Mr. Jeem S. Lippwe
Deputy Permanent Representative
Federated States of Micronesia
on behalf of the
Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)
Before the 64th UNGA
Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters
New York, 12 June 2009
Check Against Delivery
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) represented at the United Nations, namely Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, and my own country, the Federated States of Micronesia.
The PSIDS welcomes the opportunity to participate in this debate on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters. We thank the Austrian presidency of the Security Council for the comprehensive presentation during the introduction of the Council's report under the agenda item before us.
Let me begin by addressing the question of the categories of membership. We consider it important that there is an expansion of membership that includes both new permanent and non-permanent members. It is clear that the increase in only non-permanent members of the Council in the early sixties did not result in any real change in the decision making process of the Council. This was recognised by our leaders in the 2005 World Summit and led to the call for early reform of the Security Council. Furthermore, the increase in membership of the United Nations since the early sixties necessitates the expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of the Council.
The PSIDS view on the regional representation of the Council is well known. The current composition of the Council does not sufficiently represent all the regions of the world and no longer reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st century. The PSIDS do not support the creation of new categories of membership in a reformed Council, such as a new category of extended seats.
Africa and GRULAC have not been represented in the permanent category of the Council. As a region, Asia has been underrepresented with only one permanent member. It is imperative that this historical imbalance is addressed through the election of individual member states from the regions concerned as permanent members to the Security Council. We consider that this is essential to address the issue of non representation and under representation of regions in one of the major decision making bodies of the United Nations.
The support of the PSIDS for six new permanent seats is in keeping with the desire by leaders in the 2005 World Summit Outcome to make the Council more broadly representative of the 21st century and which takes into account geopolitical realities. We support two new permanent seats for Africa and one for GRULAC on the Council. We also support two additional permanent seats for Asia and one for WEOG.
Furthermore, our support for five additional non-permanent members is premised on the conviction that all countries can and must, albeit in differentiated measure, contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The existing regional group arrangements used to propose members for a two-year non-permanent seat in the Council through the concept of equitable geographical distribution requires reform. The existing arrangement is no longer equitable in the distribution or selection of members from within the regional groups to serve in the Council. The reform must ensure that there is a more democratic and fair system of selection and a more balanced geographical distribution of sub-regions within Groups, when proposals are put forward by Groups for non-permanent seats in the Council.
The option of allocating a seat for small island developing states (SIDS) within the existing group structures must be enclosed in some form of assurances, contained in guidelines which could be part of a realistic reform process. These assurances will afford the SIDS a more balanced opportunity to serve in the Council and will reflect a more democratic sharing of the concept of equitable geographical distribution.
We are aware that fatigue and frustrations may set in, as there have not been many visible or tangible results after so many years of ongoing discussions within this Organisation to reform the Security Council. But, we must stay the course and remain committed. The Pacific SIDS, Mr. President, are grateful for your statement this morning and your word of assurances and commitment to press on with this important issue during this current session.
We must all work together aggressively to overcome the barriers that stand in the way of our progress and remain loyal to the cause of reform.
I thank you.