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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Permanent Representative
Statement before the General Assembly Plenary Joint Debate on
Agenda Item 9 on the Report of the Security Council and Agenda
item 122 on the Question of Equitable Representation on and
Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters
13 November 2007

Mr. President,

Allow me to begin by thanking you for convening the plenary meetings on this very important issue and welcoming your prioritization of Security Council reform as one of the key items in your stewardship of the 62nd session of the General Assembly. I thank Ambassador Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia for introducing the annual report of the Security Council and congratulate the Indonesian Presidency which is in the midst of a successful leadership of the Council this month.

I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the efforts of H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, the President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly, and her facilitators, namely the Permanent Representatives of Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Tunisia and the Netherlands for the selfless and tireless efforts to move the process of Security Council reform to where we are now. My delegation hopes that the letter and spirit of the open and transparent consultations in this matter conducted in the last session continue, with renewed vigor, to pervade in this session.

Mr. President,

On the annual report of the Security Council, my delegation takes note of the ongoing efforts by the Security Council’s Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions to find ways of improving the report. We still feel that the strictly factual annual report needs more substance, such as analytical content, which non-Members find more valuable since official records are available for documentation of the events in the Council. We are hopeful that the working group, currently chaired by Slovakia, would be up to the task and come up with future refinements along the lines just mentioned.

Mr. President,

My delegation, just like those of other Member States, firmly believes that reform in the United Nations is in order and such reform must now be pursued if the U.N. has to remain faithful to what its founding fathers wished it to be. Such reform would not be complete without Security Council reform. We reiterate our strong belief that Security Council reform is critically and urgently needed and demands for it have become irresistible. We must not forget that in the 2005 World Summit, our Heads of State and Government made it clear that they “support early reform of the Security Council” for such is “an essential element of the overall effort to reform the United Nations.” It is in this regard that my delegation takes this opportunity today to highlight the following points:

First, we must build on the progress achieved thus far, particularly at the sixty-first session, by seriously considering the various proposals on hand and working doubly hard to achieve concrete positive results, including through intergovernmental negotiations, at this session. We should take advantage of the momentum. We should endeavor to reach and achieve agreement on reform issues where we can without further delay; and take up later issues where we cannot. In short, reform proposals which can be adopted now must be approved now.

Second, an area where possible agreement can be reached without much debate is on working methods in the Security Council. My delegation believes that improvement of working methods is essential and an integral part of Security Council reform. The issue of access, particularly relating to the provisions on or regarding due process to States under Security Council review, as well as consultations, transparency and coordination or cooperation with other organs of the United Nations should be included in whatever intermediary arrangements that may be agreed upon. Pragmatic changes in working methods are the best hope at the moment for meaningful change in the Security Council. We must forthwith and without any further delay use every opportunity to accomplish soonest reform on working methods. It bears stressing that pursuant to Article 24 of the Charter, the Security Council acts on behalf of all Member States. Hence, due process, accountability and transparency demand that its working methods serve and fulfill these elements.

Third, on the issue of enlargement, my delegation fully supports the enlargement of the Security Council in both categories of membership based on equitable geographic distribution reflecting the geopolitical realities today. The United Nations must truly be the world’s model for a fully functioning, participatory democracy. It would be a contradiction in principle and in practice and a travesty of justice if the membership of the Security Council, one of the U.N.’s principal organs given the important task of maintaining peace and security, does not reflect the prevailing contexts of its existence. We hope that, at the very least, general agreement among Member States could be achieved on this issue during this session.

Mr. President,

My delegation prays that the General Assembly, through your political will, and determined, sustained and unceasing efforts, can come up with an outcome based on this practical approach before the end of the 62nd session. We look forward to intensive discussion, consultation and negotiations on these very important issues during the session. My delegation assures you of an equally determined, sustained and unceasing contributions in this regard.

Thank you.

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