Thank you, Ambassador Hermann. In the interest of time as the last speaker for this morning, I promise to be brief.
At the outset, allow me to congratulate your Excellencies, Ambassador Hermann of Denmark and once again, Ambassador Al-Thani of Qatar as Co-Chairs of the IGN on UNSC reform this year.
In 1963, the General Assembly succeeded in the enlargement of the Security Council from five (5) permanent seats and six (6) non-permanent seats by creating four (4) additional non-permanent seats. The decision entered into force in 1965 and the Security Council has been in its present form since 1966.
Last year, our battle cry was to "instill new life in the discussion on the reform of the Security Council.” Indeed, despite the passage of time and corresponding significant geopolitical developments over the past decades, the Security Council remains an institution that needs to be reformed in terms of its representativeness and working methods.
In a number of previous occasions, the Philippines has been consistent in the following three (3) points:
First, we need to improve the working methods of the Security Council. The Council should aim at more participation by non-members in the Council’s decision-making process. There should be more transparency and accountability of the Council to non-members.
The Council’s rules of procedure remain provisional. We need the rules to be more predictable and transparent which means specific actions are to be taken under specific circumstances.
Secondly, the outcome of our IGN exercise should be in the form of a package of agreement on Security Council reform containing both expansion and working methods element. To recall the Co-Char’s paper last year, all five clusters of the IGN are strongly interlinked and therefore negotiations should be based on the principle: “nothing is achieved until everything is agreed”.
Thirdly, the Philippines supports an enlarged Council with an increase in the number of members up to 27 based on consensually agreed criteria. The twenty-first-century Security Council should be more broadly representative of twenty-first-century geopolitical realities.
Certainly, the Philippines supports an enlargement of the Council with due regard to equitable and balanced geographical distribution. We support additional seats for all regional groups. However, in our succeeding sessions, we need to define and agree on the specific criteria to determine what is “equitable”. Will it be defined by economic size, population, contributions to the UN, and/or contributions to UN peacekeeping, among others?
With respect to cross regional representation, we need clarity on the definite proposals of concerned states and determine the minimum configuration mutually acceptable to all.
We fully support the IGN process. However, we need to develop a greater sense of progress. There should be a way to document and breakdown proposals, especially those falling within the areas of convergence. In this way, we could move forward using previous discussions and provide direction for future discussions.