Intervention by Mr. Fazlı Çorman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Fazlı Çorman 31.03.2009
We have carefully followed the discussion on "regional representation" on 24 March and also today.

The discussion has pointed to a paradox: On the one hand, some delegations have emphasized that Africa and Latin America are the only regions that do not have permanent seats in the Council. On the other hand, many of these delegations have argued that there is no such thing as "regional representation", but rather "national representation" at the Council.

If the argument is that Africa and Latin America do not have permanent representation, there should be seats to represent these regions on the Council. However, various delegations emphasized that the seats on the Council are "national" and not "regional". The G-4 also underlined that they have no claim of representing the wider geographies or continents to which they belong.

Against this background, we believe that the only effective way to enhance regional representation is to allow a greater number of member states from different geographic groups to serve on the Council, rather than admitting one or two new permanent members from each continent that will have neither the ability nor the intention to represent their wider geographies.

Mr. Chairman,

Mathematics dictates that the permanency could only materialize at the expense of the representation of other UN member states and would hence diminish the regional representativeness of the Council. To give a brief example, the opportunity cost of a 10-year presence of four additional permanent members at the Council would be 20 non-permanent members. That is, if we have 4 new elected members being represented on the Council, instead of 4 new permanent members, in 10 years time, 20 new Member States will be able to have served in this body. Over a 20-year period, this number could increase to 40.

Therefore, admitting 4 new permanent members instead of an equal number of elected members to the Council would make it even more difficult for the under-represented groups to be able to serve on the Council.

As a new elected member which has started to serve on the Council after almost half a century, Turkey benefits immensely from this unique experience and responsibility. We believe that this experience should not be the sole prerogative of a privileged minority, but has to be available to all the aspiring member states, large or small, developed or least developed.