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

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

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of duties as Co-Chairs of the IGN and assure you of Ukraine’s full support in carrying out your important work.

It is our common responsibility, both of Co-Chairs and the entire UN membership, to implement our commitment to instill new life in our discussions on the reform of the Security Council. It will never happen if we again fall into a trap of repetitive indications of current and well-known positions and differences.

It seems pertinent at the beginning of this year’s cycle to ask ourselves – what could be final outcomes at the end of the session? Realistic, yet ambitious.

Would it be satisfying for us again to slightly update the list of convergences and divergences; whatever its title could be? Are we ready to go beyond the technical rollover nature of a decision at the end of the session?

All these questions bring us to the main point, notably the need to have a basis for our negotiations. An initial text that enables to launch practical discussions and to take stock of progress made further on.

At the same time, to be regarded by all as a credible basis this text should live up to strong criteria and first of all it should properly reflect the entire scope of positions and proposals, as well as acknowledge unchallenged proposals as commonalities.

The Secretary General’s report on “Our Common Agenda” rightly points out to the need to strengthen the inclusiveness and legitimacy of the Council. The third element to be fixed is the Council’s credibility. Credibility that has been seriously damaged by a country that resorted to an armed aggression against Ukraine and continues to use a permanent seat to prevent the Council’s engagement when its actions are highly needed.

We therefore deem it crucial to place particular focus on the issues of veto right and working methods of the Security Council.

And while addressing the issue of the Security Council reform we should not forget that even now the current wording of the UN Charter does not reflect the today’s world, neither de-facto nor de-jure. The current version of the Charter still assigns one of the permanent seats to the Soviet Union that ceased to exist in December 1991. Bypassing the requirements of Article 4 of the UN Charter the Russian Federation uses this Soviet seat including to preside the Council this month. It is legally ambiguous. If it is not and everything is so in line with the Charter, why for more than 3 decades now the text of Article 23 has not been amended?

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

My delegation also appreciates the opportunity to reiterate its position regarding the issue of regional representation.

It is a common understanding that the fair and equitable regional representation is an important priority. It should be also clear that our deliberations on how to achieve a proper regional balance in the reformed Security Council should not take into account geographical location of the current permanent Security Council members, as they do not represent respective regional groups in the Council.

From this perspective the Eastern European Group remains one of the least represented in the Council with only 1 seat for 22 states from our region. Thus, our principled position remains the same – under any expansion scenario the Eastern European Group must have its representation increased by one additional non-permanent seat.

The Ukrainian delegation would like to reiterate its strong position that any formulas of the Council’s enlargement should envisage the new seats for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In this context it is extremely important to ensure that Small Island Developing States across all regions will also have a guaranteed representation in the Council.

At the same time the delegation of Ukraine firmly believes that the notion of regional representation should not be misperceived as a justification for promoting mostly regional agenda and abstaining from addressing global security issues, including those of divergent nature.

It is not about confrontation within the Council; it is about Council’s capability to do its job on the basis of factual and up-to-date information. We consider that ensuring this capability must be a guiding principle for all, in particular those aspiring for more significant role in the reformed Council.

Thank you.