October 20, 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 increasing demands on the Security Council for responses to conflicts, threats and breaches of peace, and the magnitude of the tasks it is called upon to undertake, are evident in the Council’s report A/56/2, covering the period between 16 June 2000 and 15 June 2001. The 173 record formal meetings, the 185 informal consultations, the 57 resolutions and the 72 reports of the Secretary-General considered by the Council, constitute the body of this Annual report, which the Security Council pursuant to Article 24 of the United Nations Charter, is submitting to the General Assembly.

The submission of the voluminous report which, according to the Charter, is expected to contain substantive, analytical and material account of the work of the Council is, in itself, evidence of its accountability to the general membership of the United Nations.

The numbers show that, despite the decrease of behind doors meetings, they are still more numerous than the open formal meetings. Though there are good reasons for closed meetings, they lack by definition transparency and are giving a message of exclusion of the rest of the United Nations membership. No degree of briefing, after these closed meetings, can equate the information received by witnessing the Council’s open meetings and listening to its deliberations.

 

Mr. President,

There is no doubt that the working methods of the Security Council have improved, though there will always be room for further improvement. We welcome again the inclusion in the report of monthly assessments of the Council’s outgoing Presidents, the continuing briefings of delegations and press by the Presidency, the increased consultations with troop contributing states and the general trend for openness of the Council. Transparency and good working methods are having their positive effects, especially in the case of peace-keeping operations.

On the substantive aspect, the report demonstrates that conflicts and crises in the world not only they have not diminished, but have instead increased, and in the case of terrorism, they have become more complex. Militant separatism/terrorism, constitutes one of the greatest threats facing mankind. It is a clear and present danger to life, stability, prosperity and even to world peace and security. We feel that the Security Council and the General Assembly have acted with prudence and determination in the adoption of resolutions for its eradication.

The new crises are regrettably added to a number of long-standing problems, which remain unresolved due to lack of political will and non-implementation of mandatory resolutions and decisions. Selectivity in the implementation of Security Council resolutions shakes the faith of the general membership, especially of the small states in the United Nations. The obligation of all states to conform without exceptions with the Council’s decisions is part of the Charter, whose provisions we are all committed to comply with.

We all expect and hope for a Council able to face the new challenges of the new century. To achieve this goal, the Council must firstly be representative, reflecting the realities of a changed world. Increasing its membership on the basis of an equitable geographical distribution of seats, both in permanent and non-permanent members, will give the Council more legitimacy and strengthen its effectiveness. The increase will render decisions more credible to all those states on behalf of which it was mandated to act. Secondly, it must have sufficient funds and personnel, a necessary prerequisite for a strong Security Council, so that, as the Secretary-General stated, it never lets down those who placed their faith in it. Thirdly, we should remember that no reform can be more effective and useful than the determination of the Security Council to implement its own resolutions and decisions. Finally, Article 43 of the UN Charter, should, at these grave and complex times be, in our view, fully implemented, placing on the call of the UN Security Council armed forces for the maintenance of the international peace and security.

The need for a good relationship and coordination between the responsibilities of the General Assembly and the Security Council, the two main UN Organs cannot be overemphasized. The Secretariat’s strict adherence to the decisions of these main organs forms the base for increasing the credibility of our Organization.

We agree with India’s suggestion made in the recent past, as to the incorporation into the report of an assessment of the Security Council of the usefulness and helpfulness of its own actions, and we support greater collaboration between the United Nations and regional organizations, so long as this collaboration is based on the UN Charter and in the promotion of goals, in line with its provisions.

Ending, I would like to congratulate Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico and Syria for their election to the Security Council and, at the same time, to thank this important Organ of the United Nations, for its efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the problem of Cyprus.

Thank you, Mr. President.