January 27, 2023

Statement by Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou at the General Assembly’s annual debate under Item 123

Item 123 – “Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters”

November 8, 2013

Mr. President

Cyprus welcomes this timely debate of the General Assembly on the important matter of the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of, the Security Council and related matters.

As you yourself stated in your acceptance speech of June 4th 2013, ‘United Nations reform represents an important element in our overall effort to strengthen the Organization, without which, the Organization runs the risk of becoming inconsequential.’   We welcome the reappointment of H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, as Chair of the Inter governmental negotiations, and look forward to this session’s first meeting in the IGN framework.

We also take note of your decision to form an advisory group, which will, as we understand, provide you with input, aimed at reflecting a comprehensive approach to the positions and ideas put forward in the negotiations so far, and point out available options chartering the road ahead.

Mr. President

Cyprus supports a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, based on the GA’s  decision 62/557, which inter alia includes the improvement of the Council’s  working methods in order to enhance the accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness of its decisions and actions, as well as to increase the transparency of its work. In addition, Cyprus supports the expansion, and the increase in the membership of the Security Council, in both categories, that is permanent and non permanent members.  We believe that all five key issues identified in the above decision, namely categories of membership, the question of the veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Council, working methods, and the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly should be addressed and resolved in a package deal, through the member driven process of the intergovernmental negotiations.

Only the IGN process, in its inclusive and holistic nature, and its unity of purpose and intention can bring about a reform that is meaningful, representative, and democratic in its nature.

Mr. President

2015 will mark the ten year anniversary of the 2005 World Summit, at which global leaders resolved, inter alia, on the need for an early reform of the Security Council. Furthermore, it has been almost five years, since the commencement of the Intergovernmental Negotiations. In resolution 62/ 557, member states resolved, among other things, to negotiate ‘in good faith with mutual respect and in an open, inclusive and transparent manner ….seeking a solution that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by Member States’.

We believe that the time has come, to show the necessary political resolve, realism, and commitment, to move the process forward, and consensually agree on a reform model, that will address the concerns and aspirations of all involved.  We need to create a fairer, and more representative Council, able to reflect the 21st century’s realities, and tackle the 21st century’s composite challenges. In order to achieve progress, we need to begin serious and committed text based negotiations; we do not have the luxury to delay this process anymore.

As we will soon be entering the 10th round of intergovernmental negotiations, let us remind ourselves that the world needs to see our determination, to keep the UN relevant, involved and resolved, able to address its problems and fulfill its hopes.

Thank you Mr. President.