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PRESS RELEASE

NYPM 043-2009

13 NOVEMBER 2009

 

RP LAMENTS LACK OF PROGRESS ON SECURITY COUNCIL REFORMS,CALLS ON UN MEMBER STATES TO TAKE MORE CONCRETE ACTION

 

NEW YORK—Exasperated by what it described as the lack of progress in implementing major changes in the work of the Security Council, the Philippines on Thursday called on Member States to finally take concrete action on proposed reforms in the most powerful organ of the United Nations.  “What is needed now is action.  Action.  Action. There should be no turning back,” Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said in his statement during the joint debate of the 64th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 9 on the report of the Security Council and on Agenda Item 119 on Security Council reforms.  In his statement, Ambassador Davide reminded Member States of their resolve during the 63rd Session of the General Assembly, to be more dynamic and bold and to exercise some political will to pursue the mandate of General Assembly Decision 62/557 to commence intergovernmental negotiations.  “After two decades of embarrassing sojourn within the confines of the Open-Ended Working Group and repeating the same old arguments day-in and day-out, the gates are now open for negotiations that will hopefully bring harvest of agreements on Security Council reform,” the former Chief Justice said in what is perhaps the strongest statement the Philippines delivered on Security Council reforms. Ambassador Davide noted the difficulty of cutting the umbilical cord of the Open-Ended Working Group, created by the General Assembly to discuss Security Council reforms, as paragraph 17 (c) of its report still states that the General Assembly can convene it if Member States so decide.   “The Philippines hopes that the General Assembly should not so decide; otherwise it will sadly be brought back to where it started,” he said. “With vim, vigor and vitality and with political will, the General Assembly must concentrate on intergovernmental negotiations.   “We have already crossed the Rubicon, so to speak. When Member States began integovernmental negotiations, they have, for all intents and purposes, put an end to the Open-Ended Working Group,” Ambassador Davide said. “The general membership now has no other choice, but to go forward and, with good and abiding good faith, work on Security Council reform.”  Ambassador Davide said the Philippines has submitted its own specific Security Council reform proposals and has reiterated, amplified and supplemented these during the long discussions in various rounds and exchanges.  The Philippine proposals included amending the UN Charter and expanding the membership of the Security Council from the present 15 member-states to 31 as well as mechanisms that would not only curtail the use of the veto power but also allow Member States to overturn or override a veto by any of the council’s five Permanent Members. “The Philippines respectfully submits that delegations should now work on some draft document or paper so that discussions could be more focused,” he said, adding that the draft can come from the Chairman or can be the product of the general membership itself.  What is of paramount importance, according to him, is for all the proposals on the key issues to be reflected in the draft. He said that at this juncture, the Philippines maintains its position that what can be adopted now must be approved now.  “The Philippines cannot subscribe to the concept of nothing is agreed unless everything is agreed as such a concept is undemocratic, divisive, irrational, unjust and oppressive. Yielding to it would spell disaster to all efforts at reform in the UN,” Ambassador Davide said. The Filipino envoy said the Security Council itself should now act on reforms in its working methods to make it truly democratic, transparent, accountable and genuinely observant of the requirements of the Rule of Law and due process. 

“It should not place itself in an embarrassing situation where it would be prodded again, for instance, to simply delete the word Provisional in the title of its Provisional Rules of Procedure,” he said. ###

 

Reference:

ELMER G. CATO 
First Secretary & Press Officer 
Philippine Mission to the United Nations 
556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor 
New York, New York 10036 
Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38



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