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Statement by Ambassador LIU Zhenmin at the Meeting of the 60th UNGA on Security Council Reform

2006-07-20 00:00

Mr. President,

Since the beginning of this year, various UN reforms have all witnessed positive progress, such as the establishment of the Human Rights Council and the Peace-building Commission, many new measures adopted for the Secretariat management reform, and the on-going consultations on the Mandate Review, Revitalization of the GA and Strategy on Counter-terrorism. As is pointed out by the President of the General Assembly, these results have been achieved through the common efforts of all Member States.

Mr. President,

According to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. As one of the principal UN organs, a more effective Security Council bears on world peace and security as well as the interests of all Member States. To strengthen the Council's role and authority through reform is conductive to enhancing the UN role, promoting multilateral approaches and accelerating democratization of international relations. To this end, the Chinese side has all along explicitly supported the Security Council in conducting the necessary and rational reform.

President Hu Jintao expounded comprehensively China's position on this issue at last year's world summit. Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese side has reiterated its position on many occasions. Keeping in mind the current development, I now wish to emphasize the following three main points:

1. The Security Council reform should be carried out on the basis of broad consensus. Since the beginning of this year, a wide spectrum of discussions and consultations has been conducted on the Council reform. Though a proposal acceptable to the overwhelming majority of the Member States has not been produced yet, all the parties have carefully summed up experiences and, based on the previous proposals, intensified their efforts to seek new way of thinking, exchange views and narrow differences so as to reach broadest consensus. This is worthy of our appreciation and encouragement. This is the correct way that will lead the reform to a final success. China supports all measures that will conduct the reform in a step-by-step way and on the basis of broad consensus among Member States.

2. The Council reform should not just focus on expansion. The purpose of reform is to enhance the authority and representation of the Council. We therefore need to both appropriately enlarge its composition and reform its working methods in a practical and scientific manner, so as to fully reflect the constructive views of the large number of non-Council members, regional organizations and the civil society. Some countries have put forward a number of suggestions and proposals, which deserve our attentive study. At the same time, we should encourage the Council to improve itself in its own practice.

3. The key to the Council reform lies in improving the representation of developing countries. Reform is not a power game, let alone a private "bargain" among big powers. The large number of developing countries, especially the African countries, is seriously underrepresented. Their voice is rather limited at the Council, with even fewer opportunities for them to fully participate in the decision-making of the Council. This should be the priority in Council's enlargement. Undoubtedly, it is hard to adopt the proposal that only addresses the concerns of a few big powers but fails to give equal treatment to or even ignore the voice of developing countries, especially medium and small countries.

Mr. President,

The 61st UNGA Session will soon be open in September. Leaders or foreign ministers of Member States will gather once again in New York to discuss plans for UN reform and implementation of consensus reached at last year's summit. Member States will have the time and opportunity to engage in an in-depth exchange of views and seek broad consensus on UN reform.

The Open-ended Working Group has served, for many years, as an effective platform for exchanges and discussions on Security Council reform. It should continue to play its important role in narrowing differences and increasing common understanding. The Chinese side is willing to work with all others and actively support the efforts of the President of the General Assembly in promoting progress in the Council reform and all other areas of UN reform.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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