November 23, 2017

Statement by Ambassador Moushoutas on the Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly

Mr. President,

We express appreciation to the distinguished Ambassador of Cameroon, H.E. Mr. Martin Belinga-Eboutou, for presenting in a most lucid way the report of the Security Council. We note the ever-increasing demands on the Security Council for responses to conflicts, threats and breaches of peace, evidenced by more meetings, more resolutions and more Presidential statements than last year. The report, covering the period of 16 June 2001 to 31 July 2002, contains mainly questions considered by the Council under its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

The UN Charter has conferred on the Council’s sweeping powers. No other Organ can take decisions which are mandatory. It continues to occupy increasingly political ground at the expense of the General Assembly, especially since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September, in the United States. However, though the power has shifted dramatically in favour of the Security Council, the submission of the report to the General Assembly is in itself a reminder and evidence of the accountability of the Security Council to the General Assembly, and to the general membership of the United Nations, on behalf of which it acts.

We note with appreciation the introductory updated format of the annual report on the outstanding world problems. The texts, though brief, are indeed timely and informative. We welcome also the improvement in the working methods of the Security Council, though there is further room for transparency, as the report itself states. The increased number of open meetings, the monthly assessments of the Council’s Presidents, the continuing briefing of non-member States and of the press by the Presidency, the increased consultations with troop-contributing States and the general trend for openness in the Council’s meetings are having their positive effects.

We note that on a number of questions there was progress, while on others, the situation is more threatening than ever, as in the case of international terrorism, which still poses a clear and present danger for mankind. We believe that the Security Council has acted speedily and prudently in the adoption of the two historic anti-terrorism resolutions, aiming at the eradication of this scourge. Resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001, through its Counter-Terrorism Committee, has set in motion, as the report states, “an exercise of unprecedented intensity in combating this significant threat to global peace and security”.

A number of long-standing problems, including the Question of Cyprus,  regrettably appear on the agenda of the Security Council unresolved, due to lack of political will and the refusal to implement mandatory resolutions and decisions of the Council. The obligation of all member States to comply without exception to Security Council resolutions, is a Charter provision which all States undertook to respect.

Non implementation by the Security Council on its own resolutions erodes its effectiveness and prestige. “The effectiveness of this most important Organ of the UN” said the President of the Republic of Cyprus also “would be seriously compromised, if it applies double standards. It must act in every case with determination and consistency”.

Mr. President,

To achieve fully its goals, the Council must firstly be truly representative, reflecting in numbers and substance the present realities. Reforms, especially increasing the membership of permanent and non-permanent seats, on an equitable geographical distribution and in accordance with Article 23 of the UN Charter, will give the Council more legitimacy, will render it more democratic and thus strengthen its effectiveness.

During the General Debate and other debates in Plenary on the item “Equitable Representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council”, Cyprus has placed on record its views on this all-important issue. The expansion of the Security Council is inevitable, because it enjoys the support of all member States. What is needed is the political will and flexibility to achieve an overwhelmingly supported agreement. We hope that with perseverance and diligence, by expanding the areas of concurrence in previous decade-long sessions of the Open-Ended Working Group, we will be making positive steps towards a generally acceptable agreement.

Secondly, it is self evident that the UN must have sufficient funds and personnel so that, as the Secretary-General had said, it never lets down those who placed their faiths in it. No reform will be meaningful if the Council’s mandatory resolutions remain unimplemented, due to its inability to carry out its solemn decisions.

Finally, it is our long held view that the articles of the Charter relating to the system of collective Security, as provided in the Charter by the founding fathers, should especially at these complex times, be fully implemented by placing on the call of the Security Council armed forces for the maintenance of international peace and security.

To strengthen further our Organization, the need for close relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly, the two most important Organs of the UN cannot be overemphasized. To this end, we support also greater collaboration between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, so long as the purpose is the promotion of goals within the Charter of the United Nations.

Ending, I would like to express our congratulations to the newly elected members of the Security Council: Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan and Spain, and to thank all its members for their efforts for a just and lasting solution to the Question of Cyprus, on the basis of its resolutions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.