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Statement by Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Third Meeting during the 72nd GA of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

2018/03/27

Distinguished Co-chairs,

I thank you for convening today's meeting. This is the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations during this GA session. In previous meetings, the Co-chairs have facilitated candid and in-depth discussions among Member States on the issue of Security Council reform, which has furthered the understanding toward each other's positions. China commends such efforts.

According to GA decision 62/557, the Intergovernmental Negotiations should be driven by Member States. All views, ideas and proposals of Member States on Security Council reform constitute the basis of the sound development of the Intergovernmental Negotiations, and therefore demand our full attention and respect. The five clusters of issues concerning the Security Council reform are interrelated. The position of Member States on these key issues embodies intrinsic and logical interconnections. Hence such position should not be disintegrated, nor should its integrity be compromised. Without the mandate or consent of Member States, the Co-chairs have no authority to streamline positions of Member States or cut down reform options.

Currently, the parties' positions on Security Council reform remain unchanged and seriously divided. No single reform plan has won broad support from Member States. We are far from reaching the broadest possible political consensus. This is a reality we have to face. Under such circumstances, setting artificial reform deadlines, imposing immature reform proposals or launching text-based negotiations when conditions are not yet ripe will seriously undermine the credibility of the Intergovernmental Negotiations and harm the unity among Member States and the sound development of the negotiations. China stands firmly against it.

In recent years, the Co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations have put forward some working documents. Many Member States, including China, believe these documents are merely the Co-chairs' personal views and understanding of the Member States' positions and proposals. They are for reference only and have no official status, still less should they be regarded as negotiation texts. These documents do not fully and accurately reflect the positions and proposals of the membership. Some of the elements are even selective and controversial. Practices such as changing the structure of "Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration (Elements Paper)", bringing in controversial elements, attributing proposals to Member States and adding annex will only intensify the differences and confrontation among Member States and not be helpful to reaching consensus and a package solution.

The issue of regional representation in Security Council reform bears on the vital interests of the entire membership, especially the small-and-medium-sized countries. Parties need to engage in comprehensive and in-depth discussions on this issue. China believes the rise of the developing countries as a group and the ascending power and influence of developing countries are prominent features of today's international landscape. Reform of the Security Council should give priority to increasing the representation and voice of developing countries, particularly African countries, with the representation of difference civilizations and cultures taken into account, so that small and medium-sized countries could have more opportunities to serve in the Security Council and participate in its decision-making process. The issues of regional representation, categories of membership and the question of veto are closely interconnected and cannot be disintegrated. We have noted that a previously circulated working document has streamlined and merged Member States' positions and proposals on regional representation and other issues. Such practice runs counter to the Member States-driven principle and compromises the integrity and intrinsic logic of the parties' positions. China is opposed to this.

Reform of the Security Council bears on the vital interests of Member States and the long-term development of the United Nations. China supports the Co-chairs in acting in accordance with the mandates of the GA decision 62/557, upholding the Member States-driven principle and the approach of a package solution, carrying out their work based on the consensus of Member States and in an objective, impartial and transparent manner, and advancing the Security Council reform toward a direction that serves the common interests of the whole membership and the long-term interests of the United Nations.

At the begining of this round of Intergovernmental Negoitations, the Co-chairs set up a timeframe for the negoitation process, which was agreed upon unanimously by Member States. Such arrangement was made by reference to past practices and is as reasonable as it is practical. China supports and respects the Co-chairs’ arrangement, and does not approve of changes to the existing arrangement for the Intergovernmental Negoitations.

Thank you, Co-chairs.

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