|Statement by H.E. Ambassador WANG Guangya at the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on Report of the Security Council and Security Council Reform|
|New York, 12 November 2007|
The UN Charter designates the Security Council as the primary organ responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Over the past year, the Council has continued to work actively in addressing regional hot-spot issues, maintaining regional stability, helping with post-conflict reconstruction of the countries concerned and preventing the proliferation of WMDs. My delegation is quite encouraged that the Council has achieved impressive results in all these fronts. While fulfilling its responsibilities, the Council is also trying continuously to explore ways to improve its working methods, enhance transparency and strengthen communication and interaction with other UN organs and all parties concerned. I am convinced that the Council will stay on this track.
As the president of the Council for the month of July this year, China drafted the Introduction Part of the Annual Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. Other members of the Council, based on their experiences, put forward many proposals on that part and finally reached consensus. We hope that the report gives an accurate, comprehensive and balanced account of the work of the Council. It is true that there is still much room for further improvement in the work of the Council. China is ready to continue to make efforts together with others in this regard so as to enable the Security Council to better fulfill its responsibilities under the UN Charter.
Since the 2005 World Summit, the overall reform of the United Nations has achieved a series of positive results thanks to the common efforts of the whole UN membership. As an important component of the UN reform, the reform of the Security Council has been the focus of attention of all sides and remains a tough issue involving complex difficulties of various kinds. It is encouraging to note that, as expected by all sides, some new dynamics and positive developments emerged in the discussions on the Security Council reform at the last session of the General Assembly.
First of all, it has become the strong political consensus of the whole UN membership that the Security Council needs to improve its working methods as well as to increase its representation. If the Security Council reform can achieve "soft landing" and produce further positive achievements, it will open a window of opportunity to increase the cohesiveness among the UN member states and enhance the effectiveness of the multilateral mechanism.
Secondly, while sticking to their respective positions, the majority of member states are adopting a more pragmatic approach towards the Security Council reform process. As stated in the report of the five facilitators appointed by the last GA President, a significant number of member states displayed flexibility, expressed willingness to explore a viable compromise solution and held the view that any reform formula should enjoy the widest possible political acceptance by the membership. Compared with two years ago, all parties concerned are leaning more towards constructive consultations and practical cooperation on the question of the Security Council reform.
Thirdly, the last session of the General Assembly adopted by consensus the report of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), mandating the OEWG to continue its work during the 62nd session of GA and agreeing to launch inter-governmental negotiation process on the Security Council reform. The report submitted by the five facilitators made a good summary of the positions of all sides and the possibility for progress and put forward some valuable recommendations, which have widened the horizon for future consultations.
While the political will of the member states is crucial to the progress achieved so far, we must not forget the important role played by H. E. Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa, the President of the last GA session. China appreciates the approach taken both by President Haya Al Khalifa and the facilitators she appointed of dealing with the Security Council reform always in a constructive way and engaging in extensive consultations with all sides to seek a consensus that accommodates the concerns of all. As an important practice in the discussion of the Security Council reform, this approach should continue to be followed.
The reform of the Security Council involves the vital interests of all UN member states and the above progress has not been easy to come by. It therefore makes it all the more important that we should cherish the current positive momentum, maintain adequate flexibility and continue our constructive consultations, with a view to achieving general agreement on concrete formulas on Security Council reform. China is open to the launching of inter-governmental negotiation process. In our view, agreeing to start the negotiation is the first step of the process, and it is necessary to define the basic framework and content of the negotiation process so that we all know what will be negotiated on and how the negotiations will be conducted.
China believes that as an open platform with the participation of all the 192 member states, the OEWG could and should play an important role in the future negotiation process. That will ensure the openness and inclusiveness of the negotiations and equal participation of all member states. Regarding the negotiation process, it is necessary to first reach an agreement on the whole framework through full consultations among all sides, because only on a firm foundation can an edifice be built.
In a word, years of practice has attested to the extreme sensitivity and complexity of the issue of the Security Council reform. Real progress on this issue requires all sides to adopt new thinking and new initiatives, build upon the current positive interaction and reach the widest possible consensus through patient consultations. We call on all sides to take as priority the maintenance of the unity among member states, show genuine political good faith, take practical measures to get closer to each other and, at the same time, avoid any unilateral action that might complicate the situation so as to create a favorable political atmosphere for working out a general agreement through negotiations.
China has consistently supported the necessary and reasonable reform of the Security Council and is willing to continue to explore, together with others, appropriate formulas and ways for the Security Council reform. We also support the continued effort by the Security Council to improve its working methods, efficiency and decision making procedure so as to give greater expression to the views of the UN membership. I wish to reiterate our position that the reform of the Security Council must accommodate the interests and concerns of all sides and put priority on the increase of the representation of the developing countries, especially African countries. Any formula that does not address the concerns of Africa on the Security Council reform can hardly win endorsement of the whole UN membership and will not have the backing of China. This is one of the fundamental principles of China regarding the Security Council reform.
Thank you, Mr. President.