15 November 2012Statement by Ambassador Philip Parham, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN, to the General Assembly debate on Security Council Reform.
The United Kingdom is pleased to make a statement in this annual joint debate on the Security Council report and the question of Security Council reform. We are grateful for the efforts of our Colombian colleagues, who so meticulously compiled this year’s report and for Ambassador Puri’s introduction.
You have heard from the President of the Security Council some of the achievements of the Council in the past year – in supporting AMISOM and helping Somalia back on to its feet, working with the African Union to encourage Sudan and South Sudan to come to the negotiating table, ensuring a sustainable peace can be built by the people of Timor-Leste.
You have also heard of some of its failures this year, foremost among which is Syria.
The failure of the Security Council to take firm action to end the violence in Syria underlines the crucial importance of ensuring, that the Council not only represents the modern world, but is able and willing to fulfil its core task of maintaining that world’s peace and security.
The United Kingdom expresses its gratitude to Ambassador Tanin for his tireless efforts to steer the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform over the last year and we welcome his reappointment as chair. We appreciate his commitment to working with all member states to make progress. While it is clear that there is not yet sufficient consensus on this issue, we are ready to continue working in the coming months to find elements upon which wider agreement might be found.
Member states will need to approach this task in a spirit of compromise. Security Council reform is a difficult and complex issue. We are all well aware of the many competing and strongly held views of different member states. But we believe that there is sufficient common ground on the fundamental need for reform for us to be able to move forward in the intergovernmental negotiations.
The United Kingdom’s position on Security Council reform is well known. We continue to support permanent membership for Brazil, India, Germany and Japan and permanent African representation. At the same time, it is our firm view that reform must not reduce the Council’s ability to act decisively when called upon to address threats to international peace and security.
While we have our own view of what Security Council reform should look like, we are open to exploring the ideas of other member states, if there is the possibility of taking a step in the right direction. We must all remain ready to seize opportunities to achieve consensus, and the United Kingdom is willing to work constructively with those who believe progress is possible.
The United Kingdom believes that the Council needs to operate in a manner that is as transparent, open and as effective as possible, which is why we continue to be at the forefront of efforts to improve Council working methods. We actively encourage greater interaction between Council members during consultations, and support the greater use of technology and social media to both improve the efficiency of what the Council does, as well as open up its workings to a wider global audience.
We shall continue to be unequivocal supporters of Security Council reform. I hope, during this session of the General Assembly, we find the collective will to make some progress.
Thank you Mr President.