Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the first informal meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform during the 73rd UNGA session

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the first informal meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform during the 73rd UNGA session

Madam Chairperson, Mr. Chairman,

Before going into the subject of today’s discussion, I would like to express our congratulations on your assumption of duties as the Co-Chairs of the IGN. You have my delegation’s full support in carrying out your very important work.

Unfortunately, it appears that the importance of your work and of the whole IGN process has been lost somewhat after many years of discussions of the Security Council reform in the current format. To our deep regret, the glacial pace of the negotiations has effectively turned the whole process into a yearly ritual following more or less the same scenario with the same actors going through the same motions.

However, let’s recall the events of ten years ago, when the launch of the IGN on 19 February 2009 was seen as a tangible step in responding to calls of the UN family to have a reformed Council within a reasonable time frame.

At this point I would like to cite from my delegation’s statement at that first meeting of the IGN and I quote: “today's main task is to launch the intergovernmental negotiations that will eventually lead to such a reform of the SC that would adopt it to the new realities of the XXI century while safeguarding its effectiveness and functionality” (end of quote).

In the decade that passed the Council has barely adapted to the demands and challenges of the new century, its effectiveness and functionality have taken a nose dive and the genuine negotiations have never materialized. The latter may sound harsh to some ears but yearly repetitions of well-known positions hardly qualify as proper negotiations.

At best, from the substance point of view, the elapsed period can be characterized as an exploratory phase. As a result, we have a detailed record of positions of all concerned and interested parties.

This record unambiguously demonstrates that there are both some commonalities and deep differences in UN member states’ positions.

Even a cursory look at the IGN discourse over the years clearly reveals that existing differences are not likely to disappear any time soon. In light of this we consider that the continuation of the IGN according to the established mold is a luxury that the UN family can hardly afford.

Since the entrenched positions of UN member-states on crucial aspects of the Security Council reform make reaching a comprehensive agreement on all clusters of the reform quite a distant prospect, we have to be honest before ourselves and recognize that making the IGN’s outcome conditional on the principle “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” will only delay the reform.

Maybe it is high time that the membership considers adopting a less ambitious but more practical approach of trying to reach an agreement on less contentious aspects of the Security Council reform (like the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly) and negotiating a respective draft document?

Such exercise may prove useful in establishing procedures, practices, working principles and so on to be built upon in further stages of negotiating other clusters of the overall reform.

The simple truth is that without modifying the whole modus operandi of the IGN there is little hope that the negotiations will take off from the ground and that this session’s outcome will be any different from that of previous sessions.

Thank you.