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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan on Security Council Reform at the 59th Session of the General Assembly
(12 October 2004)

2004/10/13


Mr. President:

During the general debate at the current session of the General Assembly, almost all the delegations incorporated, the Security Council reform in their statements. This once again shows the great importance member countries attach to this issue. It also shows the significant responsibility on the part of the Opened-ended Working Group of the General Assembly. We believe that the Open-ended Working Group, under the leadership of President Jean PING, will engage in constructive discussions to pool consensus in putting forward its recommendations.

Mr. President:

The core of the United Nations reform is the Security Council reform. Over the past 6 decades, the United Nations increased its membership in multiples, with the developing countries registering an even greater proportion of increase. As one of the major organs of the United Nations, the Security Council plays an important role in international affairs, and has the primary responsibility in maintaining international peace and security. It should keep pace with the times and conduct rational and necessary reforms. We consistently held that the goal of Security Council reform should be strengthening its status as a core organ in maintaining international peace and security, and enhancing its capacity in dealing with threats and challenges. The first priority should be to find an effective solution to the under-representation of the developing countries in accordance with the principle of equitable geographical distribution.

The Security Council reform also includes the further improvement of its working methods and transparency. Some progress has been achieved in this regard over the recent years. Increased number of public meetings, good communication and cooperation with the troop contributing countries, and the regular meetings held among the President of the Council, President of the General Assembly, and President of the Economic and Social Council have been received positively by a majority of members. China would like to work together with other Council members to continue its efforts in this regard.

Mr. President:

It's been 10 plus years now since the General Assembly started to debate on the Security Council reform. Given the current situation, we need to have a sense of urgency in accelerating its reform. Meanwhile we should not lose sight of fact that the Council reform involves a multitude of factors with interwoven conflict of interests, and that significant differences exist in the specifics of the reform proposal. We should have more In-depth discussions and patient consultations, and try our best to show the political will and wisdom of compromise, in order to seek the broadest possible consensus in all aspects. A forcible push or vote for any reform proposal may result in the confrontation and division of member countries. This would be detrimental to the Council reform, go against its original intentions, and inevitably harm the strengthening of the Council's authority and it's functioning.

China supports the work of the United Nations High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and looks forward to its comprehensive, positive and practical recommendations that can be widely supported. China will take an active part in the relevant discussions and work with other parties to push the reform forward.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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