26 November 2012
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of
the Non-Aligned Movement
United Nations Security Council
under the agenda item
“Working methods of the Security Council”
26 November 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I have the pleasure to speak today on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and at the outset, I would like to convey the Movement’s appreciation to the India’s presidency of the Security Council – and to you personally, Ambassador Puri- for having convened this important open debate to discuss the progress achieved in the implementation of the measures set out in the note by the President of the Security Council of 26 July 2010 (S/2010/507), and the concept paper. This open debate would help us to direct the discussions towards enhancing the transparency and efficiency of the work of the Security Council and to meet the expectations of the general membership of the United Nations. I would also like to thank Ambassador Moraes Cabral, the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions for his briefing today.
This debate is the fifth debate on the working methods of the Council. The increased frequency in recent years to have this debate is indicative of the fact that the member states attach great importance to this matter. The same interest has been shown by the Non-Aligned Movement. The Heads of State or Government of the Non Aligned Movement at its XVI Summit, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran from 26 to 31 August 2012 reiterated their long-standing position on the issue in the relevant paragraphs adopted at the Summit.
At the NAM Summit meeting in Tehran, taking into account the inter-linkage between Security council reform and improving its working Methods, the NAM Heads of State or Government underscored the need for UN Member States to fully respect the functions and powers of each principal organ of the UN, in particular the General Assembly, and to maintain the balance among these organs within their respective Charter-based functions and powers. They stressed that the Security Council must fully observe all Charter provisions as well as all General Assembly resolutions, which clarify its relationship with the latter organ and other principal organs. In this context, they affirmed that Article 24 of the Charter does not necessarily provide the Security Council with the competence to address issues which fall within the functions and power of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC, including in the areas of norm-setting, legislation, administrative and budgetary matters, and establishing definitions, bearing in mind that the Assembly is primarily tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification. In this regard the Meeting expressed its grave concern over the increasing and continuing encroachment by the Council on issues which clearly fall within the functions and powers of other principal organs of the UN and their subsidiary bodies. It further stressed that close cooperation and coordination among all principal organs is highly indispensable in order to enable the UN to remain relevant and capable of meeting the existing, new and emerging threats and challenges.
The NAM Summit also recommended, inter alia, the followings:
- It urged all States to uphold the primacy of and full respect for the provisions of the UN Charter pertaining to the functions and powers of the Assembly and called on the Presidents of the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and the Security Council to conduct regular discussions and coordination among themselves regarding the agenda and programme of work of the respective principal organs that they represent in order to establish increased coherence and complementarity among these organs in a mutually reinforcing manner, respectful of each other’s mandates, and with a view to generating a mutual understanding among them, with whom the members of the respective organs that they represent have vested in good faith their trust and confidence;
- It welcomed as a step forward the informal meetings between the July’s Presidents of the Council, and UN Member States on the preparation of the annual report of the Security Council, including those convened by Vietnam in 2008, Uganda in 2009, Nigeria in 2010, Germany in 2011 and Colombia in 2012, and call for more regular interaction between future Presidency of the Security Council and the wider membership of the United Nations, which can help enhance the quality of such reports;
- It called on the Security Council to submit a more explanatory, comprehensive and analytical annual report to the General Assembly, assessing the work of the Council, including such cases in which the Council has failed to act, and the views expressed by its members during the consideration of the agenda items under its consideration. Further call on the Security Council to elaborate the circumstances under which it adopts different outcomes whether resolutions, presidential statements, press statements or elements to the press;
- It called on the Security Council, pursuant to Articles 15 (1) and 24 (3) of the UN Charter, to submit special reports for the consideration of the General Assembly;
- It further called on the Security Council to ensure that its monthly assessments are comprehensive and analytical, and issued in a timely fashion. The General Assembly may consider proposing parameters for the elaboration of such assessments;
- It called on the Security Council to fully take into account the recommendations of the General Assembly on matters relating to international peace and security, consistent with Article 11 (2) of the Charter.
- The Security Council should avoid resorting to chapter VII of the Charter as a tool for addressing issues that do not necessarily pose a threat to international peace and security. It should fully utilize the provisions of other relevant chapters, including chapters VI and VIII, before invoking chapter VII which should be a measure of last resort.
The Non-Aligned Movement notes the paper S/2012/402 issued by the President of the Security Council on 5 June 2012 expressing members’ commitment to several efficiency-enhancing measures on the working methods including on the management of the Council programme and sessions, periodicity, conference resources and interactivity in maintaining closer contact between the Security Council and UN missions in the field.
Some positive steps have taken by the Security Council, pursuant to note 507. The Movement notes the increase in the number of public meetings, and expects that the quantitative increase of those meetings shall be associated with a qualitative improvement through the provision of real opportunities and more meaningful exchanges of view to take into account the contributions of non-Council members, particularly those whose interests are or maybe directly affected by possible decisions of the Council. Furthermore the concerned non-council member should be given the opportunity to express its views and position on such briefings. The general observations and positions formulated by numerous non-members of the Security Council during its debates or open debates should be properly taken into account in any possible outcome of those debates and should also be reflected in the Council’s annual report. NAM appreciates convening more frequent Arria Formula meetings as a practical way to ensure more interaction with non-Council members and regional and sub-regional organizations. It also appreciates holding of informal wrap-up sessions at the end of each presidency to evaluate what has been achieved.
The Non-Aligned Movement welcomes the continued briefings and consultations of the Council with the troop- contributing countries (TCCs) as part of the effort to plan and execute peacekeeping operations more effectively and with clearer mandates. The Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations should involve TCCs more frequently and intensively in its deliberations through sustained, regular and timely interaction.
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.
The Movement believes that more steps are needed, along with the necessary political will of Member States, particularly the permanent members of the Council, to improve the working methods of the Council through both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Transparency, accountability and consistency are key elements that the Security Council should observe in all its activities, approaches and procedures. Every effort should be made to render the Council more democratic, representative and accountable. In this way the Security Council can deal more efficiently and effectively with its mounting workload and with the multiplicity and complexity of the issues on its agenda in maintaining international peace and security. Non Aligned Movement stands ready to contribute to the achievement of these goals.
I thank you, Mr. President.