H.E. ZAHIR TANIN
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF AFGHANISTAN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS IN NEW YORK
CHAIR OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS
ON THE QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE COUNCIL
AT AN INFORMAL PLENARY SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
2 JUNE 2010
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Check against delivery
Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
Welcome to the first meeting of the fifth round of intergovernmental negotiations, and welcome to the first meetings in these new, temporary facilities. Hopefully, once we leave this building to move back into renovated conference rooms, one chamber in particular, we all know which one, will also have undergone some changes. For my part, I have no doubt that we will succeed, as I have personally been witness to the journey that you, the Member States, have taken since these negotiations began in February 2009.
Together, and in accordance with the modus operandi collectively embraced by Member States during the 19 February 2009 launch of the intergovernmental negotiations, we have held four exhaustive rounds of negotiations. During this time, you, the membership, have increasingly assumed responsibility for the negotiations process, aided, of course, by consensus decisions 62/577 and 63/565, our brightly shining lodestars, as well as a fully-invested President, and a body of work, including my letters and statements. But it is first and foremost you, the membership, and your burning desire to reform the Council that keeps us moving forward.
And as you recognized during our last meeting in January, no solution has ever appeared without a paper trail. Member States all united behind a call to move to text-based negotiations as the next step in the strict and good faith implementation of our negotiation mandate. As Chair, I of course complied with this universal request. Through a transparent and open process, in which I made myself available to any Member States or group thereof, I assumed my responsibility as Chair and produced an all-encompassing text, compiled in strict conformity with decision 62/557, which places your positions and proposals and the five key issues at the heart of these negotiations. The text, which reflects my enduring commitment to the principles of inclusiveness and transparency, consists of excerpts from the positions submitted by Member States, structured according to the five key issues, with an annex that includes these positions in their entirety. These are your words, and this is your text.
What you have before you today is the first revision, which incorporates the changes to the text that you, the Member States, requested before the 20 May deadline. To galvanize the negotiations on this text in an open, comprehensive, inclusive, and transparent way, I indicated in my letter of 10 May that the rest of the fifth round will be structured around concrete text-based negotiations on each of the five key issues as reflected in the text, during which Member States are encouraged to undertake more informal drafting exercises, merging language to reduce the obvious overlaps and finding language to bridge differences, while continuing to improve the negotiation text. I, as your Chair partial to progress, but impartial to any of the positions, will assist you in this endeavor, but it is up to you, the membership, to continue to create the positive momentum needed to move this process forward.
In so doing, we are following the custom of the house, and the desire of the membership to move forward. This means that Member States are the masters of their own positions, and that the text, which naturally remains open, will only evolve towards a higher degree of concreteness through increased creativity, flexibility and compromise on the part of Member States. I believe that this structure will allow the process to continue to progress in a fair, balanced and comprehensive membership-driven way in the pursuit of a solution that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by Member States.
I now open the floor for any comments. Thank you