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Statement by Mr. Martin Palous, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN on the Security Council Reform

Mr. Chairman, congratulations for your election to assume the challenging role of facilitator in this important debate. Let me assure you and other facilitators of full support of the Czech delegation in your endeavors to generate a new impuls for our disussions of the reform of the Security Council with the aim to adjust this key UN body in the area of peace and security to new geopolitical realities.

Statement by

Mr. Martin Palous
Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN

AT THE INFORMAL OPEN-ENDED CONSULTATIONS MEETINGS ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
(Categories of membership)


Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,


Mr. Chairman, congratulations for your election to assume the challenging role of facilitator in this important debate. Let me assure you and other facilitators of full support of the Czech delegation in your endeavors to generate a new impulse for our discussions of the reform of the Security Council with the aim to adjust this key UN body in the area of peace and security to new geopolitical realities. These discussions have been taken place for more than ten years, so far without much success, and, indeed, we are all experiencing, to repeat the words of our German colleague, "reform fatigue." Given changes in the world - it may be hard to believe, but the Cold War ended almost 18 years ago - we need to achieve a meaningful change in the Security Council as well. The Czech Republic is convinced that some action in that direction should be taken without further delay, i.e. within the 61st General Assembly. We welcome the decision of the President of the GA to appoint five facilitators to discuss the possible new ideas in the five categories. We believe that this process is the right one and can bring us to a new level that would be beneficial for our further discussions on the matter. Nonetheless, we are well aware, as it has been pointed out by many delegations: All five elements in our discussions are interrelated. The old scholastic wisdom distinguere sed non separare, distinguish, but not separate, applies here. When participating in these debates we all need to adopt a kind of holistic approach. With that on mind I would like to make just three points.

  1. The Czech Republic is a reform-minded country, and has no vested interest in the reform, except for a better functioning of the whole United Nations. We have co-sponsored the model submitted by G4 countries and we have repeatedly expressed our support for this proposal under many occasions. But we are far from being stubborn or dogmatic. On the contrary, we are flexible and ready to listen carefully to others who promote and subscribe to alternative approaches, to do everything possible to accommodate their arguments and concerns.

  2. What we all need to distinguish above all is the final result to be achieved and the process how to get there. My conviction is that right now, as the main goal of our current action, we should focus on the processual aspect of our task, that may need to consist of a series of steps, a series of interim solutions. We should ask ourselves whether there are some "confidence building measures" we can think of to enhance more cooperation between supporters of different proposals. We should not waste time just in empty speculations - for instance, about the positive or negative impact of extension of veto power to the potential new permanent members - but to try to find a way how to adopt more empirical approach: to learn by experience and to correct the likely imperfections of adopted interim solutions in its light. Our differential equation, if I am allowed to use the metaphor from high mathematics - with variables and parameters articulated and discussed now within our five clusters - may have no "analytical" solution, but it has, for sure, and it must have, a "numerical" one, consisting of steps of reasonable size and converging to the "right", i.e durable and consensual result.

  3. As far as categories are concerned: the core for us remains the extension of the Council in both categories. We have been for years supporting aspirations of G4 - Germany, Japan, India and Brazil and a representative of Africa - for permanent seats and a reasonable enlargement - up to five, six new members in the category of non-permanent seats with equitable representation of all the regions. We believe that the extension by non-permanent members only would miss the basic point which is - A. work at a spirit of the UN Charter and not to allow discrimination, and B. to strive for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness which could be hardly achieved by having non-permanent added members only.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman, let me emphasize once more: It is clear that the composition of the Council must go hand by hand with the realities of the 21st century. It is without question that the actual state of affairs must be replaced with a new model that is more representative, more credible and enabling more democratic involvement of states. I want to express the hope, on behalf of my government, that it is doable, that we can make it. Thank you Mr. Mr. Chairman.