Remarks by Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Open Debate of the Security Council on Working Methods (October 23, 2014)

Madam President,

An open debate on working methods of the Council under your Presidency is doubly apt. This is an area of interest for both Council members and general membership; and you, as Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation in 2013 and 2014, have given a new impetus to the improvement in the working methods of the Council.

As we talk about the working methods today, let us keep our core objectives of the Council in mind. The primary purpose of the Council is to maintain international peace and security and to take decisions in this regard in an efficient and effective manner. In addition, it is our collective aim to promote openness, transparency and inclusion. The UN members sitting outside the Council have high stakes in its decisions.

Madam President,

Having served in the Council recently, we can testify that it is an efficient body, perhaps the most efficient in the UN system. But it needs to work more on effectiveness.

In this context, we welcome the decisions taken, under your stewardship of the Working Group, on interaction and dialogue with the non-Council members, consultations with troops and police contributing countries, appointment of more penholders from amongst the elected members, and early appointment of chairpersons of the subsidiary bodies by a deadline. This is substantial progress and gives an indication of more openness and responsiveness from the Permanent Five.

We also thank you for having Pakistanís proposal on intra-Council communication adopted, albeit in a watered down form. Our motive in presenting the proposal was to ensure flow of more authentic and timely information among Council members by strengthening the Presidency, especially when held by an elected member, and facilitating communication from the P-5 to the Elected 10. This would engender cohesiveness in the Councilís work.

The test of the value of these decisions will lie in their faithful and consistent implementation. We look forward to your assessment of the follow up and implementation of these decisions.

Wrap-up sessions, revived during Pakistanís Presidency of the Council in January 2013, have proved to be useful for both Council and non-Council members. These sessions are not a substitute for horizon scanning, but they do help us review and preview the agenda of the Council. Combined with the periodic briefings by the Department of Political Affairs, these sessions should enhance the Council's awareness for preventive diplomacy.

We should continue to find ways to forge a more robust partnership between the Council, troop and police contributing countries, the Secretariat, and the general membership.

Pakistan, as Chair of the Working Group of Peacekeeping Operations, tried to enhance shared space for discussing difficult issues like robust peacekeeping, new technologies, safety and security, drawdown and transitions, and regionalization. But this was an informal setting. We believe that the Council should closely consult with the TCCs and PCC before writing down and approving a peacekeeping mandate and involve them throughout the formation of the mission. This would help in addressing the issues relating to force generation, and command, control, communication and coordination; as well as inter-mission movements.

The aim should be to organize iterative discussions with troop contributors so that the mandate is adapted to the realities on the ground. In this regard, the Council members may revisit the Brahimi recommendation on the adoption of the resolutions for a specific mandate in two phases Ė first a framework resolution; and then a second resolution after the troop contributors have been identified.

We support two proposals made by the United States, in the IGN setting, on working methods. One, an open meeting of the Security Council Working Group on the working methods envisaging the participation of the general membership; and, two, an open, informal workshop on working methods. These proposals would enhance the space for dialogue.

We call for making the process for the selection and appointment of expert panels and groups more transparent, balanced and representative.

Madam President,

The Office of the Ombudsperson has worked fairly effectively to advance due process in regard to the delisting requests under the Al Qaida Sanctions Committee. It has worked consistently to ensure that fair and clear procedures are in place to list and delist individuals and entities in the targeted categories of finance, travel, arms and commodities. Further improvements are necessary to remove the existing lacunae in the Office, such as non-inclusion of petitioners other than those on the Sanctionsí List, and lack of full independence.

Due process is crucial in targeted sanctions regime; and there it should be, in principle, extended to other Sanctions Committees; but this should be done best after reforming the current Office and especially after giving it the requisite jurisdictional autonomy.

Madam President,

In regard the follow up to the referrals by the Council to the International Criminal Court, we encourage Council members to hold internal discussions on the need for designating a focal point or creating a subsidiary body or a working group and work out the necessary modalities. It is important that such a linkage does not infringe the Council's authority or the Court's independence.

I thank you.