Talking Points by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council
26 January 2009, New York
I am grateful to you and Ambassador Tanin for organizing the sixth meeting of the OEWG. The agenda for today's meeting is how the chairman of the OEWG will present the results of the consultations on the framework and modalities of intergovernmental negotiations to the informal plenary.
In our view, we should follow strictly the procedure as agreed in paragraph (c) of GA decision 62/557. The OEWG met five times to continue immediately to address the framework and modalities in order to prepare and facilitate intergovernmental negotiations. The President of the General Assembly in his capacity as the chairman of the OEWG is mandated to present the results of consultations to the informal plenary by the end of January.
We have full confidence, Mr. Chairman, in your wisdom and judgment to present the gist of the results of the consultations during the five meetings in a concise, balanced and most appropriate manner to the informal plenary.
I have stated in earlier meetings my view on the framework and modalities of intergovernmental negotiations. I would like to summarize them briefly.
(Guiding principles and objective of Security Council reform)
GA decision 62/557 includes the consensual guiding principles for intergovernmental negotiations. We should neither reopen nor modify the agreements contained in that decision.
During the discussion, some attempts were made to redefine the objective of Security Council reform. As I reiterated in the previous meetings, the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document defines it clearly: "to make the Council more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and to further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions". The objective of reform should be no more and no less than this definition which was agreed by consensus.
Therefore, we cannot accept any attempt to modify the objective and prejudge at this stage the course of substantive negotiations to favor any position, for example by adding such language as "the democratic principle", "democratic Security Council", or "an accountable, accessible Security Council".
(Basis for negotiations)
According to paragraph (d) and (e) of decision 62/557, all the positions of and proposals made by the Member States, the five key issues, and the reports of the OEWG in the 61st and 62nd session of the General Assembly would form the basis for negotiations. We are all fully aware of proposals made by Member States as summarized in the Report of the OEWG of the 62nd session. At the start of the negotiations, all proposals must be on the table, including that of expanding both the permanent and non-permanent categories. We cannot agree to any other formula which would limit the options for reform before negotiations start.
The general rules of procedure of the General Assembly will apply. If any clarifications on issues of negotiation procedure are necessary, these will be worked out as part of the negotiating process in the informal plenary, as has been the case with other informal negotiations in the General Assembly.
The aim of negotiations is to seek a solution for Security Council reform that can garner the widest possible acceptance by Member States, as defined in the decision.
We cannot agree to any attempt to reopen and modify this agreed formula for the decision-making process, with additional qualifications such as "seek an agreed solution", "a negotiated solution", "a compromised solution", or "no decision unless a consensus is reached", or by adding "well above a two-thirds majority" after "the widest possible political acceptance". These expressions are not new. All these proposals have already been rejected by Member States in the process of finalizing decision 62/557, and the current wording was unanimously accepted in the GA plenary on 15 September 2008.
(How to organize negotiations)
All of the key issues, such as categories of membership, size of an enlarged Council, the question of the veto, working methods, etc., are closely interrelated. Therefore, they should be negotiated in an orderly sequence in the single venue of an informal plenary. The negotiation process should be open and inclusive of all Member States, fully reflecting the interconnected nature of each element of reform. There should be no sub-committees or working groups.
(How to conduct negotiations: a composite paper for negotiations)
To conduct orderly negotiations in the informal plenary, we need at the initial stage a concise composite paper containing options for the five clusters of key issues, incorporating all of the positions of and proposals by Member States.
In my view, the Office of the President and Ambassador Tanin are in the best position to prepare such a paper, and we urge them to do so. But if the President and Vice-President, for whatever reason, are not in a position to do so, we could come up with other Member States-driven ways to produce such a composite paper containing all proposals of Member States.
I am confident that you have sufficient basis to enable you to present the results of the consultations in the OEWG on the framework and modalities of intergovernmental negotiations, in a concise manner, to the informal plenary by the end of January, as mandated by the General Assembly. As I indicated, we have full confidence in you to proceed.
Japan appreciates your leadership and guidance during the OEWG meetings and looks forward to the same vigor and commitment throughout the intergovernmental negotiations in the informal plenary starting next month.
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