As delivered




8 February 2007


Madam President,


I welcome and commend your determination to pursue with renewed vigor the goal of achieving a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects bearing in mind the commitments made by our leaders in the Millennium Declaration and in the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The open-ended working group on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council is the right venue to hold these deliberations.


In its 13 years of existence this working group has been instrumental in bringing together different viewpoints on best routes to advance the Security Council reform agenda. It has accumulated a pool of various proposals and counter-proposals enjoying varying degrees of support among the general membership allowing for focused and in-depth deliberations on all aspects of the Security Council reform. The work of the open-ended working group has also found its reflection in recent steps made by the Security Council on improving its working methods, particularly through the work of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.


However, despite the relentless efforts exerted by Member States through successive GA sessions and extensive deliberations, the goal of the Security Council reform continues to elude us. Indeed, there is a stark dichotomy in the progress made on this vital reform track and that achieved on other reform dimensions since the 2005 World Summit. Yet it is also true that no reform effort of the United Nations can be complete without reforming its principal body bearing a primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.  In other words Security Council reform is an essential and indivisible element of the overall reform agenda of the United Nations.  


Madam President,


In your letter dated 24 January you proposed that we focus our deliberations around five key issues so as to allow us to have a focused and productive discussion. I understand that we will have a chance to dwell on those issues in more detail during the next meetings of the open-ended working group, I will therefore comment only briefly on some of them today.


As we all aware, the goal of the SC enlargement exercise is to have a broader representation of general membership and geopolitical realities of this new century reflected in the membership of the Security Council. By doing so, we hope to enhance the legitimacy of SC decisions and its effectiveness.


1. On the size of an enlarged Security Council –In determining the right size for the enlarged Security Council we must ensure that balance between the increased representation and the effective functioning of the Security Council is maintained. Our previous consultations showed that membership of the Security Council should not be larger than 24 or 25 members for it to continue function effectively. 25 member-strong Council seems to be the optimal size. Then the proportion ratio of the enlarged Security Council (25) membership to the total membership (192) of the Organization will be of 13.02%, thus it brings us closer to the 1966 level of 13.5% when the Security Council membership was increased to 15. Today this ratio stands at meager 7.8%. Such an increased size, in our view, could broadly represent today’s UN membership.


2. Categories of membership - The point of departure for my country remains to be a just and equitable expansion of the Security Council in both its permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, ensuring due representation of both developing and developed countries. There is also issue of balance between the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Council. Today we have 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members. So the ratio is 1 to 2. My delegation is of the view that this balance should be kept intact in any possible scenario of the SC enlargement. The decision of the increase of the permanent membership, in our opinion, should be based on criteria such as genuine commitment and recognized contribution of the aspirant countries to the goals and objectives of the United Nations and to the maintenance of international peace and security. We should not forget the fact that the permanent membership has always been and remains to be primarily merit based.



3. Question of regional representation – Bearing in mind the above mentioned factor, it is only realistic that all regional groups cannot aspire to have equal number of permanent seats. In the same vein, the number of permanent seats that a given regional group holds on the Council should not be counted against its representation in the non-permanent category. In other words, whereas there cannot be, for obvious reasons, parity among regional groups in the permanent category of membership, it is the non-permanent category where we must strive to achieve and preserve parity, based on the size of respective regional groups.


Accordingly, for the purpose of calculating the respective numbers of non-permanent seats allocated to each regional group, the reference point should be the number of all Member States in a regional group, minus the permanent members of the Security Council in the group. Hence, the number of non-permanent seats allocated to a regional group would correspond only to the Member States in the regional group that are eligible to present their candidatures for election as non-permanent members of the Security Council.  


4. Working methods of the Security Council- We have a well-thought proposals and non-papers by some of our colleagues on ways and means to improve the working methods of the Council. I should like to especially single out the proposal by the S-5 countries in this respect, which, in our view, constituted a sound basis for further negotiations on the issue. Increased transparency of the Council’s work, increased involvement of States not members in its work as well as its enhanced accountability to the membership are measures that will benefit all, and first and foremost the Council itself.


5. The relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly – The reform of the Security Council, its enhanced legitimacy and effectiveness, should go in parallel with the increased authority and role of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative body of the United Nations. A proper delineation of functions and authorities between the two bodies as stipulated in the Charter must be restored and maintained.


Madam President,


A number of fresh and interesting ideas have been floated during our previous rounds of deliberations on this subject, most recently in December last year. Among them ideas of having one concept of SC reform to serve as a basis for further negotiations and reaching a consensus as well as a suggestion to borrow the method used in the Security Council during the selection of the Secretary-General and take a straw poll on every version offered for SC reform. These ideas deserve our most careful consideration. Dwelling further on these ideas, yesterday at FOSS meeting with SG Ban Ki-moon I appealed the SG to put forward such a single concept of SC enlargement. It is my view that our distinguished Facilitators could, based on our deliberations, prepare a checklist on the key elements of the Security Council reform. The open-ended working group might then proceed to take a straw poll on the checklist prepared by the Facilitators. Subsequently, versions that have enjoyed the widest support from among the general membership may then be combined to serve as the basis or a reference point for our future negotiations.         


I thank you Madame President.