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Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Monday, 19 April 2021
H.E. Enrique A. Manalo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
UN General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York



Topic: Status of the Documents


Distinguished Co-Chairs,


Thank you for convening this meeting and for leading our discussions in the last three meetings discussing the five (5) clusters for the reform of the Security Council.


            The Philippine continues to support the expansion of membership in the Security Council and is strongly convinced that the working methods of the Council, especially an enlarged one, should be improved so as to achieve a more transparent, effective, and accountable Security Council, as well as its subsidiary bodies; we reiterate that, no state should have the special privilege to exercise the veto power; and in this regard believes a code of conduct amongst the permanent members regarding their use of the veto should be adopted as a first step towards reviewing their veto power.


Status of Documents


Distinguished Co-Chairs of the Status of Documents,


The Philippines has been supportive of the various initiatives of past Chairs of the IGN process including the Framework Document of 2015, the Elements of Convergence Paper of 2016, the Elements of Commonality and Issues for further Consideration of 2017 and the Revised Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration in 2018.


Nevertheless, from its inaugural round in 2009, over 12 years ago, the IGN has essentially been a forum for Groups and Member States to reiterate known positions year after year. Moreover, the documents I just mentioned which have been produced and have been themselves the subject of debate with regard to their usefulness.


Again, as in past IGNs, we are faced with the question: should a single, consolidated text reflecting the core positions of UNSC reform be used as basis for discussion and/or negotiations, to serve as a kind of rolling text, or should informal discussions precede the introduction of a consolidated single text that is based on a prior consensus reached at these forms of discussions.


To be more to the point, a number of states believe, as I understand, that a single negotiating text reflecting proposed Security Council reforms to be used for negotiation would be premature and only aggravate disagreements and confrontations. Some oppose the adoption of a negotiating text on which to base the discussions as it is believed that there should be a consensus on reforms before the text can be produced. The process has to be gradual.


On the other hand, it seems proponents of a text-based negotiations process believe that the only way to move forward towards reform would be to commence negotiations on the basis of a text; that the body needs a single text where member states can concretely attribute national or group positions, and that text-based discussions and negotiations would allow for more clarity of positions and facilitate reaching common understanding on issues where there is divergence. States supporting text-based negotiations also find that the exercise will encourage interactive exchanges of views or issues. This process, in turn, could allow us to reach consensus, or at least accelerate progress towards reaching it.


My delegation believes that each of these proposals has merit. However, in view of the clear absence of consensus on them, we are of the view, under the leadership of the Co-Chairs, that we may need to search for a possible middle ground approach, if that is possible. We are ready to give some suggestions. This, in our view, should be explored as soon as possible in order to advance our work and avoid again another year of discussion, basically a reiteration of known positions.


Thank you.