Statement by Amb. Ragaglini on the Position of the Uniting for Consensus Group on the Tenth Round of Negotiations on Security Council Reform

PLENARY MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON 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, 27 JUNE 2013.

On 27 June 2013, Amb. Cesar Maria Ragaglini, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, took position, also on behalf of the United for Consensus Group, on the proposals on the reform of the Security Council. He stated:

Our April 16 meeting revealed once again the differences that still divide the membership. While all the proposals on the table favor an expansion of the Council in the non-permanent category, the membership continues to be sharply divided on the new permanent members. Important differences continue to exist on the veto. Other differences concern the proposed regional allocations of seats.

Over the last twenty years, all attempts to force action on divisive proposals have failed. Whether on categories or on working methods, every acceleration has had the opposite effect and made the Security Council Reform more difficult, rather than more easy.

I want to take advantage of today’s meeting to highlight what – in Italy’s and its UfC partners’ view – should be the principles guiding the membership toward a much needed reform of the Council.

1. As in every negotiation, a spirit of give and take must inspire our work here. If we are not ready to make any concessions and want to impose our solution on the others, we are bound to fail. The political will to compromise is the key to any successful negotiation. UfC has proven this will ever since we started this intergovernmental process. Our original position was to expand the Council in the 2-year non-permanent member category only. On the very first day of the IGN, we presented a new proposal aimed at building a bridge with the others by proposing a compromise, longer-term seats. It was not and is not a “take it or leave it” position. It aimed to be and still aims to be a basis for negotiation that has unfortunately not been reciprocated so far. We continue to call on those Member States who have a different approach to send us a signal so that, on that basis, we might start the process of “give and take” which would be beneficial for the entire membership;

2. The framework of the negotiations must be preserved. It was not easy to launch them, back in 2008. But we managed to do it, through a decision (62/557) adopted by consensus. We should not erode that common will. We should continue to build on the intergovernmental process as the only legitimate forum to decide on Security Council reform. Since all Member States decided to start negotiations to reform the Council on a consensual basis, I do believe they should continue their efforts to achieve concrete results in the same framework. It is a matter of consistency and good faith.

3. The parameters of the negotiations must be accorded the same dignity as the process. Decision 62/557 set them clearly on equal footing. The reform must be comprehensive. This means that nothing is agreed until all five clusters of the reform have been agreed on and that no single undertaking should be allowed (the so called “piece meal approach” would violate the letter and the spirit of the negotiations). It must respect the linkages among the five key issues (for example between veto and categories or regional representation and size). It must be Members-States-driven. This means that any solution must be based on the proposals made by Member States or Group of States and agreed upon by them.

And he added:

If we abide by these principles (which are not new and have been agreed upon by all Member States) we will be able to continue our work in the next session with a renewed spirit and we will be able to achieve long overdue progress. If not, we will not be serving our goals and Security Council reform will still be out of reach.

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