Statement by H.E. Mr. Y.Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, at the UNGA about United Nations Reforms

Y.Halit Çevik 07.11.2013
Mr. President,
I would like to join my colleagues in thanking you for convening this joint meeting. Let me also thank you for your letter, dated 22 October 2013. Turkey will continue to constructively contribute to the discussion on the reform of the Security Council, which is of particular importance to each and every member of the United Nations.
I also wish to express our appreciation to the Chinese Presidency of the Security Council for presenting the annual report of the Council to the General Assembly and to the United States Mission to the United Nations for its valuable efforts in preparing the report.
I also congratulate H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, for his re-appointment as the Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations. We firmly believe that Ambassador Tanin, as the Chair of the IGN, will continue to play a significant role in the advancement of the process with particular attention to the transparency and the member-States driven nature of the Negotiations.

Mr. President,
The report before us today provides a factual and accurate account of the work of the Security Council. It demonstrates the diversity of the issues on its agenda and the Council’s heavy – and increasing - workload. We support the previous delegations in asking for a less descriptive and more analytical report, while at the same time we bear in mind the difficulties in terms of the implementation of such an analytical approach. On that note, I would like reiterate our firm belief that the working methods of the Security Council should – and can – be further improved in order to enhance its transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.

Mr. President,
Reform of the Security Council continues to be the common wish of all members of the United Nations. Despite our differing views, we all wish to see the Council more adapted to the realities of the ever-changing world, more democratic and more representative. A comprehensive reform is a necessity as developments all over the world dictate on the Security Council to act swiftly and responsibly in order to meet its obligations. It is our common responsibility to preserve the credibility of our Organization and we, the Member States, should spare no effort to that end. In that sense, Turkey shares your vision expressed in your acceptance speech and letter that the reform is an important element of the efforts for strengthening the Organization which, if failed, might face the risk of becoming inconsequential.

On the other hand, we strongly believe that IGN is the sole platform to make a comprehensive reform possible. Even though we are united in our goal – which is an early reform of the Council- , the membership remains to be divided on the ways to reach that goal and on the ultimate outcome. That is why we should be very careful and refrain from steps that might widen the existing gaps. In that sense, Mr. President, we take note of the recently appointed “Advisory Group” which is advisory in nature and does not have a negotiating and drafting role as you defined in your letter and re-confirmed in your meeting with the representatives of the Uniting for Consensus group yesterday. I would like to emphasize that such a group should not overstep, bypass or replace the IGN by entering into a writing exercise.

On that note, allow me to conclude by touching upon the position of Turkey on the Security Council reform.

First, in terms of the categories of membership in the Council, Turkey continues to be supportive of the compromise proposal that is outlined in the Italy-Colombia paper that foresees the creation of a new longer term membership category or having the possibility of up to two immediate re-election, coupled with the increase in the number of regular non-permanent seats. We believe, additional permanent seats would not bid well with the idea of an accountable and transparent Council. Moreover, the UfC position, through its proposal to allocate a non-permanent seat for small and medium sized states, most of which has not even been represented in the Council, provides the most democratic option for a sustainable outcome. If the reformed Security Council is to be the Council of not only today but also of the future, it is imperative that we all concentrate our best efforts on proposals that will provide the Council with the necessary flexibility as regards its composition.
Second, a comprehensive reform should cover all five key areas in the General Assembly Decision 62/557. Any proposal that falls short of encompassing those areas would, without doubt, be incomplete.

Finally, we reiterate our support for the correction of the historic injustice made towards Africa by substantially improving the representation of this continent on the Council.

Mr. President,

Turkey, as a member of the Uniting for Consensus group, is ready to continue to engage actively and constructively in the IGN. We kindly request that all Member States show the required flexibility in order to reach to an outcome that would garner the widest possible acceptance.

Thank you Mr. President.