Progress made on path to Security Council reform, says Assembly President

Progress made on path to Security Council reform, says Assembly President

United Nations Member States have paved the way to identifying the contentious elements that will form the basis of negotiations on reforming the Security Council, the General Assembly President said today after the 192-member forum wrapped up a three-day debate on the issue.

United Nations Member States have paved the way to identifying the contentious elements that will form the basis of negotiations on reforming the Security Council, the General Assembly President said today after the 192-member forum wrapped up a three-day debate on the issue.

In his closing remarks, Srgjan Kerim said “the debate demonstrated the clear commitment of Member States to embark upon a new stage that offers the prospect of achieving the ultimate goal of comprehensive reform of the Security Council.”

He noted that nearly half of the UN’s membership had taken part in “a frank and effective dialogue” in which they all agreed on the importance and urgency of Council reform, even if they still differed on the precise formula for change and the process for achieving it.

The process “will require our combined efforts based on pragmatism, political courage, mutual faith and respect, as well as flexibility and the political will to reach the broadest possible agreement.”

Mr. Kerim warned that the world “cannot afford to undermine this collective political momentum by calculating to imbibe it with hesitation in order to derail or disrupt the process.”

But for intergovernmental negotiations on the issue to begin successfully, the Assembly President said Member States should be guided by a series of principles that have emerged during the long-running debate on Council reform.

Those elements include: that Council reform must go hand-in-hand with transforming the wider UN system; that negotiations must be undertaken in good faith and based on mutual respect; that reform must “accommodate the interests and concerns of all sides, especially those who are currently underrepresented”; and that the process must always be transparent and objective.