Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York

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Item 117 and 120 Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters; Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit

Statement by H.E. Mr. Martin PALOUŠ Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations

United Nations General Assembly

Statement by

H.E. Mr. Martin PALOUŠ
Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic
to the United Nations

New York, July 20, 2006

Mr. President,

For more than 10 years, the UN has been engaged in attempts to adjust its Security Council to new geopolitical realities - and so far to no avail. The core structure of the Council still reflects the situation of the end of the World War II, some sixty years ago. Since then not only new powers and important actors have emerged, but also the nature of the threats to international peace and security has considerably changed. Today's world is facing new threats, such as terrorism, in addition to the "more traditional" conflicts between states, which are of no lesser concern even if they seem to be less numerous.

To address these challenges effectively, the Security Council should become a more representative, transparent and efficient body. The reform and expansion of the Security Council is unavoidable, and the Czech Republic has been consistently working for the change. We are aware that there have been many different opinions in that respect, however, we all work together to insure better functioning and a greater authority of the Council. The Czech Republic shares the majority view that the absence of reform not only undermines the ability of the Council to act - but possibly also hampers progress in other areas of UN reform.

We believe that in selecting new permanent members of the Council one should take into account the overall role the candidates play in world affairs, their political, economic, or military strength, as well as their readiness to participate in safeguarding international peace and security and to assume greater financial responsibility vis-à-vis the UN. In particular, we have been through the years supporting the aspirations of Germany and Japan for permanent seats in the Council, along with allocation of other new permanent seats to Latin America, Asia and Africa. There is no doubt that new permanent members from among the developing countries will help to enhance the credibility of the Council.

Consistent with its long-term position on the Security Council reform, the Czech Republic - one of the original cosponsors of the last year's draft resolution by the so called G-4 - continues to support this approach. We believe that the G-4 proposal offers a realistic and viable model for the Council's expansion and upgrade of its working methods, a model that still has a potential to win the required majority of member states, if not support from all.

Thank you, Mr. President