Statement by Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the Open Debate of the Security Council on Working Methods - 26 November 2012 (Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)

Mr. President,

We join others in felicitating you for convening this debate. We also appreciate the concept note prepared by Portugal and India. Pakistan associates itself with the statement to be delivered by Iran on behalf of NAM later in the debate.

We thank Ambassador Cabral for his leadership and the members of the Portuguese delegation for their efficient conduct of the Councilís Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions. Ambassador Cabral has highlighted some of the important achievements of the Working Group. Pakistan delegation contributed actively to this collective effort.

Mr. President,

Improvement of working methods is an integral part of comprehensive reform of the Security Council which is a shared objective of the entire UN membership. It is encouraging to note enhanced attention to working methods in the Security Council itself. Organization of these open debates is a manifestation of the importance attached by the Council to this issue and of the keen interest that it generates among the general membership. We should reinforce this trend.

Such discussions will only translate into tangible benefits through effective follow-up. The Council should further deliberate upon practicable suggestions flowing from this debate with a view to operationalize them. The Working Groupís role is of continuous relevance in this regard. Implementation of Presidential Note S/2010/507 is work in progress. In our view, such implementation should incorporate and formalize additional substantive aspects of working methods, while also reviewing the status of the measures already integrated.

Mr. President,

We would like to focus on three principal aspects of this debate:

We welcome additional measures on conference resources and interactivity agreed in Note 402 of 5 June 2012. Spreading out Council's periodic workload more evenly throughout the year, where possible and on a case-by-case basis, can also improve planning. Secretariatís efforts for enhancing availability of information and data, including through the Councilís website are especially laudable.

Mr. President,

Allow me to point out some of the areas in which little or slow progress necessitates further concerted efforts:

  1. In terms of transparency, there is a need to give real meaning to Rule 48 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure i.e. ďunless it decides otherwise, the Security Council shall meet in publicĒ. Closed consultations should be kept to a minimum as the exception they were meant to be.
  2. Inside the Council, the decision-making process should be more transparent and inclusive. This entails involvement and consultations with all members, adequate time for consideration of issues, and proper negotiations on Councilís decisions. The tendency to push decisions with a take it or leave it approach should be eschewed. Pakistan supports the Working Groupís ongoing discussion to enhance transparency and inclusivity of the penholder practice as well as the appointment of Chairs of subsidiary bodies, since it is very much related to this objective.
  3. For enhanced access and participation of non-Council members, we need to implement fully Articles 31 and 32 of the Charter both within the context of the work of the Council and the subsidiary bodies. Arria formula meetings and informal interactive dialogues offer additional mechanisms for interaction with non-members and other actors. It is pertinent that Note 402 of 2012 also commits in particular to enhance interaction with and seek views of non-Council members.
  4. An important aspect of interaction with non-Council members is the need to ensure that their views are factored into the Councilís deliberations, decision-making and outcomes. Pakistan is also supportive of measures aimed at enhancing interactivity of open debates including alternating statements of Council and non-Council members.
  5. Given the central role of peacekeeping in Councilís work, we believe it is essential to have a more enhanced, substantive and regular interaction and consultation with troop contributing countries.
  6. Consultation and cooperation of the Council with regional organizations should be further strengthened. For this cooperation to be more effective, the Council should be more coherent and consistent in its approach.
  7. In Councilís practice, there should be more reliance on pacific settlement of disputes under Chapter VI of the Charter.
  8. For enhanced information exchange and out-reach related to the Councilís work, the Presidencies can be more proactive including through interaction with non-Council members, the media, the Secretariat, and with the Special Envoys and Representatives of the Secretary-General, as required. Interaction between the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Council also remains important.
  9. In regard to sanctions committees, we are of the view that recent best practices particularly the institution of the Ombudsperson for the 1267/1989 Committee merits consideration for other committees. It, also, is essential to make the process of selection and appointment of various expert groups more transparent, balanced and representative.
  10. In the interest of its overall efficiency and effectiveness, the Council should devote more time and effort to the core issues of international peace and security in accordance with its primary responsibility and desist from encroachment on mandates of other bodies.

Mr. President,

Over the years, non-permanent members have made important contributions for improving the working methods of the Council. This is understandable as non-permanent members, on account of being elected, have a sense of accountability to the general membership and share the general sentiment on the need to improve the Councilís working methods. On the other hand, empirical evidence does not establish correlation between permanent seats and improvement of working methods. Therefore addition of new permanent members is not likely to change this pattern. Nevertheless, understanding and cooperation of permanent members is also important in this process. It is also true that in recent past, permanent members have also tried to reach out to wider audiences.

To conclude, it is in our common interest to improve the working methods of the Security Council. We should therefore continue to pursue this objective collectively and vigorously.

Thank you.