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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN,on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters at the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly

Mr. President,

First of all, please allow me to thank Mr. Harri Holkeri, President of the 55th Session of the GA and Chairman of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters, and his two deputies, Ambassador Ingolfsson and Ambassador Saram, for their vigorous efforts in the preparation for and smooth running of the Working Group.

Mr. President,
Mr. Holkeri pointed out at the concluding session of the 55th G A, on the Security Council reform, "there is a common recognition that the Council needs to reflect the realities of the 21st century to better serve the interests of peace and security."  In the past 50 years and more since the inception of the United Nations, great changes have taken place in the international situation and the United Nations as well.  In our view, the Security Council does need appropriate and necessary reforms in order to adapt to these changes and the needs of the times, and to fulfill more effectively its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.  The most notable change in this Organization itself in the past more than half a century has been the growth of its membership from 51 at the time of its establishment to the present 189, most of which are developing countries, making the United Nations truly the most representative inter-governmental international organization in the world.  Therefore, the overriding priority in the reform of the Council is to correct the imbalance of its composition and increase the representation of developing countries in accordance with the principle of equitable geographical distribution so that the composition of the Council will reflect the reality of the membership of the United Nations.  Only by doing so can the reform be of significance and relevance and conform to the common aspirations and interests of all Member States.

The Millennium Summit of the United Nations adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration on September 8th, last year, which states, inter alia, that "we resolve to intensify our efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects".  It is a solemn commitment made by leaders of all Member States on the Security Council reform.  In order to implement this commitment, the Working Group of the 55th Session of the GA conducted a series of considerations on the Security Council reform, in which Member States participated in an active manner. In the past one year, the Working Group achieved progress in terms of improvement of working methods of the Council, but breakthrough is yet to be made in other aspects.  This demonstrates once again that the reform of the Security Council