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Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Status of IGN Documents

Thursday, 21 April 2022
H.E. Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo, 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


Thank you very much, Co-Chairs. In view of the time limitation, I just wanted to focus my remarks on two of the guiding questions sent by Chair yesterday. And again, thank you for posing these very interesting questions to move our debate along.

First of all, on the kind of updates in the framework document, we still continue to believe that the framework document is a good reference document and that we should and we should continue working on it. But I think we also are attracted to the possibility of improving the attribution issue. We really believe that through attribution, at least in the future, we might be able to gauge to a better extent, the convergence and divergence on certain issues.

Now just let me turn to question number five - that is how might we build on the areas of convergence in the working methods, especially as they do not require charter amendments. And that is one of the reasons why we think that it is in the working methods where we can really make significant progress, as this is the section where there is already wide divergence.

Now, how can we build on the areas of convergence in the area of working methods?  This is where I would really like to focus on.

At the moment, much of the language we have on the working methods is really of a very general nature. I think it is important, given the convergence, that the next time we try and build on the language, that we move from generalities to specificities, by being more specific on the measures which could be recommended to the Council. It would, in the end, if adopted lead to greater transparency and predictability. Rather than just the very general action, we should have more specific proposals. For example, when we speak of working methods and transparency, we are looking at the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council as institutions and the relationship between the Council and non-members of the Council. This also includes accountability and transparency. So, for example, where we say that we should improve the practice of meetings between the Presidents of the Council and the General Assembly, perhaps we can move a step forward and say that this these meetings should be institutionalized, and perhaps, even be on a monthly basis. Every time the Council changes its Presidency, there could be a meeting between the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council. We could even suggest a step further that the Council might consider including this in its Provisional Rules of Procedure.

We can also consider having an agreement that there should be an annual report of the Security Council. I think there is no divergence on this. However, once issued, issues reflected in the annual report may have been overtaken by events. So, no matter how substantive or analytical, the report, in some cases, may be purely academic or just for our study, as some of the issues may have been resolved or are no longer issues. What we could really add to the annual reports are regular monthly reports by the Security Council on issues of concern, so that the General Assembly could be made more aware of what is going on in the Council on specific issues which are still active and are still currently being considered by the Council. We could also add here making special reports more frequent. These are really called for under Article 24 (3) of the Charter. In sum, we should go beyond annual reports and look at reports in general to include special reports and monthly reports.

We also have convergence on the need to improve access of non-members to the Council's decision-making process. And of course, we have reference to the Arria-Formula, which has already been in practice for almost 20 years. Perhaps, the next step should be how to move beyond the Arria-Formula, or at least institutionalize the Arria-Formula. Further, we could even say that the Arria Formula has worked, but there is a need to improve it. Specifically, we can consider concerned non-members to be allowed to participate in the regular informal consultations of the Council on specific issues. To make this possible, specific proposals here, could be to amend accordingly Rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council. And then of course, we have the work of the subsidiary organs. We need to look at measures to further increase the interaction between the non-members and the subsidiary organs.

To conclude, we need to move beyond the general language we have in the recent Co-Chair’s in order to create more predictability and transparency in the working methods of the Council.

Thank you.