12 OCTOBER 2004THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE 59th SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Agenda item 53: Equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters)
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. GONÇALO
GOMES, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SANTA CLARA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, TO PORTUGAL
For many years, there has been widespread agreement on the need to adequate the United Nations and its main bodies to an international context that has evolved significantly since the end of the Second World War. Today, the international situation more than ever needs a working and effective international system, and the need to reform the UN has become more pressing. The SG, by establishing the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, has given new momentum to our efforts. We look forward to the Panel’s recommendations.
The world needs a Security Council that is representative, effective and transparent. The international community, on whose behalf the Council acts, must feel it is a part of its deliberations. In this respect, we welcome some recent improvements in the working methods of the Council. I would underline:
First, the increased debates on co-operation with regional organizations. This dialogue needs to be further structured and institutionalized, as regional organizations, such as the European Union or the African Union, play an increasing role in crisis management adding important political, cultural, human or financial value to UN-missions.
Second, the quantity and quality of Troop Contributing Countries meetings with the DPKO has improved, thus making troop contributors privy to the conduct of peacekeeping operations. There are also mechanisms in place for consultations between TCC’s and the Security Council. These mechanisms should be genuinely implemented and become more substantive. TCC’s, as well as other significant actors, should be enabled to express their views and thereby contribute to the creation and mandate of peacekeeping operations at an early stage.
Third, I would like to mention the so-called Groups of Friends, where member states of the Council together with other interested states organize themselves around a certain issue. Their informal format allows for frank and open exchanges. This practice so far is limited, but it should continue and increase. Although decision making will remain in the hands of the Council, they can serve as useful contact points between the Council and the membership.
But the reform of the United Nations must not be restricted to the working methods of the Security Council. Its membership must also reflect today’s international realities, which differ significantly from the context in which the UN was created almost sixty years ago.
has already expressed its support for the presence of Portugal and Brasil, Germany in the Security Council. We also believe that Japan Africamust be represented permanently at the Council. We also expressed sympathy for a permanent seat in the Security Council for . India
It goes without saying that enlargement of the permanent membership of the Security Council should be accompanied by a revision of the voting procedures contained in article 27 of the Charter in what concerns the veto. To maintain that power as it is would be detrimental to the effectiveness and the perceived legitimacy that we seek to increase with a wider representation.
On the other hand, UN reform must include more effective mechanisms and practices in conflict prevent, which is also a major responsibility of the Security Council. In this respect, allow me to recall that
has proposed the establishment of a Peace and Development Commission aimed at addressing conflict prevention in a more effective and comprehensive way, particularly with regard to countries emerging from conflict and with weak institutions. Portugal
The proposal stems from the undisputed fact that, since the sources of conflict are varied in nature, only by addressing at the same time both the security challenges and the development needs can countries take off on a sustainable path for peace and prosperity. And in the long run, apart from being ethically right, a policy of prevention is always the less costly option for the international community.
This new Commission would seek combined action on the security, political, economic and nation building fields, promoting a coherent and cohesive sustained effort by the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, in conjunction with the Bretton Woods institutions and other major interested parties.
Bearing in mind that the Charter defines the prevention of armed conflicts as one of the main goals of the United Nations, we sincerely believe that this proposal would significantly contribute to reinforce the central and crucial role that the UN must continue to play in international affairs.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.