30 November 2011
H.E. Mr. Eshagh Alehabib
Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Open Debate on the Implementation of the Measures Set Out in the Note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)
New York- 30 November 2011
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
I wish to express my gratitude for convening this important meeting, and the concept paper distributed earlier to facilitate the Implementation of the note: S/2010/507 on Working Methods of the Security Council. While associating my delegation with the statement of the Non Aligned Movement delivered by the distinguished representative of Egypt, let me share and emphasize on the following points as well.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the working method of the Security Council with the view of strengthening its role for the sake of promotion of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, particularly the maintenance of international peace and security and peaceful settlement of disputes as well as developing friendly relations among nations and upholding the rule of law in international relations of States by taking into account the interests of the general membership of the United Nations . One of major concerns we have is the excessive reliance on unlawful use or threat of force by some powerful members of the Security Council to advance their interests by invoking outdated practices and thus continue to endanger international peace and security and undermine the fundamental principles of the United Nations and international law. The discussion on the reform of the Security Council and its working methods would well provide a platform for Member States to review and renew their commitments to the lofty principles of the Charter and the main organs of the United Nations which are supposed to promote peaceful international relations between States.
As it is correctly notified at the concept paper contained in S/2011/726, the lack of improvement in the three interlinked and key issue-areas of transparency, interaction with non-members, and efficiency in the working methods of the Security Council, continue to be the principal themes suggested for discussion with the aim of identifying ways of improving in all these aspects. I wish to build on these shortcomings by further elaboration and few practical suggestions as follows:
1- 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.
2- Despite the requirement of Council’s own decisions on its working methods including those contained in document S/2010/507, that for instance call for consultation by the Council with “the broader United Nations membership in particular interested Member States, including countries directly involved or specifically affected… when drafting, interalia, resolutions, presidential statements and press statements”, however in many cases, the general membership and even the concerned countries are kept totally uninformed of the negotiations on resolutions or statements directly affecting them, let alone seeking their views on the Council’s outcome documents. This is also the case for the non-permanent members when they are frequently faced with the situation of secretive negotiations between few permanent members on important issues;
3- Quick and unnecessary 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 disturbing facts that have undermined the credibility and legitimacy of the Council’s decisions.
4- The Security Council sanctions regime needs to be reviewed. Sanctions should only imposed in strict conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter and avoid exceeding its authority or acting in breach of the principles of international law.
To increase the transparency of its work and make a balance approach in interaction with non-members, and improve efficiency of its working methods, the Council should seriously address the said shortcomings and 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. In fact, the Security Council’s increasing encroachment on the prerogatives of other main organs of the United Nations particularly that of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and their subsidiary bodies, as well as such technical bodies as IAEA, is also of particular concern to the member States.
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. Undoubtedly, impartiality, transparency, and fairness are key premises on which the Security Council should base its approach in discharging its Charter-mandated responsibilities. Every effort should be made to render the Council more democratic, representative and accountable. My delegation stands ready to contribute to the achievement of these goals.
I thank you.