Thank you, Mr. President. The United States is pleased to participate in this annual plenary debate on the important topic of Security Council reform. Allow me first, though, to thank the Security Council President, Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, for his introduction of the Council’s Annual Report to the General Assembly. This report, a requirement under UN Charter Articles 15 and 24, ensures that all Member States are able to keep apprised of the Council’s work throughout the reporting period.
This year, the United States delegation was responsible for preparing the introduction of the Annual Report. One of our goals was to keep it as concise and readable as possible, while also summarizing the large amount of content. My delegation thanks the current and former Council members who assisted in this task this year.
Mr. President, today’s debate occurs just before the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform in December 1993, when we adopted resolution 48/26 by consensus. Since then, 79 different Member States have served as non-permanent Members on the Council. We have collectively addressed many topics over that time period with these many partners; each of which contributed to the important work of the Council.
Their contributions demonstrate that we need a Security Council that better represents twenty-first century realities, and that is maximally capable of carrying out its mandate and effectively meet the global challenges of this century. The United States is open to modest Council expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories; any consideration of which countries merit future permanent membership should take into account their ability and willingness to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the United Nations, and to exercise the heavy responsibility that comes with Security Council membership.
Mr. President, my delegation welcomes the reappointment of Ambassador Tanin to chair the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform, and we look forward to resuming those meetings this month. We have also read attentively your letter dated October 22, 2013, in which he notified Member States that a new Advisory Group has been formed to produce a basis for the resumption of intergovernmental negotiations. The United States looks forward to receiving this Group’s ideas.
Finally, Mr. President, we all should approach the upcoming sessions on Security Council reform constructively. We know many Member States feel that the issue has, in fact, been studied for too long without action, but hopefully, by working together, we can consider a way forward that is agreeable to the broadest possible majority of UN members, and that can best promote the Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and other purposes of the United Nations. Thank you, Mr. President.
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