Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform the Size of an Enlarged Council and its Working Methods

Fazlı Çorman 07.04.2009
Mr. Chairman,

At the outset let me express our appreciation to you for convening today's meeting. I would also like to thank you for your letter dated 3 April 2009, which lays the ground for today's discussion on the question of "the size of an enlarged Security Council and its working methods."

Mr. Chairman,

As emphasized in your letter, the size of an enlarged Council cannot be discussed in isolation from the other key issues cited in Decision 62/557 - particularly, the categories of membership and equitable regional representation.

At the previous session of the intergovernmental negotiation, our delegation drew attention to a possible "crowding out" effect of new permanent members on the non-permanent category. We emphasized that admission of new permanent members into the Security Council would reduce the possibility of having more elected members in this body. Hence, the question of the size of the enlarged Council is intimately intertwined with the categories of membership.

It goes without saying that size is also closely linked with the question of regional representation. We remain committed to enhancing regional representation at the Council. During the previous sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiations, we specified which geographic regions are currently under-represented at the Council. So, I will not dwell more on this issue today. It is worth repeating, however, that the Council should be sufficiently large as to represent different regional groups in an equitable way. In this context, we also stand ready to support the proposals that will remedy the under-representation of various cross-regional groups such as small- and medium-sized states, landlocked countries and island states.

Mr. Chairman,

There is no simple answer to the question of the optimum size of the enlarged Council. In our opinion, a Council consisting of a total of 25 to 27 members, carefully enlarged with additional elected members, could prove to be more democratic, more accountable and more equitably representative. We do not subscribe to the view that an enlarged Council will automatically be less efficient and will not be able to act as swiftly. On the contrary, the enhanced accountability, democracy and representation in the Council may well render this body even more efficient and effective. Our delegation remains flexible on this issue and stands ready to favourably consider new proposals. We also see merit in establishing a mandatory review mechanism for the enlarged Council. In this way, the membership could revisit the issue of size in the light of our experiences with the enlarged Council after, for instance, a 10 to 15 year period.

As for the working methods of the Council, we believe that reform should also include the adaptation of the working methods and procedures of the Council to today's realities. In particular, we need to find ways to further enhance transparency in the work of the Council. This could be accomplished, for instance, by holding Security Council meetings in an open format to the extent possible and limiting the number of closed Council meetings. Considerable steps have already been taken in this direction, but we believe that more needs to be done. More frequent and more qualitative briefings for non-Council members on the matters discussed in the Council's informal consultations and in its subsidiary bodies could also be contemplated.

We should also improve the participation of non-Council members to the work of the Council. In this context, interaction of the Council with all interested and concerned parties in the decision making process should be further encouraged. New mechanisms could also be established to ensure that the views and positions of those Member States affected or concerned by any matter on the agenda are taken into account in the Council's deliberations.