December 16, 2017

Statement by the Representative of Cyprus Ambassador Constantine Moushoutas at the Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly – Report of the Security Council

Mr. President,

The Report of the Security Council, doc. A/54/2, summarizes its enormous workload carried out from 15 June 1998 to 15 June 1999. The 121 record meetings, the 239 informal consultations, the 72 resolutions and the 90 reports considered by the Council, indicate an increase in the volume of its work and evidences at the same time the increased expectations of the International Community with regard to responses by the Council to conflicts or disputes.

Following the 1997 decision of the Council, an effort was indeed made again this year to enhance the analytical nature of the report by incorporating brief, non-binding on the Council, personal assessments of representatives of the Council for the month in which they completed their functions as Presidents of the Security Council. The novelty in this year’s report is the inclusion, as an appendix, of the Report of the Sanctions Committee.

While we consider the additions in the report as efforts for further transparency in the work of the Council and of greater participation of the member-states of the UN, we feel that still more can be done especially in the following:

1) More information is needed as to the on-goings of the informal meetings of the Council. Full transparency, which is as important as efficiency, should be seen under the light of accountability. In this regard we support the idea of convening of open consultation meetings of the Security Council for the general membership.

2) In the voting procedures of the Council there are occasions where the Council votes on the draft resolution and proceeds thereafter to debate the very resolution which has already been adopted. We believe that, except in extraordinary situations of urgency, very rare indeed, the sequence should be reversed, especially on issues which usually draw a considerable number of non member speakers. Such a sequence should benefit also the positive impressions about the UN, of viewers of the Council’s proceedings.

3) While we understand the positive effects of informal consultation meetings, we feel they should be used sparingly not routinely as today, over-passing by far in number those of the regular open meetings. The Council must do more towards increasing the participation of non members of the Council in its deliberations. Close meetings frustrate such participation.

4) There should be more restrain of the Council over issues which may be considered as falling within the domain of the General Assembly. Expansion of the activities of the Security Council in matters of peace and security, is a welcome phenomenon. The expansion however of the Security Council over issues which may be within the domain of the General Assembly, does not conform to the division of work between the two most important organs of the United Nations. The need for close coordination between them cannot be overemphasized.

5) We are willing to consider and discuss the proposal by Germany of reporting to the general membership of the General Assembly, the reasons for the use of a veto.

6) We support the Indian proposal as to incorporation in the annual report of an assessment of the Council on the usefulness and helpfulness of its own actions.

7) We reiterate our belief that greater collaboration between the UN and the regional organizations is needed as provided under Chapter 8 of the UN Charter.

8) Sanctions cause economic losses, creating problems to neighboring states and to all those countries that have to observe them. The Security Council needs to become more sensitive to these problems as well as to the general humanitarian impact of the sanctions and should, therefore be more selective so as to address those targeted and not innocent people.

 

Mr. President,

We attach great importance to the item under consideration. The Security Council being the United Nations organ entrusted with primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security, whose decisions are binding as determined by the Charter, plays a key role which affects the international community as a whole.

Though more needs to be done, we are happy to concede that progress has been made in the recent years towards ameliorating the working methods of the Council, especially in transparency. The evidence of the progress made by the open-ended working group of the Security Council on the working methods of the Council, is therefore obvious.

The delegation of Cyprus would have more to say on the working methods of the Council during the discussion of the item “Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters”. We would just like to state at present that an equitable increase in the Council’s permanent and non-permanent seats, so as to render it representative, will go a long way in earning the confidence of the general membership.

 

Mr. President,

Representing a country whose problem remains inscribed on the agenda of this august body and of the Security Council expecting a just solution, I would like to express the appreciation of my government to the members of the Council for their contribution and to congratulate the five newly elected members, pledging at the same time our cooperation and full support.

 

Thank you, Mr. President.