Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, Informal Thematic Consultations of the General Assembly on the Report of the Secretary-General in Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All Cluster IV: The Imperative for Collective Action: Strengthening the United Nations

Baki İlkin 27.04.2005
Mr. Facilitator,

I believe that the informal consultations on the issues related to the strengthening the United Nations are as important as the other issues we have so far discussed under the previous three clusters. The world has undergone enormous changes in the last 60 years. The United Nations not only has to keep up with these changes but also has to guide and channel them. Thus the reform of the UN has become imperative in order to respond to our expectations and needs.

Mr. Facilitator,

Let me start with the reform and especially the enlargement process of the Security Council. It is evident that this issue has already led to considerable divergence of views among member states. This is understandable since the interests of almost every member differ on this specific issue. The question now is, how are we to proceed? And especially when we have a time constraint. Obviously it is one of the important aspects of the UN Reform. Yet this particular issue should not distract us from concentrating our attention and efforts on the other dimensions and aspects of the process of strengthening the United Nations.

What does Turkey understand from the concept of restructuring the Security Council? It should become more representative without losing its efficiency and cohesion. Yet it should not undermine in any way the role and effectiveness of the General Assembly, nor should it erode the delicate balance between the two. As to becoming more representative, it should enable more and more member states to participate directly in the workings of the Council, through rotation, rather than member states being represented by a few. The system of rotation should also reflect the existing regional groups and there should be no changes in the number of geographical groups. It may be seen as logical and just to set certain criteria for the membership to the Security Council, but if the bar is set too high and the criteria become too restrictive or exclusive, then the principle of rotation would inevitably be eroded. Thus, in practice, a good number of member states would never be able to join the Council.

For these reasons, Turkey is not in a position to support either Model A or Model B, as it has been proposed in the Panel and the Secretary General's report. We feel that there is a need to come up with fresh ideas and new models which would serve the interests of a broad majority of the members, if not all. The Secretary General has also indicated in his report that the two proposed models are open to discussion. Under the present circumstances we should not rush for a decision, which could, instead of invigorating and restructuring the Security Council, create deep divisions among the members of our Organization.