Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the GA meeting on equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the UN Security Council

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the GA meeting on equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the UN Security Council

Let me start with expressing our full support to You, Mr. President, and the way forward for the ongoing negotiations presented to us. I would like also to join others in congratulating H.E. Mr. Kaha Imnadze and H.E. Mrs. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh with their appointment as Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Security Council Reform and wishing them every success in moving forward the IGN.

During the previous GA session we achieved a considerable progress in our deliberations on the Council reform, as reflected in the food-for-thought paper prepared by the previous Co-Chairs, which includes commonalities and issues for further consideration.

We share the view that continuing our discussions in such a constructive and coherent way corresponds with the aim of achieving long awaited progress in the Security Council’s reform.

Mr. President, distinguished Co-Chairs. My Delegation isready to discuss all the proposals already put forward by the delegations during the previous rounds of negotiations in order to identify those of them, that could receive wide support within the General Assembly and Security Council.

The General Assembly adopted an unanimous decision calling on us in our work on the Security Council reform to build upon the discussions held during the previous GA sessions, including the proposals and positions reflected in the framework document, circulated on 31 July 2015. In theirs regard, we believe that there is already a solid basis for starting document-based negotiations in order to come to a shorter, more precise framework document as the most immediate outcome of our deliberations.

Mr. President,

I will not go into all details of our position - it is well known and is duly reflected in the framework document. However, as current UNSC elected member and a country that experiences first-hand shortcomings of the existing Council ‘s working methods and format, which directly influence its record in protecting international peace and security, Ukraine deems necessary to reiterate our position on the several important aspects of the Council reform.

First, increasing representative character of the Security Council is one of the top priorities of our work. Yet, it should not be an obstacle or, in any way, delay reaching an agreement on other spheres of the Council’s reform, or its practical implementation.

Second, we strongly believe that any formulas of the Council’s enlargement should prescribe the provision of an additional non-permanent seat for the Eastern European Group, which during the last decades more than doubled in size.

We are encouraged that during IGN discussions several groups of states, not only EEG, clearly expressed their support to this approach. Therefore, we are of the view that an addition of one more non-permanent seat in an expanded Council for the EEG should be considered as one of commonalities on regional representation.

We support also the premise that equitable geographical distribution should be reflected in an expanded Council’s membership. My Delegation is convinced, that any change in the Security Council composition should be based on the existing regional groups of member-states. At the same time, we think that there is a merit in exploring an option of allocating a non-permanent seat on the future Council to the Small Island Developing States.

Third, from our own current membership in the UNCS we know how imperative it is that elected members are enabled to play a more active and effective role in the proceedings and decision making process of the Council. To enhance further transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of the Council’s work, with a view to strengthening its effectiveness, my Delegation considers equally necessary broader consultations and other forms of interaction with non-Council members on a regular basis.

The Council also should meet, as a general rule, in a public format and hold frequent, timely and substantive open briefings on the matters discussed in the Security Council and its subsidiary organs in private meetings. In this regard, we welcome so called “wrap-up” sessions of the Council, one of very few of which was held this year under Ukraine’s presidency.

At the same time, we also consider appropriate other public formats of the Council’s meetings, such as Arria-Formula, which provides an opportunity for Council’s members to discuss issues of outmost importance not only with concerned Governments, but with wider UN membership as well as key civil society actors.

All these and many other important procedural matters were reflected in the recently adopted revised Note 507 of the Security Council President. Now, this decision should be properly implemented in everyday Council’s practice.

Mr. President, I cannot but stress that for my country the need for the Security Council reform stands as high now as never before. Continued unlawful and aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, leading to the lost of thousands of lives, have placed into question not only my country’s security but the whole European, if not global one. The subsequent inability of the UN Security Council to react promptly because of the use of the veto right, severely undermines its credibility and condones the very aggression it was established to rule out.

In this regard, we would like to reiterate our strong position on the need to phase out “veto” right, as a major obstacle to the Council’s ability to act efficiently in response to the challenges to the international peace and security.

As one of the signatories of the French-Mexican Declaration on the restriction of “veto” right, as well as the relevant Code of Conduct, we believe that, while abolishment of “veto” is a long-term objective, all members of the Council - permanent and elected alike - have to voluntarily pledge not to vote against resolutions in cases of mass atrocities, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Same approach should be implemented in cases of war crimes and foreign aggression. That is why, it is important, in the course of the Council’s reform, to envisage responsibility for a party to a conflict to abstain from voting on a Council decision concerning the conflict resolution.

Finally, Mr. President, let me assure you and Co-Chairs of my Delegation’s full support in your challenging assignment of steering the IGN.

I thank you, Mr. President.