Intergovernmental negotiations (IGN) on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council
CARICOM intervention in the interactive session 28 February 2018
Thank the Co-Chairs.
CARICOM is satisfied with the format of the meetings, particularly the introduction of questions to guide the interactive session.
Pleased that the questions are formulated based on the feedback received from Member States during the first day’s meeting.
We support this approach, which could be a catalyst for real progress if the feedback received is translated into concrete action in updating the Elements of Commonality Paper.
We would like to offer responses to some though not all of the questions posed by the Co-Chairs. The limited time available did not allow for consultations within our Caucus.
Concerning the proposal for consolidating the five main clusters of IGN and discussing commonalities and issues for further consideration under each of those five headings, we believe that structuring the document in such a way would contribute to more clarity and greater focus.
With regard to the principles underlying Security Council reform, which have featured prominently in our discussion, we believe that it is important to distinguish between the principles that govern the process leading to reform and the substance of the reform itself.
General Assembly Decision 62/557 clearly states that the IGN would be conducted “based on proposals by Member States, in good faith, with mutual respect and in an open, inclusive and transparent manner.”
Further, an examination of the PV referenced in the second footnote revealed that the PGA of the 62nd session in his closing remarks at the 51st meeting of the General Assembly outlined seven principles to guide the IGN. These are that:
(i) Security Council Reform is to go “hand in hand” with the wider transformation of the UN system.
(ii) Prudent and principle-oriented guidance by the President of the General Assembly is required, although it must be based on a joint venture with Member States in good faith and mutual respect.
(iii) The way forward ought to be accomplished through an objective and transparent process starting with identifying the negotiables in order then to move to intergovernmental negotiations.
(iv) The Open-ended Working Group should carry out consultations on the framework and modalities for intergovernmental negotiations.
(v) Further steps must contain components and notions that will allow the membership to reach general agreement on all aspects of Security Council reform, in particular on the composition of the Council and its working methods
(vi) Reform of the Security Council must accommodate the interests and concerns of all sides, especially those who are currently underrepresented.
(vii) Member States should refrain from steps that could serve to undermine the current momentum and consensus and seek to continue a process aimed at achieving result-oriented solutions.
In addition, I wish to recall that in the 2005 World Summit outcome document, Heads of States in affirming their support for early reform of the Council said that the aim of the reform is to make the Council “more broadly representative, efficient, and transparent and thus to further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.” It should further be recalled that the principles so identified will underlie the positions and proposals being put forward by the various groups and countries.
Regarding the interlinked clusters of “Categories of membership” and “Question of the veto”, these offer more room for finding commonalities. Both the Mexican/French proposal and the ACT initiative are useful contributions to the question of Security Council action in the face of violations of international humanitarian law, and, in fact, some countries in our region have signed on to the ACT Code of Conduct. We, nonetheless, believe that the only way to truly determine the utility of any proposal in moving positions closer together is through the give and take of negotiations which would allow for all proposals to be examined on their own merit.
I conclude with a comment about ownership of the document that will emerge from this year’s session of the IGN. CARICOM shares the view that the outcome document will reflect the views of the Member States and in that sense it would not be a text of the Co-Chairs. We do not believe that it would helpful at this stage to label the document as a negotiating text, a Chairs’ paper, or otherwise. We should simply proceed along the course on which we have embarked and build on the work already done in previous sessions of the IGN without assigning labels.
I thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.