Statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan
during the virtual Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Ministerial Meeting
H.E. Mr. Luigi Di Maio,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank Italy for convening this important Ministerial meeting of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Group.
A UN Security Council, which is more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable is indispensable to address the multiple challenges that the world confronts today.
The reform of the UN Security Council involves the vital interests of all UN Member States, and must, therefore, be decided by the widest possible support of the UN membership i.e. by consensus.
That is the name of our Group, and the very objective which unites us.
The reform of the Council, moreover, should enhance the “representation” of all UN Member States. And, it should enhance “equitable regional representation” in accordance with Articles 23 (1) and (2) of the UN Charter. Only an acceptable formula with an increase in the non-permanent members, and rotation through democratic elections, can provide more equitable representation for all States on the Council. Such rotation, combined with regional representation, offers possibilities for a fuller representation of members of various groups of states.
The last UN General Assembly Session witnessed some desperate attempts and manoeuvring by the G-4 in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) to push through their ambitions aimed at creating new centres of privilege.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the wider UN membership opposed such tactics as we witnessed last June.
Instead of attempting to impose decisions through precipitate proposals which can derail the reform process and exacerbate divisions within the Organization, it is essential to continue the dialogue in the IGN process.
Member states must be allowed the necessary time and space to reconcile their positions on all issues, broaden the areas of convergence and reduce divergences, and thus evolve a solution acceptable to the entire UN membership.
There is no other viable path towards a “Security Council reform for all.”
Confronted by the endeavours of those seeking positions of privilege to steamroll the process, it is imperative for our group to remain united and adopt a well-coordinated campaign in defense of the dialogue process in the IGN.
We must anticipate and prepare for all possible scenarios.
In our view, UfC priorities for the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly should include the following:
o One, we should maintain and preserve the integrity of the membership-driven and IGN-centric reform process, that seeks a fair and equitable compromise solution in the interests of all Member States and enjoys the “widest possible political acceptance” of the UN membership.
o Two, we must continue to reaffirm that, given the fundamental divergences that exist on several key aspects, the process is not at a stage where a text can be produced to serve as the basis for negotiations that would result in a solution enjoying the widest possible support of the Member States.
Given these sensitivities, we must urge the incoming President of the UN General Assembly to retain the IGN process within its established parameters. Our message should be clear. Any attempts to impose unilateral or arbitrary approaches, contrary to the membership driven nature of the IGN process, would not only threaten to derail the process, but may also spell an end to the reform process itself.
o Three, as stipulated in the UN General Assembly’s resolutions on the reform process, there is no distinction between the ‘substantive’ and ‘procedural’ aspects of the reform process. Procedural changes in the reform process also require the consent and consensus of the Membership. Moreover, ‘Procedural’ fixes cannot provide answers to ‘substantive’ issues.
o Four, we must reinvigorate our dialogue with Africa and find ways to accommodate Africa’s legitimate aspirations and desire to rectify historical injustices, within the parameters of the UfC’s position. We must counter attempts by the G-4 to exploit the African position for their own purposes and objectives. Continued dialogue between the UfC and the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on the reform issue must remain an integral part of our efforts in the coming months. We must also reach out to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
o Five, UfC’s principled stance on the reform issue offers the only practical solution to the reform of the Council. A large number of Member States hold views consistent with or close to the UfC position. In this regard, Pakistan strongly supports Saudi Arabia’s interest in joining the UfC and will be happy to welcome it as a member of our Group. We should continue our efforts to expand and diversify this group by identifying and inviting like-minded countries to become full or associate members.
As part of the UfC, Pakistan will continue to play an active role to promote a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council that aims to transform it into a democratic, representative, accountable, transparent and efficient organ committed to upholding international peace and security.
I thank you