Global Policy Forum

South Africa: Statement by Ambassador Baso Sangqu

May 25th, 2009


Mr Chairman,

Yours is a difficult task and we thank you for willingness to undertake the task as well as for the leadership and even-handedness approach with which you have led the process. In carrying out your most difficult task, we wish to assure you that we stand ready to assist and support you in any way possible.

In this round there is a need to move beyond the habit of reading long statements and to begin to constructively engage in real negotiations. In the first round my delegation had repeatedly called on you to provide to a composite paper to launch us to really negotiations. We thank you for your paper, which we believe can assist us in moving the negotiations forward.

We agree with sentiments expressed by others that the difficulty with the process you have attempted is that, on one hand, you don't want to be redundant by producing a paper which merely restates positions i.e. without adding value. On the other hand it would be impossible to come up with something more ambitious or which shows convergence without any actual movement by member states. The measure or test of the test is whether the text you have produced was based on the representative views as expressed by member states during the first round and whether it would be able to launch us into negotiations.

The result is, needless to say, never going be perfect. And indeed this overview is not perfect. Thus, while we take the view that on a balance, the paper represents the views expressed in the first round of negotiations and that it can be the basis for further discussions, there are some shortcomings which have been pointed out by others. Nevertheless, we should be cautious not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

• Although we see the logic of reordering, we agree with those that expressed the view that it would be preferable to retain the order in decision in 62/557.
• Also on the question of the veto, given the overwhelming support for the abolition of the veto, this should have been included as an option under paragraph 16.
• Others have also expressed concern at the ambiguity in the paper. We view constructive ambiguity as a necessary element of such a paper;
• Some have said, as a result of this ambiguity, positions have not been adequately reflected.

All these are concerns of member states and whether we agree with them or not, they cannot be ignored.
Nevertheless, we take comfort in the view expressed throughout your paper that this overview does not supplant positions expressed by member states and previous decisions of the General Assembly. This sentiment is repeated in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the statement you read on 22 May 2009.

But even with these reassurances, some members remain concerned. For that reason, we would propose that for exchanges 2 and 3, previously submitted positions could be annexed to the options contained in paragraphs 14-17. Nevertheless, we cannot lose the momentum we have gained and must press on with the knowledge that our respective positions remain preserved, whatever our concerns with the overview.

On the question of a review, we believe any good system should have a review process. We are also of the view that any review process should be comprehensive and should address all aspects of SC. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, SCR would benefit from a review system. The desirability of a review is not necessarily dependent on the outcomes of specific questions like categories of membership.

For this reason we would disagree with those members that have linked the review system to the intermediary approach. South Africa continues to call for fundamental reform of the Security Council in order to make it broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus to enhance its legitimacy and the implementation of its decisions. Therefore, consistent with the African position, South Africa continues to support expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-p

With regards to the timing, review should be no too close to the entry into force of the Charter amendment in order to enable experience on which assessment is to be based to be built up. At the same time should not be so far that the notion is quickly forgotten as we proceed with life after reform.

I thank you for you attention.


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