Comments by the delegation of Ukraine at the informal meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Comments by the delegation of Ukraine at the informal meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

Madam Chairperson, Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please, accept our congratulations on assumption of duties as the Co-Chairs of the IGN. Be assured of Ukraine’s full support in your very important work.

In light of your recommendation, I’ll refrain from repeating our well known position on the Security Council reform and will highlight the following.

First of all, Ukraine shares the view expressed by many that presently the UN membership has elaborated quite an extensive body of documents regarding the Security Council reform. A detailed record of positions of all concerned and interested parties exists. Everybody knows where there are commonalities and where deep differences persist. However, the mere existence of those differences should not preclude us from engaging into actual negotiations. After all, this is what we are supposed to be doing. Thus, we are convinced that concrete, text-based negotiations are long overdue.

Any calls or statements or appeals regarding the need first to have a consensual document before we actually start negotiating amount to nothing more than mere delaying tactics. Consensus is something that you reach in the end of the negotiations, not something that is there before the negotiations. Let’s start negotiating and work on reaching consensus on the substance.

Of course, some will claim that first we all have to agree on procedures, principles, approaches and so on. The list can be virtually endless. The simple truth is that with that kind of an attitude we’ll never come even close to negotiating a text because there always will be some detail or aspect or a procedural issue that needs to be clarified and agreed upon. And we all know how creative diplomats can be in identifying issues, over which heated debates can be held for years with no outcome in sight.

Second, in the process of negotiations special emphasis should be paid to such issues as the veto right and working methods of the Council.

As an elected member on the Council for the past two years, we saw up close and personal institutional shortcomings of the Council. Moreover, as a country under attack from its neighbor we also feel first-hand consequences of the Council’s embedded flaws.

The veto right means that just one delegation can render the Council completely paralyzed in situations when the Council’s action is badly needed. There have been way too many instances of such abuses of the veto right in recent years.

The well-deserved criticism of the Council’s ineffectiveness in numerous high-profile international crises is a clear signal that as long as the IGN proceeds along the same beaten path, the international community will continue to make do with the Council as it is with all its deficiencies.

Maybe such a situation suits some but we are of a different view.

In conclusion, I hope that this year we will finally start negotiating a text leading us all towards a common goal of having a reformed Security Council.

The failure to make any progress on this track will translate into further erosion of credibility and relevance of the Security Council and, by extension, of the whole UN. I want to think that this is the last thing anyone here would want.

Thank you.