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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
13 November 2009


General Assembly
GA/10887

            Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
45th & 46th Meetings (AM & PM)


CONVINCED THAT EXPANDING SIZE OF SECURITY COUNCIL IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY


MEMBER STATES DISCUSS WAYS TO CARRY OUT 'DELICATE ENGINEERING PROJECT'’

Wrapping Up Two-Day Debate on Security Council Reform, General Assembly
Delegates Also Weigh Options to Limit, Abolish ‘Anachronistic’ Right of Veto


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Background

The General Assembly met today to continue and conclude its annual joint debate on the question of the equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters. (For more information, please see press release GA/10886).

Statements

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JORGE VALERO ( Venezuela) said the Council had experienced “great failings” in dealing with the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine. Its reform was the keystone to strengthening the United Nations and aligning the Organization with changes that had taken place in the international system.  United Nations democratization must be assured, notably through the exercise of a genuine culture of democracy.  “No country can be overlooked.”  United Nations reform involved the Security Council, General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, and it must result in boosting the Assembly’s role in performing its functions in the areas of peace and security, in line with the Charter.  Those areas were not under the exclusive purview of the Security Council.

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YURIY VITRENKO ( Ukraine) said he encouraged the Council’s permanent and non-permanent members to compromise on the many difficult issues -- such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and stabilization of the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Darfur -- that faced the United Nations. On a few critical occasions, such as topics of Georgia and Gaza, it had failed to adequately react to serious challenges that directly threatened international peace and security.  The world needed a more modern Council as demand for United Nations participation in conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding was growing.

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MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) said there was a need for action on the Council’s working methods, with view to improving its cooperation with the Assembly and other bodies. Improving its working methods should compliment, not substitute, broader Council reform. The various matters that the Council had addressed showed its attention to situations that threatened international peace and security, notably the situation in the Middle East, including Palestine, and the tragic events in Gaza at the beginning of the year. Despite the unanimous adoption of resolution 1860 (2009), Palestinians were still awaiting its full implementation.

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SAVIOUR F. BORG ( Malta) noted the increase in open debates and briefings at the Security Council, which had increased transparency and openness and enhanced access to participation by all Member States.  The situations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East continued to create concern for the entire United Nations Membership, and he specifically mentioned African conflicts, which occupied a considerable portion of the Council’s work.

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The Middle East continued to present a formidable challenge and the grave loss of life emanating at the beginning of this year in and around the Gaza Strip had aggravated the deteriorating humanitarian situation, which required a more decisive contribution of the Security Council in implementation of resolution 1860 (2009), he said.  The progress of the last year on the reform had been the result of healthy and proactive exchanges that took place in the intergovernmental negotiations on five key issues.  Those issues were linked, and thus, needed consideration as a whole....

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PAMPHILE GOUTONDJI ( Benin) said the annual report showed the Council’s work over the past year in tackling serious activities, including peacekeeping.  It had adopted two resolutions to combat sexual violence against women.  It showed the importance of its work with regional groups.  There were critical situations in which the expectations of Members had not been met.  It was important for the Council to find the right methods to react to dangerous situations, such as the conflict in Gaza.  When lives of civilians were endangered, one day of dithering had serious results.

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For information media • not an official record

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