Statement by H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group
On behalf of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, I wish to thank you for convening this first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform during the current 72nd UNGA. The UfC group looks forward to cooperating with you on advancing a reform process that, as President Lajcak underlined on several occasions, needs to be credible, transparent and inclusive.
As we stated during the General Assembly’s general debate in November, the credibility of this reform process depends on its transparency and inclusiveness. For this reason, the UfC group reiterates that the IGN remains the sole legitimate negotiating setting – as established by Decision 62/557 – in which to advance the reform of the UNSC: only through a membership-driven, inclusive and transparent process, which takes into account the voices of all Member States, will we be able to jointly define the consensual path to concrete and credible progress.
In past IGN sessions, we consistently stressed the need to build on the already existing broad convergences among Member States. Last year, in particular, all Member States agreed that – and I quote the Co-Chairs’ final document: “The IGN process should build on the work done in previous years, so that convergence will increase gradually, with a view to garner the widest possible political acceptance.”
The search for new convergences toward a consensual reform should guide our collective work also during this IGN session, in order to further narrow the gaps separating negotiating groups. At the beginning of last year’s session, we urged the membership to work on the definition of the shared principles that should inspire Security Council reform. Today, we are more convinced than ever on the imperative of reaching this common understanding.
Over the years, Member States have stated their support for a more representative, democratic, accountable, transparent and effective Council. The UfC group is convinced that the convergence in the IGN’s understanding of these principles, and how they relate to Security Council reform, holds the hope of identifying new convergences and fostering mutual understanding.
We encourage you to structure the next IGN meeting agendas to give Member States the opportunity to engage in such a discussion, focused on principles. At the same time, the UfC group remains willing to consider any idea that shows true flexibility and a spirit of compromise.
A credible and viable reform of the Council requires a comprehensive approach, addressing all the five key issues as outlined in Decision 62/557. Any disaggregated approach, without taking into due consideration the inter-linkages between these issues, would not work, and should, therefore, be avoided.
There are no procedural shortcuts in achieving Security Council reform. This is one of the main lessons learned over these years of collective work: non-consensual approaches have proven to be counter-productive and to hamper the reform process.
The IGN Co-Chairs can offer crucial input to keep negotiations on a consensual track, by setting a clear agenda of work, in full transparency and predictability. Each Member State, regardless of the negotiating group to which it belongs, needs to receive timely information and a clear vision of the goal of the IGN session. Transparency and predictability are also crucial to fostering wider engagement among Member States. Clear and timely guidance on the way forward for this negotiating session, as well as on its expected outcomes, is therefore required.
The UfC group is ready to cooperate with you, the PGA, and the whole membership to advance this process, for the common goal of increasing the Council’s legitimacy in the eyes of both the general membership and international public opinion, thereby enhancing its authority and, ultimately, its effectiveness. We are willing to double our efforts to achieve a reform without delay, building on the many existing convergences among Members States to gather the broadest possible consensus.