The question of the reform of the UNSC is as old as
the UN itself. Member States have consistently
voiced concerns over permanent representation on the Council and the power of
the veto, especially since the end of the Cold War, by which point global
geopolitical realities had clearly shifted since 1945. Formal discussion about
reforming the UN Security Council began with the 1993 establishment of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of
Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security
Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council.
After more than a decade of the
Working Group, Member States decided in September 2007 to move discussions to
an Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) process. The delegation of Gabon echoes
the decision 62/557 of 2008, which laid out the parameters of the IGN, the
five key issues under consideration in these negotiations are: 1) categories of
membership to the Council (i.e. permanent, non-permanent, or a third option),
2) the question of the veto, 3) regional representation, 4) size of an enlarged
council and working methods, and 5) the relationship between the Council and
the General Assembly.
Gabon sternly believes it is
vital to ensure that multilateralism guaranteed collective security and
inclusion. Africa represents the largest geographic group at the United
Nations and issues relating to the continent remain the bulk of the Council’s
agenda. Any future Security Council reform must ensure that Africa has a
permanent seat. That is part and parcel of the aspirations for genuine democracy
of global political and economic governance.
and the African Common Position stand to enlarge the Security Council in both
the permanent and non-permanent categories, improve on its working methods and
accord the new permanent members the same prerogatives and privileges as those
of the current permanent members, including the right to veto. Gabon believes
that an equitable representation mandates the increase in the Security Council’s
membership from fifteen to twenty-six with the eleven additional seats to be
distributed as follows where two permanent seats and two (additional) non-permanent
seats are for African States, two permanent seats and one non-permanent seat is
for Asian States, one non-permanent seat is Eastern European States, one
permanent seat and one non-permanent seat is for Latin American and Caribbean
States, and one permanent seat is for Western European and other States.
The lack of legitimacy of the Council
is a cancer that eats away at every institution within the broader UN system.
Power is shifting, but not in the Security Council, where the victors of a war
fought 70 years ago determine every important decision. We cannot let this effort
at reform has fall foul of power politics.