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Security Council Reform: Massari calls for a “reform for all”

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 15 – “Today’s reality is not set in stone”: addressing the first debate of the 76th General Assembly on the reform of the Security Council the Uniting for Consensus group reiterated that flexibility and the search for a solution that garners the widest political acceptance are the main ingredients to advance the process.

Ambassador Maurizio Massari, the Permanent Representative of Italy, spoke on behalf of the group. The meeting was the first under the new UNGA President Abdulla Shahid who recently appointed two experienced Co-Chairs of the Intergovernative Negotiation, Ambassador Al Thani and Ambassador Hermann: “We trust that they will assure a neutral management of the IGN. We need to have referees, not players”, said Massari.

On the background is the attempts of several countries to increase the number of permanent members beyond the current five. Massari noted that the pandemic has exposed the need for strenghtened international cooperation to address old and new challenges. “The COVID pandemic has clearly exposed the need for strengthened international cooperation to address old and new challenges,” said the Ambassador: “We need an enhanced multilateralism, a multilateralism that is more inclusive, flexible and solutions-oriented”.

UfC, of which Italy is ‘Focal Point’, pushes for the creation of a Council that will be more efficient, representative, inclusive, transparent and democratic than the one established in 1945:  “Crucial decisions for the sake of international peace cannot be made by just a few, or blocked by a few, without everybody being granted – at the very least – the possibility to have a seat at the table”, said the Ambassador. What is needed, therefore, is a “reform for all”, through a solution that meets the collective interest of all 193 members of the United Nations.

Not all member states think this way: during the debate a British delegate reiterated his country’s support for a new permanent seats to be assigned to Germany, Japan, India and Brazil (the so-called G4), plus a permanent seat for Africa. Ambassador Massari, in turn, called on member states to “renounce the search for privileges and instead be open to contemplating an increase in the number of non-permanent elective seats”, which would increase opportunities for member states to sit on the Council in rotation. This way, all regions could make their voices heard, including small countries, island and more vulnerable countries, and above all Africa (among the most penalized in the history of the Council). More than 50 countries have never served on the Security Council.

“Our goal during the next IGN session should be to further reduce the gaps separating the positions of negotiating groups. We call on all Member States to approach the Security Council reform process in good faith and show more flexibility, inspired by a spirit of compromise”, said Massari, and UfC is ready to continue to work in that direction. “We are of the opinion that discussions within the IGN should focus on the substantive issues that are still pending. There is no alternative in setting or procedure that could help overcoming these challenges”. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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