9 November 2011
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
before the General Assembly on Agenda item 122
“Question of equitable representation on and increase in
the membership of the Security Council and related matters”
(New York, 9 November 2011)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Let me begin by expressing our appreciation to you for convening this meeting on such an important issue. I would also like to thank Ambassador Zahir Tanin, the distinguished Permanent Representative of Afghanistan for his tireless efforts in leading the Intergovernmental Negotiations.
While associating my delegation with the statement of the Non Aligned Movement delivered earlier yesterday by the distinguished Ambassador of Egypt, allow me to present a few more points in national capacity as well.
There is a general agreement among Member States on the fact that the Security Council, which was established on the basis of the realities of 1940s, is certainly not responding to the needs, concerns and realities of the world today, and should, therefore, be reformed, both in its working methods and decision–making processes, as well as in its composition and structure. We all know that as it stands today, the Security Council is one of the most anachronistic international bodies that require urgent comprehensive reform in order to correspond to the needs and requirements of the day.
In this respect, we believe the Security Council reform process should not be merely viewed as an opportunity to score maximum national gains. Rather, it should be seen as an indispensable responsibility for all of us, a responsibility and a necessity that is long overdue and that if taken in a way that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by Member States, the whole world community and the United Nations in its entirety would benefit.
Impartiality, transparency, accountability and fairness are key requirements on which the Security Council should base its approach in discharging its Charter-mandated responsibilities. To increase the transparency of its work and improving its working methods, the Council should seriously take into consideration the relevant provisions of the Charter as well as the resolutions which clarify its relationship with the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations.
The size and the working methods of the Council are the two most important aspects of the Security Council reform. We concur with the view that the composition of the Security Council is not representing the realities of the international community today, and this issue should be thoroughly addressed and resolved in a meaningful reform of the United Nations. The credibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the said body will be strengthened through adequate attention to equitable geographical distribution of its membership. It is noticeable that the current composition of the Security Council is neither regionally balanced nor geopolitically reflective of today’s realities therefore, the new composition should well reflect the realities of today.
As to the working methods, we are of the view that the Security Council’s failure to adequately improve its working methods and decision making processes, have brought about a situation where we are witnessing a decline in international public opinion’s trust in this important Organ. This trend has, in turn, led to the loss of image and credibility by the Council in the eyes of the general membership. According to article 24 of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council should be acting on behalf of the whole UN member States; but in reality, not only the Council’s decisions are less and less reflecting the wish and the views of general membership, but they even do not –in many cases- represent the genuine opinion of its own general membership.
Whereas in accordance with the UN Charter, the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations is primarily entrusted with the task of progressive development and codification of international law, we have been witnessing an alarming trend in which the Security Council has been increasingly involved in law-making and norm-setting practices. This is a disturbing trend that runs counter to the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter and should be checked and reversed. Unnecessary and quick resort to Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and the threat or use of sanctions in cases where no actions have even been necessary, are other issues of concern for the general membership that have hurt the credibility and legitimacy of the Council’s decisions.
As it has been mentioned by different delegations since the very beginning of the work of the United Nations, the Veto power has always raised concerns and criticism on various grounds by a significant majority of Member States. There is a strong sense of injustice and discrimination between the haves and have-nots. In fact, Veto is a non- democratic and non-constructive instrument.
We believe that a meaningful reform of the Council will be possible only through addressing the aforesaid shortcomings and also through dealing with the question of underrepresentation of developing and Muslim countries in the Council in a serious and meaningful manner.
Before concluding, Mr. President, I wish to stress that as you proceed in implementing the difficult but important task bestowed upon you to move the process of the reform of the Security Council forward, you will always find us beside you offering our sincere help and constructive support.
I thank you.