Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Turkey to the UN, at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Ertuğrul Apakan 02.03.2011
Mr. Chairman,

I would like to begin by expressing our appreciation to you for the third revised version of the negotiation text. The negotiation paper is gradually getting more concise and streamlined, which is a welcome development. Having said that, the paper is still rather long and complicated to point to a solution that could garner the widest possible acceptance among the membership. There are still various overlaps in the text, but some of these overlaps seem inevitable, given the fact that all the five key issues identified in Decision 62/557 of the General Assembly are closely interlinked.

More importantly, the main obstacles standing in the way of a much shorter negotiation text remain; namely static positions and proposals that do not enjoy sufficient support and fail to bridge the divergences among the Member States on issues such as categories of membership, the question of veto and regional representation.

Mr. Chairman,

This time around, in addition to the negotiation text, you have also provided a shorter document. This document could serve as a user-friendly index or table of contents of the negotiation text, but its value as a stand-alone document may remain limited, just as the table of contents of a book would not mean much without the actual text of the book. We should therefore continue to concentrate our work on the negotiation text, rather than its index.

Mr. Chairman,

We continue to believe that a compromise solution that envisages longer-term and/or renewable seats, coupled with an increase in the number of non-permanent seats, could provide a way out of the existing deadlock in the process of Council reform. This proposal was put forward by Italy and Colombia earlier during the negotiations and constitutes a major departure from our original position which included expansion in the non-permanent category exclusively. Now is the time for others to reciprocate our flexibility and revise their original positions in a similar way. An initial first step could be to start elaborating on the parameters of the intermediate approach as proposed by several representatives today.

Mr. Chairman,

You were requested by Member States to provide a revised negotiation text at a time when many Member States continued to cling to their original positions and proposals. A revised negotiation text without revised national or group positions was bound to remain long and complicated. Given these constraints, you have done an excellent job. The onus is now on the Member States and groups of Member States to revise their original positions in a flexible and cooperative way, so that the next revised version of the negotiation text will actually reflect revised positions and will bring us much closer to our common goal of a more democratic, accountable and transparent Council.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman