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Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at the 61th session of the GA on the Security Council Report and Security Council Reform

2006/12/11

Madam President,

Maintaining international peace and security is a solemn responsibility entrusted to the Security Council by the Member States of the United Nations under the UN Charter. Over the past year, the Security Council has remained committed to addressing various regional as well as international hot spots and made vigorous efforts in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, de-escalating tension in hot spot situations, maintaining regional stability and assisting the peace building efforts of countries in post-conflict situation.

A highly efficient and accountable Security Council is in the interests of all of us. To better fulfill its responsibilities, the Security Council has constantly sought to improve its working methods and increase transparency. During the process of recommending the new Secretary-General, the Security Council gave a lot of attention and respect to the views of UN Member States and undertook constructive arrangements to enhance communications with the GA, which yielded good results. Needless to say, there is still much room for further improvement in the work of the Security Council. Together with all other delegations, China is ready and willing to continue to work hard to this end.

Madam President,

Since the World Summit last year, the UN reform has made much headway in various areas. The Human Rights Council, the Peace Building Commission and the Central Emergency Response Fund have been established. Resolutions on development, management reform, revitalization of the GA, strengthening of the ECOSOC and the comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy have all been adopted respectively. Consultations are now underway on mandate review and UN system-wide coherence. One of the important lessons we can draw from the above reforms is that as the UN reform involves the interests of its entire 192 Member States, it can make real progress only on the basis of full consultations and broad agreement. It thus follows that for any reform result to have vitality and sustainability, it must be achieved through extensive consultations and consensus building.

On the Security Council reform, President Hu Jintao spelt out China's principled position at last year's Summit. I would take this opportunity to underline the following observations in connection with the current state of affairs.

Firstly, China has consistently supported the Security Council in carrying out all necessary and reasonable reforms so as to enhance its capacity to respond to new global threats and challenges. The Security Council reform must be multi-faceted, covering both the enlargement of its composition and the improvement of its working methods, and should aim at ensuring its authority and enhancing its efficiency.

Secondly, the Security Council reform must take into consideration the interests and concerns of all parties while giving priority to enhancing the representation of the developing countries, especially the African countries. Any reform formula that only addresses the concerns of a few big powers in disregard of the wishes of the small and medium-sized countries can hardly be accepted by general membership of UN, and surely will get no support from China.

Thirdly, the Security Council reform should be carried out on the basis of extensive consultations and avoid any hasty political showdown, which is certainly to divide, rather than unite, all the Member States. China encourages all sides to draw from the past experience and explore new ideas in an effort to narrow the differences and reach the broadest possible consensus. This is the only right approach that can assure the eventual success of the SC reform. In this regard, China supports the GA OEWG to continue its work.

Madam President,

The intense and emotional discussions on the SC reform that took place at the UN over one year ago still remain fresh in our memories. The experience and lessons drawn from those discussions deserve our deep reflection. At a time when progress has been made in other areas of UN reform, it is understandable that there is a high expectation for the Security Council to speed up its reform. In order to achieve this objective, we need more than confidence and enthusiasm for pushing for progress. A flexible and pragmatic approach that takes into consideration views of all sides is crucial, without which it would be difficult to come up with a concrete formula that could bridge all the differences among the Member States.

The Security Council reform has now entered a new phase. All sides should go beyond their respective positions and reconsider from a global perspective and in an open-minded and constructive attitude a way out for the Security Council reform. A starting point would perhaps be to explore what could be the main benchmarks on the formula acceptable to all in general, and then the specifics can be worked out afterwards. There is an old Chinese proverb which says a melon is bound to fall off its stem when it is ripe. I am confident that as long as all sides demonstrate genuine political will, display a cooperative spirit for compromise and take a pragmatic approach, the Security Council reform will eventually achieve "a happy landing" and end up with a solution satisfactory to all. China is willing and ready to continue to work with all other delegations to this end.

Thank you, Madam President.

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