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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
19 November 2008


General Assembly
GA/10786

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

Sixty-third General Assembly
Plenary
55th Meeting (AM)


TO REMAIN RELEVANT, SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP MUST REFLECT FULL DIVERSITY

OF UNITED NATIONS, SPEAKERS SAY DURING GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE

On Second Day Tackling Security Council Reform, Delegations Call for
More Transparency, Better Representation for Small States, Curbs on Veto Power


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Background

The General Assembly met this morning to continue and conclude its annual joint debate on the Report of the Security Council and matters related to the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of that 15-member body. [Please see Press Release GA/10786.]

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SAVIOUR F. BORG ( Malta) expressed regret that the situation in the Middle East had remained on the Security Council’s agenda for six decades and yet the search continued for a long-term solution to that problem with the Palestinian question at its core.

While he did not underestimate the complexity of the Middle Eastern issue, he regretted the fact that the Council was unable to agree on timely and urgent measures to address situations that continued to block progress in achieving a comprehensive and durable solution.  The international community had welcomed the Annapolis conference and, therefore, the role of the Council was “primordial” in solidly backing the outcome of that conference in order to advance the Middle East Peace Process.  He hoped the council, in the coming months, would review its efforts in support of the current positive engagement between Israelis and Palestinians.

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HAMIDON ALI ( Malaysia) ...

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He expressed regret that little attention had been given by the Council to addressing the Palestinian issue.  “We do not understand why the Security Council could be so concerned and eager to act on matters such as climate change, where security implications are debatable, and be stone silent on the Palestine question,” he said, adding that the continued failure of the Council to solve that question had undermined its credibility.

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BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) acknowledged the Security Council’s many areas of engagement around the world, and its success in highlighting important global issues, including the role of women in peacekeeping and the relationship between the Council and other regional organizations.  However, he noted the Council’s inability to successfully resolve protracted conflicts, notably in Palestine and Western Sahara.  Fulfilling its mandate to maintain peace and security could stem that erosion of credibility.  In that regard, the call for the Council’s reform through the implementation of resolution 62/557 and the start of intergovernmental negotiations had been a watershed decision. 

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For information media • not an official record

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