8 November 2013
Statement by H. E. Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghani , Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations,
On Agenda Items 29 and 123
“Report of the Security Council” and “The Question of Equitable Representation
on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council, and Related Matters”
At the Sixty-Eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 8 November 2013
In the Name of God, the compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, let me begin by expressing our appreciation to you for convening this meeting on such an important issue. I would also like to congratulate Ambassador Zahir Tanin, the distinguished Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, for his re-appointment as a Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiation for the current session. While associating my delegation with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement delivered yesterday by the distinguished Ambassador of Egypt, allow me to state few further explain our position on this issue, which is of great importance for my Government.
My delegation has on many occasions expressed its view on the different aspects of the reform of the Security Council. Therefore, I avoid here to go into details. Just to recall briefly: This is already an established fact that as a result of the evolution of the international situation and the constant rise of new opportunities as well as new challenges in the international community a drastic revamp of the Council is required. The foregone conclusion, based on experiences and the realities, is that the Security Council with its current working methods and composition, which are by far outdated, could not succeed in its very important responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Fortunately, this is a point upon which there is a large agreement among member states, and we almost all agree that the comprehensive reform of the Council corresponding to the needs and requirements of the day is long overdue.
The size and composition of the Council, like its working methods, is one of the most important aspects of the Security Council reform. The current composition of the Security Council is neither regionally balanced nor geopolitically reflective of today’s realities. Therefore the Security Council is not representing the realities of the international community.
Moreover, we believe that the Council’s failure to change its composition and adequately improve its working methods and decision making processes lies at root of the noticeable decline in the trust of international public opinion in this important Organ, as a result of which image and credibility of the Council has suffered in the eyes of the general membership. In my view, focusing on turning the Security Council into an accountable international body, responsive to the general membership and public opinion should be the overarching goal, directing all our efforts in this respect. This is the only way to redress the damage and enhance the credibility of the Council. To this end, there is pressing need to strive towards strengthening the representative and democratic foundation of the Council.
This objective could be only attained if we continue to stick to a comprehensive reform of the Council, encompassing all five interrelated clusters, namely, categories of membership, the veto, size and working methods and regional representation and the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Given the importance of this, process, I should appreciate the attention and leadership of Ambassador Ashe with regard to the reform of the Security Council. Since the beginning of his tenure, he has demonstrated his interest in moving forward the Council reform. In his letter of 22 October 2013, he conveyed his intention to continue with the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) during the 68th session of this Assembly, which is a welcome development. We believe that the efforts made in the past 6 years within the framework of the intergovernmental negotiations are worthy of praise in the long course of endeavors towards the reform of the Council. My delegation welcome the continued efforts in this regards and is willing to participate in the process, based on text and focused on achieving results. Let me reiterate that the Council reform should be firmly membership-driven and advance on a fully comprehensive and transparent basis. Therefore, we look to the IGN as the only forum for reaching an agreement on the issue at hand.
On the report of the Security Council to the General Assembly, let me to only refer to the chronic problem of the encroachment of the Security Council on the work of the other main organs of the United Nations, particularly this Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and even some technical bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), under the pretext of security. There is also an alarming trend in which the Security Council has been increasingly involved in law-making and norm-setting practices. 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. These disturbing trends that run counter to the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter should be checked and abandoned.
I thank you.