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Libya proposes summit meeting on Security Council reform

Libya proposes summit meeting on Security Council reform

The international community should convene a summit in the coming years on reform of the Security Council, bringing together national leaders from across the world to break the impasse on the issue, a senior Libyan official told the General Assembly today.

The international community should convene a summit in the coming years on reform of the Security Council, bringing together national leaders from across the world to break the impasse on the issue, a senior Libyan official told the General Assembly today.

Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, said the UN has achieved its goals in a number of areas on the reform agenda, but there has been an absence of progress towards reforming the Security Council despite intensive consultations.

A number of proposals were realistic, based on the principles of the sovereign equality of all nations, but other ideas “involve confirming control by the powerful of the organs of the United Nations and the concept that those with privileges in the Security Council hold fast to those privileges, while rejecting any active role for other actors in this respect,” he told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

That attitude, he said, “cannot lead to any true reform which will contribute to the realization of the purposes embodied in the UN Charter.”

Given the impasse, he proposed convening a meeting of top national leaders to address the issue. “There is an urgent need for a new world summit conference to push forward the reform process, bringing to an end the work which we began two years ago,” he said. The summit should be held at the UN Office at Geneva within the framework of the next session of the General Assembly in 2008 “dedicated to the reform process and the expansion of the Security Council.”

Holding the meting in Geneva “will provide the opportunity for all world leaders to attend, to present constructive proposals and to participate in the decision-making process regarding this thorny issue – an issue with which the entire international community is concerned,” he said.

Efforts to reform the Security Council should involve consideration of a new formula for permanent membership under which it would be awarded “to geographical blocs and not to specific countries,” he said.

The African Union, he added, should be granted permanent membership on the Council “with all the privileges enjoyed by other permanent members, since Africa is the only continent which has no representative among the permanent members.”

He said Libya supports the position adopted at the 2005 African Union Summit, held in Sirte, where countries agreed that the continent should be granted five non-permanent seats and two permanent seats.