cover all aspects of the institutional reform now and will focus upon a single issue that has continuously been causing heated debates within the general membership ever since the report of the High-level Panel was released late last year - that is the expansion of the Security Council.

Mr. Facilitators,

3.         The Secretary General in his report “In larger freedom” urged us, Member States, to consider two models of Security Council expansion, A and B, or any other viable proposals in terms of size and balance that have emerged on the basis of either model. My delegation has already pronounced its principled position on this and some other issues during previous rounds of our consultations, and I will not be repeating it again. I wish only to once again reiterate that my delegation stands ready to consider and support any proposal based on the Model A that would enjoy a consensus or at least widest possible support from the Member States.

4.         It has become clear from our deliberations that neither Model A nor B could draw wide support from the Member States and hence cannot be considered as viable proposals anymore. It is now high time to seek for alternatives that would satisfy all, without compromising the ultimate objective of the Security Council reform. That objective, in my view, is to have a Security Council that is better equipped to counter the challenges of the new Millennium, and whose decisions wield greater legitimacy due to its more effective, democratic, representative and accountable nature.

 

Mr. Facilitators,

 

5.         Let me say a few words about what my delegation believes were the shortcomings that prevented either Model A or B from enjoying consensus. The principle of “equitable geographical distribution” enshrined in Charter of the United Nations has been neglected for too long. Relatively speaking the most neglected regions are Africa with only 3 non-permanent seats for 53 countries and Asia with only one permanent and two non-permanent seats for 52 states while other regions with significantly fewer states enjoyed clear advantages in terms of Security Council membership. Both models first of all will not fix and streamline these decades-old shortcomings of the existing Security Council membership system.

 

One of the most serious shortcomings of Model A was the drastic increase of the size of the permanent members that makes the unelected, thus undemocratic chamber of the Security Council even more powerful. In the existing Security Council the unelected members ratio is 33 % against 66% elected ones. By Model A this ratio would be increased to 46% in favor of the unelected membership.

 

6.         As was argued by its supporters, Model B was far more democratic and representative and provided for more ownership of the SC by Member States, due to the fact that it increased the number of the elected members of the Council. Indeed, according to this Model, the ratio of elected members would have increased from 66 % as it is today to 79%! It was repeatedly stated that Model B solution, therefore, would significantly strengthen the democratic nature and legitimacy of the Security Council. Its main shortcoming was connected mainly to its rejection by aspirants for permanent seats, and other Member States that preferred having regional permanent representation in the Council.

 

7.         Furthermore, the new regional areas system on which both models are based, though bold and interesting, proved to be premature and lacking support among the Member States. Accordingly, both models stipulated that each of those newly proposed 4 regional areas would have an equal number of seats that is 6 seats. At first glance it looks just and equitable, but let me be very clear on that - behind these equal numbers are hidden inequalities. To give but one example, 56 Asian and Pacific and 53 African States would posses 6 seats each in the Security Council, while the same number of seats were to be allocated to 35 states in the Americas.

 

Mr. Facilitators,

 

8.         It is my belief that in order to have the broadest possible support of general membership we need to work out an alternative model or version that incorporates the main components of the two models, thus making it acceptable to both supporters of Model A and B, and could serve as a consensus basis for a decision. This alternative model could be based on model A that could be termed as “Model A minus”.

 

9.         The framers of the Charter of the UN consciously adopted two principles in determining the composition of the Security Council that is (1) contribution of the Members to the purposes of the United Nations and (2) equitable geographical distribution. The principle of equitable geographical distribution first of all applied when we determine how many seats to be allocated to a particular region, in today’s case the existing system of regional groups. Naturally the numbers of seats allocated to the regional groups have to be determined in proportion to the numbers of the Member States of which it is composed to the total membership, hence, principle of equality among the members of the United Nations.

 

Mr. Facilitators,

 

10.       The Secretary-General in his report stressed that Member States should agree to take decision on this important issue before the summit in September 2005. He also expressed his preference of deciding this matter by consensus, but that in case if consensus was unreachable that must not become an excuse for postponing action. Indeed, the issues of the right timing for making a decision, consensus vs. vote, number of countries that would represent broad consensus etc. have started figuring prominently in different statements.

 

I am of the view that all the above issues notwithstanding, the first step is most important if one is to resolve this complicated issue. Should we be able to take our first step correctly, then all other issues could be decided in sequence. In our view, such a first step is determination of the size of the enlarged Security Council. All other issues, including the new permanent or longer term renewable or shorter term non-renewable non-permanent seats could be decided after the size of the SC. Our consultations on the High-Level Panel report showed that there is a general acceptance that the increased membership of the Security Council should not be larger than 24 or 25 members to function effectively. My delegation believes that 25 Members of the Security Council is the right number for the size of the enlarged Security Council. In such increase the proportion ratio of the enlarged Security Council (25) to the total membership (191) will increase from today’s 7.9% to 13.08%, thus bringing it more or less closer to the ratio of 13.5 of 1966 when the Security Council membership was increased to 15. If we manage first to agree on the size it will then be easy to find the denominating number that could determine and fulfill the Charter demand of the just and equitable distribution of the Security Council seats among regional groups.

 

11.       Concerning the alternative model, we should proceed first of all from the Charter principles and could agree on criteria that better meets the Charter principle of equitable geographical distribution by using denominator. The other important thing is to agree on keeping the present ratio 33% of the unelected chamber at the same or closer level in the enlarged Council.

 

If we agree to incorporate the main components of the models A and B in the new alternative model, then we should agree to the increase of one new category in each membership categories in the Council. Such increase in our view could serve well the other important Charter principle- special regard to be paid to contribution of Members to the United Nations purposes, bringing in decision-making those who contribute most financially, militarily and diplomatically to the UN and development causes.

 

In conclusion, let me note that it will be unrealistic and futile exercise if one attempts to find such a model or decision that will please every single member state. It is my strong belief that an alternative model that incorporates the main components of the two models will be a win-win option for both supporters of the Model A and B and it could serve as the consensus option for the decision of the Security Council enlargement.

 

I thank you