I welcome the address President Deiss has just delivered to us. Through his wisdom and experience, he is encouraging us to take concrete steps on the way to a true reform of the Security Council. The President highlighted a fresh approach that, with a real compromise, might pave the way for a more democratic, representative and accountable Security Council.
Two years ago, when intergovernmental negotiations were launched by the United Nations General Assembly, the Italian Government hosted a ministerial conference in Rome in February 2009 in support of that process. It is in that same spirit that we decided to host today a second day of informal reflection on the prospects for promoting a reform of the Security Council.
We do so in the conviction that dialogue and exchange in an informal setting, together with the patient work of negotiation in New York, will pave the way to a Security Council reform that can be embraced by the largest majority of the membership. The key UN structure in the global governance of security is the Security Council, and every State will be affected directly by its restructuring. This is why Italy believes so firmly that dialogue and a spirit of compromise are the only way to arrive at a reform that strengthens the United Nations system as a whole and whose ownership can be claimed by each Member State. The opposite approach, to pursue divisive and partial distortions, would instead cause incalculable damage to the prospects of both Security Council reform and a strengthened role for the United Nations.
There is food for thought in the negotiations and in dynamics emerging in international relations.
1) First, integrated regional institutions are playing a larger and larger role. Africa and Europe have developed advanced integrated institutions at the continental level. The Caribbean Community and other sub-regional (and cross-regional) organizations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are also making important progress in the direction of regional integration.
According to some proposals put forward in New York, we should give greater space to the regional dimension, by contemplating, for instance, a more active role of regional organizations in choosing their representatives on the Security Council. The African position, in fact, involves just that: the African Union would select the African representatives who appear on the election slate submitted to the General Assembly.
Regardless of the specific proposals that are tabled, as a matter of general principle I believe that the regional dimension cannot be ignored in the debate on SC reform.
I therefore encourage you to informally discuss the possible role of regional organizations and regional groups in the perspective of a reformed Security Council
2) Second, there are many – myself included – who feel that the renewal of the composition of the Security Council must go hand-in-hand with an improvement in working methods. There have been steps forward in recent years, for example a stronger commitment by the Council to consult with troop contributing countries, but there are many more that have been suggested.
Today I hope we can focus on the merit of these suggestions by considering how they impact the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Council’s decision making.
3) Third, we should reflect on a principles-based approach to enlargement, without prejudging any final formula, which will be a decision of the UN General Assembly. A longer presence in the Council (through permanent or long-term seats) confers both rights and responsibilities. Obligations of being guarantor of peace and stability in the world imply qualifications for the job which have not been dedicate enough focus and discussion yet. There is thus a pressing need to discuss the general principles for representation, participation, and involvement in the Security Council of those who aim at shouldering greater responsibility.
Thank you for your attention.
Now the floor is open, starting with H.E. Ambassador Tanin and five Countries representing different geographic areas.