Statement by His Excellency Mr. Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Council United Nations Headquarters, New York, 1 February 2018
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the fourteen (14) Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Let me first of all take this opportunity to congratulate you Co-Chairs on your appointment to lead the intergovernmental negotiations (IGN) for the 72nd session of the Assembly and to assure you of CARICOM’s full support in the discharge your mandate.
The Member States of CARICOM thank you for convening today’s meeting and for providing a proposed schedule of the meetings to be held during the current session. We also wish to thank the President of the General Assembly for his remarks this morning and for his stated commitment to advancing the reform agenda.
In your letter to the PGA regarding the convening of today’s meeting, you invited Member States to reflect on the activities of the IGN. CARICOM is pleased to join other delegations in sharing our views.
CARICOM acknowledges the work done in the IGN since its inception nearly 10 years ago. We note in particular the material that emerged from the last three sessions and the agreement outlined in Decision 71/553 that these would form the basis of our work going forward. CARICOM remains supportive of this position and we stand prepared to engage meaningfully with all delegations to define the path to further progress during the current session. The PGA provided some useful elements in this regard when he addressed the General Assembly meeting on this subject last November. On that occasion, he asserted that “now is the time for action” and that “real dialogue, real listening and real interaction” were necessary to move the process beyond a statement-reading exercise. CARICOM fully concurs with the PGA’s observation and urges all Member States to remain constructively engaged in the process so that we can together build on the work that has been done thus far and advance the reform agenda.
I think there is widespread agreement that time is of the essence in this process. CARICOM believes that we must be deliberate about what we set out to achieve in this session and work towards crafting a text for the start of negotiations. The key to getting to this stage is dialogue between all stakeholders and CARICOM reiterates our willingness to talk with and listen to all groups and countries as we work together to achieve further progress. We appreciate your consultative approach as facilitators of this process and would urge that all perspectives be taken on board as we move forward.
As small countries who have a vested interest in an efficient and representative Council, CARICOM would like to see early reform of the Council and is prepared to do its part to this end. We acknowledge that there are many differing positions and proposals on both the substance of the reform and the process that should govern it. We do not, however, accept the fatalism that differences in perspectives inevitably lead to stalled progress. Instead, we should see these differences as opportunities to engage in constructive dialogue aimed at achieving Council reform. CARICOM therefore welcomes all opportunities for dialogue because we are keen on advancing the process.
In conclusion, I wish to renew CARICOM’s strong support for your work as Co-Chairs and to emphasize our intention to remain constructively engaged in the reform process.
We look forward to hearing your reflections on these first two days of meetings and your plans for the upcoming rounds of meetings.
I thank you.