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

Philippine Statement
by
 
H.E. MR. HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations

during the 13 th Informal Meeting of the Plenary on

intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council Reforms

(Working Methods)

07 April 2009, UN Headquarters, New York

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

Once more, the Philippines commends you for convening this meeting - an irrefutable proof of your high sense of urgency in pursuing the intergovernmental negotiations aspect on Security Council reform mandated by paragraph (d) of GA Decision 62/557. We are hopeful that before the end of the 63 rd session we can accomplish what an overwhelming majority of Member States have been clamoring for. I would even hasten to add that, perhaps, for the first time, they are now upbeat on the outcome of the process. I have found no step along it going backward.

For this meeting, we are to take up reforms in the Working Methods of the Security Council. The discussions during the meetings of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Security Council reforms held before the adoption on 15 September 2008 of GA Decision 62/557, brought us to the conclusion that there should be reforms in the working methods of the Security Council.

The Philippines, in Statements delivered in said meetings, as well as in the Security Council at the open debate thereon on 27 August 2008, and in the plenary of the General Assembly at a joint debate on 18 November 2008 on Agenda item 9 (on the Report of the Security Council) and Agenda Item 111 (on the Security Council reform), stressed that the working methods of the Council – now principally condensed in its Provisional Rules of Procedure – should strictly adhere to and conform with democratic practices and procedure; observe due process and the Rule of Law; and guarantee fairness, justice and equity to all concerned, especially member States which are not members of the Security Council. Among the essential elements of these principles are accountability, fidelity to the trust reposed in the Council under Article 24 of the Charter, predictability and transparency.

In today’s intergovernmental negotiations, which shall focus on reforms in the working methods of the Security Council, it is time that we go into the details of the reform by not only painting them in canvass in tri-dimensional form, but by giving them a body and life in the affected Articles of the UN Charter or in the Rules of the Security Council. In this regard, the Philippines has recommended in its Paper transmitted to the President of the General Assembly on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2009 per note verbale 000039 and to the Permanent Missions on 16 February 2009 per note 000181 specific amendments to achieve these objectives and ensure observance of these principles.

The first of these amendments is the deletion of the word Provisional in the title of the Rules of Procedure of the Security Council. This is demanded, for obvious reasons, by the requirements of the Rule of Law, transparency and predictability. The Security Council is now a little over 63 years. It should not be permitted to work under provisional rules of procedure which could only engender suspicion that it wants uncontrolled flexibility which does not inspire full trust and confidence in it from the non-Members of the Council.

The second, in conformity with the requirements of the Rule of Law and due process, and to make its proceedings and processes democratic, impartial and fair, are the amendments of Articles 31 and 37 of the Charter to make it mandatory upon the Security Council to invite a member of the UN which is not a member of the Council to participate, without a vote, in the discussion of any question brought before it whenever the interests of that Member are especially and directly affected. Also, Article 38 of the Charter should be amended by requiring that any proposal or draft resolution submitted by a Member of the UN which is not a member of the Security Council but which is invited to the Council in accordance with Rule 37 or in the application of Article 32 of the Charter shall be put to a vote at the request of a member of the Security Council.

The third, to ensure transparency and promote accountability, the amendments to the following Rules of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council:

  1. Rule 1 , to make mandatory the holding of meetings which are open to all Member States.
  2. Rule 8 , to require that the provisional agenda of the Council be likewise communicated through the Council’s website to members of the UN who are not members of the Security Council.
  3. Rule 11 , to require the Security Council to provide through its website the Members of the UN which are not members of the Security Council with copies of summary statements mentioned therein.
  4. Rule 12 , to require the Security Council to communicate through its website to Members of the UN which are not members of the Security Council at least two days before its periodic meeting copies of the provisional agenda of such meeting.

The fourth, to further promote and enhance accountability and transparency, to incorporate these amendments in the following Articles of the Charter:

1) Article 24, to require that the annual report of the Security Council must be in a format that provides faithful substantive information on or arising from the proceedings or action taken by the Council on its agenda items and shall include the summary of the explanation of votes given by members of the Council; and further to require the Security Council to release to the General Assembly periodic reports or substantive summaries on matters of which the Council is seized during the course of each year.

2) Paragraph 3 of Article 27, to require that the negative vote of a Permanent Member must be explained and communicated to the Members of the United Nations which are not members of the Security Council.

The paper submitted by the Philippines to the President of the General Assembly on 14 February and provided the Permanent Missions on 16 February, I mentioned earlier, shows clearly how these amendments are to be incorporated in the affected Rules or Articles. For convenience and ease of reference, the pertinent pages of the paper are annexed to this Statement.

Finally, on the other issue of enlarged membership of the Security Council, the Philippines has proposed in the same Paper that the increase should be in both the Permanent and Non-Permanent categories taking into account the increase in the membership from 51 in 1945 and to 192 to the present. The additional seats should be allocated as follows: The African, Asian, Latin American and the Caribbean Groups should each have two permanent and two non-permanent seats; and the Eastern European and the Western European and Other States Group should each have one permanent and one non-permanent seat.

Mr. Chairman, the Philippines now rests its case on the issue of reform in the Working Methods of the Security Council. May the Member States look kindly and favorably upon it.

Thank you.

 

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