Global Policy Forum

Amb. Bill Richardson


Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN

Statement on Security Council Reform (July 17, 1997)

to the Open-Ended Working Group of the General Assembly on Security Council Reform

Mr. Chairman, at my initiative, the U.S. Government has just undertaken a thorough review of our policy on Security Council reform. Secretary Albright played a central role in this review.

As a result of our review, we can now agree in principle to having developing countries sit on the Council as new permanent members. These new members could be either named or rotational.

Additionally, we are now prepared to accept a review clause so that what is decided this year is not set in stone for all time.

We support President Rezali's objective of approving a draft framework resolution in the GA this fall and wil continue to work toward that end.

We also hope to examine Senegalese Ambassador Ka's creative idea about studying the veto question in a special working group. Such an approach would allow this sensitive issue to be examined objectively and rationally, in a spirit of cooperation.

Our policy review also determined that we have no flexibility above and beyond 20-21 seats on a reformed Council. This would permit expansion of the council by one-third, with up to five new permanent seats. We would oppose any resolution which called for higher numbers.

Our proposal for up to three permanent seats from the developing world could also provide greter access to non-permanent seats for other developing nations, even more so if one or more regions adopt a retational system. I hope we can work together on this basis.

The pieces for a framework agreement are falling into place. We believe our decisions demonstrate our sincere interest in Security Council reform and our desire for early closure on it. We challenge the other members of the Working Group to respond in kind: to take equally bold steps to help close a ratifiable deal on Council reform.

My team and I will actively pursue this goal with you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.



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