Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to thank the Security Council President, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, for his introduction of the Council’s annual report to the General Assembly, and Ambassador Nestor Osorio and the Colombian delegation for their preparation of the report during their Presidency of the Council in July.
The annual report provides all Member States with a transparent and comprehensive review of the Security Council’s intensive work. We hope the report continues to facilitate the exchange of information and enhance the cooperation between these two co-equal principal organs of the United Nations. The United States takes seriously the importance of making sure that all member states are informed of and appropriately involved in the Council’s work. In that regard, we are pleased to see that the Council held 222 formal meetings, of which 205 were public meetings, from August 2011 to July 2012. The United States is also committed to improving the working methods of the Council, and we continue to encourage increased interaction between Member States and the Council’s Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
Mr. President, the Security Council first met in January 1946 under Australia’s Presidency. At that time, former Secretary of State and the First United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Edward Stettinius, Jr. said that the General Assembly, inter alia, is responsible for building the kind of world in which lasting peace will be possible, and that the Security Council must see that the peace is kept. Nearly 67 years later, the members of the Council remain dedicated to this mission.
As the world’s principal body for dealing with global security cooperation, the Council needs to reflect the realities of this new century. We recognize that various groups of Member States have presented proposals to add both permanent and non-permanent members, and also to add veto-wielding members. The United States is open, in principle, to a modest expansion of both permanent and non-permanent members, but we strongly believe that any consideration of an expansion of permanent members must be country-specific in nature. Moreover, the United States is not open to an enlargement of the Council that changes the current veto structure. Given that up to now, no proposal has enjoyed consensus among us in the inter-governmental negotiations on Security Council reform, we must continue to roll up our sleeves and discuss the way forward together.
To that end, the United States welcomes the continuation in this session of the General Assembly of the inter-governmental negotiations. We continue to view these negotiations as the best forum to build a path toward a reformed Security Council. At our last round of negotiations in July, the United States indicated that the way to find agreement is not through ultimatums, but through a step-by-step approach. We welcome Ambassador Tanin’s continued role as Chairman of the negotiations process and trust that he will guide us on such a path. We assure him of our full cooperation.
It remains essential that we work together through the IGN to overcome our differences and to find a comprehensive solution that addresses the common aspirations of the Member States. We very much look forward to continuing this dialogue with all of you.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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