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General Assembly, “The Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters"
12 November 2007 / 05:10

H.E. Ambassador Ahmed A. Al-Jarman
The Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

At the outset and on behalf of the Delegation of the United Arab Emirates, I would like to thank the President of the Security Council for the month of November, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia, for his valuable presentation of the Security Council report contained in document (A/62/2). I also would like to thank the former chairman of the Open-ended Working Group on “the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters” and her two Vice-Chairpersons for their outstanding efforts in managing the meetings of the Group during the previous session. I wish you all success in pursuing this important role in order to reach compromising solutions that would help in strengthening the effective role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.

Despite all substantial efforts made by the Security Council over the past decades for maintaining international peace and security and containing emergencies and internal crises as well as regional and international tensions, and all efforts aimed at fighting terrorism, preventing war crimes, genocide and human rights violations, building peace in post-conflict areas, and preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction especially nuclear weapons, the outcome of these efforts and endeavors were not up to our expectations, and were associated, in some cases, with failures in addressing some important matters on its agenda. This was an inevitable consequence of the lack of transparency in its decision-making process, its silence towards a number of emerging and threatening security issues related to international peace and security, transgression of tasks mandated to the Council by the Charter, hasty and excessive use of Chapter VII for addressing issues which do not necessarily pose an imminent threat to international peace and security, and negligence in pursuing other resolutions relating to more pressing security issues such as the developments in the Palestine and Middle East issues which have been on the Council’s agenda since its establishment.

As we consider the inconsistencies in the current actions of the Security Council stem from its uneven structure, which was based on the political and geographical reality of 1945 and the amendments made in 1963, and in light of the current political, geographical, demographic and economic developments in the 21st century, we emphasize the importance of enabling the Security Council to play its natural and effective role and shoulder its responsibility in orienting international relations and implementing international law, which requires an urgent action to redress, in a systematic manner, the shortcomings in its methods of work, and ensure a total change in its structure and in its response to today’s regional and international political, geographical and economic changes and events.

My country, which has closely monitored all initiatives and deliberations held thus far on bilateral levels and by regional groups, and all formal and informal consultations organized by the General Assembly, including those pertaining to submitted draft resolutions and other inclusive discussions held by facilitators appointed by the former president of the General Assembly and which results were reflected in the her final report issued last September, is deeply concerned at unilateral positions expressed by some countries towards this matter, which led to prolonging the inability of the international community in achieving any progress, and complicated the matter on more than one level. Therefore, we call on all the concerned parties including states and regional and political groups to show the necessary political will and reflect a flexible, transparent and open approach in order to converge our views and achieve an international consensus in this matter. Our consultations must cover all aspects of this matter as an essential part of the comprehensive reform process of the United Nations. In this context, we also reiterate our position to increase the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council. This enlargement should be based on the principles of the sovereign equality of Member States and equitable geographical representation, and should ensure achieving international peace and security. The problem of the under-representation of small and developing countries must also be addressed in order to ensure its political balance, enhance its global character, and enable it to tackle equally the interests and concerns of all nations and peoples. We also call on allocating a permanent seat in addition to two non permanent seats to the Group of Arab States, which would be filled on a rotating basis, and in accordance with the practices endorsed by the League of Arab States in the framework of discussions with both the Group of African States and the Group of Asian States.

Efforts to reform the Security Council must focus not only on the size of the enlarged Council or membership categories or regional representation, but also on other core issues such as development of its agenda and its methods of work including the process of international decision-making, and its relationship with other international entities, taking into consideration the needs and interests of both developing and developed countries which should be addressed in a sound, objective, non-selective and non-arbitrary manner. Therefore, we support open views expressed in this regard including efforts aimed at achieving an early reform for the Council in accordance with the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, and in this context we demand the following:

1- Establishing checks and balances on the use of the veto, in order to reduce its uses and commit the Council to submit reports to the General Assembly on matters in which this right was used. This would help in evaluating and overruling this right under item entitled “ United for Peace” and in accordance with the progressive interpretation of articles 11 and 24 (1) and 35 of the Charter, in order to ensure an impartial and democratized decision-making process within the Council, particularly on complicated and emergency matters in which an urgent act is needed in order to avoid bloodshed and protect lives and properties, in pursuance of the principles of the Charter and international humanitarian law, and the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

2- The Council should not impose sanctions in accordance with articles 41 and 42 of Chapter VII of the Charter, except for cases of aggression which pose eminent threat on international peace and security, to be used as a last resort and only after all other peaceful means have been exhausted, in accordance with the provisions of chapters VI and VIII of the Charter and after elaborated extensive studies on their direct and indirect consequences on the short and long term, in order to avoid the risk that these sanctions turn into collective punishments on targeted states.

3- Increasing the opportunity for non members to participate in the activities of the Security Council and in those which are directly related to matters under its consideration, including countries whose interests are directly affected by its resolutions or which contribute to its peacekeeping operations with troops or equipments, and increasing the number of open plenary meetings especially those involving draft resolutions on deployment of peacekeeping missions in accordance with articles 31 and 32 of the charter, and issuing special, periodical reports based on facts and documented information as well as analytical contexts in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 24 of the charter.

4- Formalizing the rules of procedure of the Security Council in order to improve its transparency and accountability, without infringing the mandates of other regional and international entities and organs such as the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, with which the Council should strengthen its coordination in order to improve and strengthen its capacity to address existing disputes and conflicts and to contain their serious implications for humankind.

In conclusion, we hope that our deliberations on this item will lead to a common and practical international vision to carry out a substantial and positive reform in the Security Council in order to enable it to deal with today’s increasing challenges in international peace-making and in protecting humanity from the destruction of war and from the grave violations of human rights.