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Statement by Chinese Permanent Representative Wang Guangya at 58th GA Session on Agenda Item 56: Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters

2003/10/14
Mr. President,

Please allow me to express my thanks to Mr. Kavan, Chairman of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the last GA session and the two Vice Chairmen Ambassador Ingolfsson and Ambassador Kasemsarn for their hard work to ensure the smooth progress of the OEWG. We believe that under the leadership of Mr. Hunter, the new Chairman, the OEWG will continue to hold constructive discussions.

The past year has been an extraordinary year for the Security Council. On the one hand, positive progress has been made in its efforts to help seek solutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, thus contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability of the countries and regions concerned. This has been widely acclaimed by the international community and especially the African countries. On the other hand, the Security Council has been confronted with unprecedented challenges on the Iraqi issue. Some people have thus felt frustrated about the failure of the Security Council to reach consensus on this issue. Some are worried about whether the Security Council is able to fulfill the responsibility of maintaining peace and security. However, the general debate of the current session shows that the basic consensus of the vast Member States remains unchanged. That is, in face of the new situation, the role of the Security Council in maintaining world peace and security should be further enhanced rather than weakened. The authority of the Security Council should be reinforced rather than reduced.

Mr. President,

As was pointed out by Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the GA general debate, it is necessary to reform the UN agencies, including the Security Council, so that they can better respond to the new issues created by the new situation. China agrees with the view of the Secretary-General. We have consistently supported the efforts to keep pace with the times and conduct appropriate and necessary reform of the Security Council. The reform should be aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Security Council to face new challenges and threats and at realizing more equitable representation.

Security Council reform should start from its unbalanced composition. Now, representation of the developing countries is insufficient in the Security Council. Priority should therefore be given to increasing representation of the developing countries according to the principle of equitable geographical distribution. Discussions on increasing the membership of the Security Council have been going on for 10 years at the OEWG. In the current circumstances, we should both have the patience for extensive and in-depth discussions, and the urgency to speed up the reform as well as the wisdom of making appropriate compromise. The Chinese Delegation is ready to continue to take an active part in OEWG discussions in a constructive manner. We look forward to creative discussions among all parties during the current GA session in this regard.

We also support the Security Council in further improving its working method so as to increase transparency of its work and raise its efficiency. In recent years, marked progress has been made in improving working method with more open meetings and good communication and cooperation with troop contributing countries. This has been received positively by the vast number of Member States. The Chinese side is ready to continue to work with other members of the Security Council in this field.

Mr. President,

China welcomes the proposal put forward by the Secretary-General on setting up a High-Level Panel of eminent personalities. We believe that the composition of the Panel will reflect geographical balance. We also hope to see positive proposals produced by the Panel, which can reflect the consensus of the majority so as to provide the vast number of Member States with a basis for further discussion and decision.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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