Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations on Agenda Item 119: "Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters" (12 November 2014)

Mr. President,

I thank you for convening this meeting. We appreciate that the President of the General Assembly has held extensive consultations before holding this meeting. We welcome your important statement you made this morning.

Pakistan fully associates itself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, the Permanent Representative of Italy, on behalf of the "Uniting for Consensus".

We thank Ambassador Zahir Tanin for his hard work over the past seven years to move the reform process forward. As an accomplished diplomat, he tried his best to bring all countries on board.

We congratulate Ambassador Courtenay Rattray over his appointment as the new Chairman and facilitator of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN). We would give him all the support he needs to advance our common agenda.

We congratulate Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela over their election as new non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Mr. President,

Let me first talk about the negotiating dynamics.

Seven years ago, the UN membership embarked on the process of Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on the basis of Decision 62/557. This decision mandates this Assembly to achieve a comprehensive reform on five key issues: categories of membership, the veto, size and working methods, regional representation, and the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. Expansion of the Council is one of the elements of the overall reform agenda. Other four elements are equally important; and all five are closely linked.

Our experience of the past twenty years has shown that a quick fix will not work, though many abortive initiatives have been taken. Reform will be delivered on the basis of an agreement among states on the substance, not as a result of procedural short-cuts or maneuvers.

For such an agreement to emerge, we need a critical mass of political will and resolve.

The IGN process is a membership-driven process, to be pursued in good faith, with mutual respect, in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, with the objective of seeking a solution that enjoys the widest possible political acceptance. On Security Council reform, the President of the General Assembly and the Chairman of the IGN draw their authority on the basis of Decision 62/557.

A tenable and sustainable outcome for the membership cannot be devised by a small caucus or advisory group, because reform would be a product of negotiations among states, conducted in open settings. The United Nations is most skilled in conducting such negotiations and producing results.

Another fact. Rigidity in positions has retarded progress in the past twenty years. We call for flexibility to explore common ground. For its part, the UfC has twice revised its own proposal and is ready to enter into dialogue to refine it.

This year, we should work energetically on Security Council reform, but there should be no artificial deadlines.

The President of the General Assembly, in his letter of November 10, has encouraged us to move the process to text-based negotiations. We would say Rev II, which was compiled on Ambassador Tanin's watch, has all the text we need. This is a good starting point.

Now, let us talk about the substance.

Pakistan opposes creation of new permanent seats, not because of regional rivalries or realpolitik, but because of the principles that should drive the Councilís reform in the 21st century.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his address to the General Assembly on 26 September this year, said: "We want the Council to become more representative, equitable, accountable and transparent". Our opposition to new permanent seats is rooted in these principles.

Existing permanent seats in the Council hark back to the Second World War when decisions were taken by the victors, who also took the permanent seats. The world order is not static; it has moved on. There are no more victors and vanquished. The world is much more pluralist, much more diverse.

The four countries that have presented their candidacies for permanent seats need to understand that many medium-sized states, individually and collectively, compete with them in terms of size, population, economy, military capability, contribution to UN peacekeeping, and commitment to democracy and human rights.

Today we talk about emerging nations and some cite this as a criterion and qualification for permanent seats. The reality is that many more countries stand behind them who will play, in the years to come, an even greater role in world politics and economics.

There are projections that power configurations would change in the coming decades. When states attain a higher level of competence, letís say in ten years time, would they also be inducted as permanent members? And will those losing their eminent status be asked to vacate permanent seats?

No state is powerful in perpetuity; so let us not invest any new state with permanence; because the next revision of the Council's composition may well take place 70 years from now.

The purpose of the reform is not to embed new centers of privilege within the Council, but to democratize it by aggregating and promoting the interests and aspirations of the entire family of small, medium-sized and large nations.

The United Nations belongs to all, not a select few. We need to make the Council more inclusive.

That is why, the UfC advocates an intermediate solution. If we want to break the impasse in the IGN, we should start looking at the UfCís proposal, which provides for terms longer than that of the current non-permanent seats, and renewable upon elections. This would make member states, elected for longer duration, accountable to the General Assembly. On the other hand, by electing new permanent members, we will kill the very principle of accountability.

The Council also needs to expand its non-permanent seats. More than one third of the UN membership has never had the opportunity to sit on the Council even once.

New rotating non-permanent seats will enable more countries to play their role in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Periodic elections will ensure that states elected for longer terms or non-permanent seats remain responsive, accountable and transparent vis-ŗ-vis the general membership.

Pakistan has always showed respect and empathy for the African Common Position, the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, as a collective demand of an entire continent. We see it as a position based on consensus and legitimacy, which is quite different from individual ambitions of a few countries.

Mr. President,

I emphasize again, flexibility and compromise, without which there is no point to negotiate. The UfC showed this spirit by revising its original proposal and introducing it as the Italy-Colombia paper. This paper is open to further negotiations.

On the contrary, the G-4 continues to stick to its demand for permanent seats. They lament about the lack of progress, without acknowledging that their fixed position is the biggest barrier to progress. For them, the only measure of progress is how far the other groups would adjust to their claim of entitlement. There is no change in their stance. This is not how intergovernmental negotiations ought to be conducted.

Most of my remarks have been devoted to the categories of expansion. I would like to briefly state the following on other elements:

I thank you, Mr. President.