Statement by Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, on the Agenda Item 9 "Report of the Security Council" and Agend Item 122 "Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council" at the Joint Debate of the General Assembly

Baki İlkin 13.11.2007
At the outset, let me thank you Mr. President for convening this joint meeting which provides us a timely and useful opportunity to reflect on the Security Council reform.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Ambassador Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia, President of the Security Council, for presenting the Council's Annual Report to the General Assembly.

The Report confirms once again the increasing work load of the Council in which the African issues continued to be at the forefront of its agenda. It gives an accurate account of the work of the Council though it could be more analytic. As underlined by many other speakers, there is still much room for further improvement of working methods of the Council to enhance its transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. We therefore encourage the Council to continue its efforts to this end. At the same time, we should also continue to look into the working methods of the Security Council.

Mr. President,

We are fully committed to the early reform of the Security Council in order to make the Council more representative, efficient, transparent and democratic, thus further enhancing its legitimacy and credibility. These widely shared general principles should continue to guide our efforts in the next phase of our work. While focusing on the Security Council reform, we should not overlook the revitalization of the General Assembly. The reform of the Security Council and the revitalization of the General Assembly are inevitably two interrelated issues that should proceed simultaneously.

Mr. President,

Despite the divergence of views among the membership on the nature and the modalities of achieving the Security Council reform, we managed to create a momentum and made positive progress in the 61st Session, thanks to President Khalifa and her facilitators. We must now build on that progress, show greater understanding, flexibility and cooperation and thus try to seek the widest possible agreement of the membership.

Having said this, let me make a few observations for the way ahead.

Mr. President, first, we strongly believe that you should continue your informal consultations with all interested parties. Your leadership, guidance, and wisdom at this critical stage of our work are needed more than ever.

Second, the Open Ended Working Group should continue to be the main fora within which we should prepare the ground for an eventual intergovernmental negotiation. The crux of the matter is not how we label our meetings, but to what extent can we be flexible and forthcoming for the enlargement of the Security Council.

Third, our future work should be guided by the report of Open Ended Working Group and in particular the reports of the facilitators. These reports should be the basis of our future discussions.

Fourth, in every stage of our work, we should take into account the views and concerns of small states and island states on the reform process in order to garner the general agreement of the membership. Without their consent, there can be no reform.

Let me underline once again our readiness for an open minded discussion, under your able guidance, with "flexibility", "inclusiveness" "transparency", and "constructiveness" as key words in mind.

Thank you.