Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Third Round (Exchange I) of The Intergovernmental Negotiations on UN Security Council Reform

Fazlı Çorman 01.09.2009
Mr. Chairman,

I would like to begin by thanking you for convening this meeting. Let me also thank you for your letter dated 12 August 2009 which provides a timetable and a work plan for the third round of the intergovernmental negotiations.

I would now like to make a few observations about the work plan contained in your letter.

We understand that today's meeting is expected to cover all of the five key issues stated in Decision 62/557 of the General Assembly. This is rather welcome because, as we have emphasized on numerous occasions, all of these key issues are closely inter-linked and only a comprehensive solution could address the existing complexities and linkages among these issues in a meaningful way.

The remaining two meetings of the third round, however, are expected to concentrate on the expansion of the Council in both current categories and the intermediate model, respectively. This means that this round will concentrate only on one of these key issues, namely categories of membership, whereas the remaining four key issues will not be addressed specifically. While we would have no objection to carefully analyzing the specific models proposed during the course of the intergovernmental negotiations, we would be somewhat hesitant to "pick and choose" at this stage among different models, and indeed among the five key issues.

In that regard, we would be more comfortable if all proposals were evaluated in a non-selective and non-discriminatory fashion. And I'm not only referring here to the UfC paper presented at the first round of the intergovernmental negotiations. There were several other proposals made during the negotiations on various aspects of the Council reform process. Some of these proposals relate to the working methods and the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly. Since Decision 62/557 clearly stipulates that the negotiations will be based on the positions and proposals of Member States, regional groupings and other Member States groupings, we believe that all the proposals hitherto made during the negotiations should merit a similar attention and scrutiny.

Mr. Chairman,

It is worth recalling that more than half of the Member States have not spoken at these negotiations. It seems to us that the silent majority is still considering and evaluating the various proposals that have been put on the table. We believe that many of them have not yet made up their mind about some of the specifics of the reform process. Under these circumstances, concentrating on these two proposals in the third round of the negotiations may create an artificial limitation on the options available to the Member States. This may be tantamount to conditioning the Member States to choose between these two options, whereas in reality there are more options available to the membership.

Besides, some of these options are not mutually exclusive, so the end result of the intergovernmental negotiations may well reflect a combination of several options. The proposal made by Italy and Colombia on 20 April 2009, for example, has envisaged an expansion of the Council with renewable non-permanent seats, while at the same time reflected the intermediate approach through creation of longer-term non-permanent seats. We must therefore avoid putting the negotiations in an artificial "straight jacket" and remain flexible and creative in our approach, bearing in mind that none of the proposals that are currently on the table enjoy sufficiently wide political support from the membership.

This is not to deny the progress made during the intergovernmental negotiations since last February. We believe that the negotiations are moving in the right direction. There are already signs of convergence of opinion in some areas. Of course, we need more time to bring our positions closer and resolve our differences on several outstanding issues. We look forward to continuing our discussion on these issues within the coming days as well as during the 64th session of the General Assembly.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.