Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at Statement at the Third Round (Exchange III) of The Intergovernmental Negotiations

Ertuğrul Apakan 03.09.2009
Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me thank you for convening this meeting. Since this is the first time I am taking the floor in this important forum, I would like to sincerely congratulate you for your able Chairmanship in this challenging process.

Today's meeting focuses on what is called the "intermediate approach". As this is a rather new concept, I would first like to briefly share our understanding of this approach.

In our view, there are two basic parameters of this approach: The first is the introduction of a new non-permanent membership category with longer than the regular two-year term envisaged in the UN Charter. And the second one is a review mechanism on the overall implementation of this approach, following a transitional period.

Mr. Chairman,

Turkey continues to believe that the most effective way to enhance the accountability and effectiveness of the Council is through increasing the number of regular two-year non-permanent seats and allocating them to the under-represented groups.

However, we also understand that there are different viewpoints among the membership on this suggestion. And thus, we are ready to map out new ideas and suggestions, which might bridge the differences and hopefully provide us with sufficient common ground to reach a consensus. After all, the Council reform could only materialize through mutual understanding and common ground.

It is in this spirit that our Delegation has agreed to consider the intermediate approach, whereby longer-term non-permanent seats could be established and allocated on a regional basis. And our basic view is that this approach has the potential to transform this process into a positive-sum exercise that would benefit all Member States. Allow me to briefly explain the considerations that lead us to such reasoning.

To begin with, in such a model, those countries that would like to be represented in the Council more regularly by virtue of their substantial contributions to international peace and security, in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, would have the opportunity to do so.

Indeed, the fact that Turkey at this stage does not favor expansion of the Council in the permanent membership category does not mean that we are also against the extended representation on the Council of countries which possess the means and capabilities to provide peace and stability in their region and beyond.

On the contrary, we believe that those Member States that are endowed with such capabilities to advance regional and global security should be allowed to take a more active part in the work of the Council in a way that will enhance our collective efforts.

This is particularly valid for those Member States that can address all aspects of the security environment through their political, economic, military and cultural assets. After all, the Security Council is not designed merely to intervene in crises or make peace, but it has a greater responsibility to sustain a culture of peace through promotion of dialogue, harmony and reconciliation.

And if such countries are given an increased opportunity to be represented in the Council, then the Council would certainly be a more credible, representative and effective one. This would enable more Member States to assume responsibility and actively participate in the work of the Council.

Having said all that, we also have to make sure that these longer-term seats would not turn into de facto permanent seats and thus we should put in place the necessary mechanisms to prevent this possibility. In this regard, re-election requirement is first to come to mind as an effective guarantee against such an eventuality.

Moreover, these longer-term seats could be allocated to specific geographical groups and may be allowed, through re-elections, to rotate among different Member States within these groups. Such an arrangement could also help us to redress the persistent problem of under-representation of certain regions. Thus, our understanding of the intermediate approach is not too far apart from the Ezulwini consensus that is built on the principle of regional representation.

In short, it seems to us that the intermediate approach has the potential to render the Council more democratic, pluralistic and accountable. Indeed, it could turn the Council into a body where the views, concerns and expectations of different regions might be voiced more effectively and where countries with the necessary capabilities could bring their full potential to the service of global peace and security.

In the light of these considerations, we believe that it may be useful to focus more on this approach. Certainly, we cannot be expected to arrive at a mutual understanding on the parameters of such an arrangement in this session. We are ready to work on and articulate these ideas with other Delegations for building a common ground on which the Council reform could be based.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.