Wednesday, July 30, 2014

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin to serve as chair for the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform

In his first appointment as President of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Joseph Deiss appointed H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, to serve as chair for the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform.  Ambassador Tanin also currently serves as a Vice-President of the 65th session of the UNGA.

This is the third consecutive session in which Ambassador Tanin has chaired this process, which began officially during the 63rd session of the GA with the transition out of the Open-Ended Working Group and the launch of negotiations in February of 2009. Since then, Ambassador Tanin has overseen five rounds of negotiations and the preparation, for the first time, of a negotiation text which was met with universal and unanimous support from Member States.

As this process enters into its third year, Member States will seek to capitalize on the substantial achievements of the previous sessions in order to construct a transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive framework for reform, based on the positions and proposals of Member States, and in keeping with GA decisions 62/557, 63/565, and 64/568, in the search for an early solution that can garner the widest possible political acceptance.

Ambassador Tanin has accepted the appointment. He believes the process has reached a crucial and promising stage. “I feel that the Membership has both the momentum and the political will to find a solution,” he says, “but as always, this process must be owned and driven by the Member States themselves.”

65th General Assembly Opens under Swiss Presidency


Today the 65th session of the General Assembly opened under the Presidency of Switzerland.

This year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, and the General Assembly will face a heavy agenda including a high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, the ongoing review of the Human Rights Council, and a third year of intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform.

General Assembly Opens 65th Session A wide view of the General Assembly during the first meeting of its sixty-fifth session under the presidency of Joseph Deiss (on screens).

The President of the General Assembly is H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss of Switzerland, a career Swiss politician who has previously held high-level positions including President of the Swiss Confederation, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Economic Minister, in addition to a period as a Member of Parliament. In his first statement, officially opening the 65th session of the General Assembly, President Deiss emphasized his faith in the United Nations and the General Assembly, and stressed that the United Nations Charter gives the General Assembly a central role as “the pre-eminent forum for global debate.” He outlined an ambitious set of goals, including the achievement of the MDGs; returning the United Nations to its rightful place at the center of global governance; and the promotion of sustainable development  (click here for the complete text of the opening statement).

Afghanistan, represented by Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will serve as a Vice President of the 65th GA. This is the second time that Ambassador Tanin will play this role; he previously served as Vice President of the 63rd GA from 2008-2009.

Closing Remarks by H.E. Zahir Tanin, Chair of Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

CLOSING REMARKS BY

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

3 JUNE 2010

UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Check against delivery

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

Let me close this meeting by first and foremost thanking all delegations for their active participation and continuing engagement in this process. Let me also thank all Member States for their kind words of support thus far. I have been deeply heartened by the numerous expressions of good faith, and it is abundantly clear to me today that you, the membership, remain as determined as ever to reform the Security Council.

In this regard, I am pleased to note the membership-wide agreement in this room that the text with its annexes, currently in front of you, is a helpful vehicle to continue to move this process forward in accordance with decisions 62/557 and 63/565. This text, revision 1, is as you know a product of your persistent and unanimous calls for text-based negotiations, and could not have been made without your contributions, as these of course constitute the very foundation of our negotiations. However, with everything we have going for us, in our continual quest for reform, we cannot afford to grow complacent. We must now build on the framework that you so meticulously have put together. This is the sense of the house.

As is customary, and as a logical result of yesterday and today’s deliberations, it is therefore my intention to convene a series of meetings of the informal plenary to allow Member States to focus on the text at hand in an open, transparent, comprehensive and inclusive manner. These meetings will be scheduled in accordance with the five interconnected key issues as laid out by decision 62/557, beginning, this time, in reverse order and as a working necessity, only with a meeting dedicated to the section of the text on the fifth key issue concerning the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council on 11 June. This meeting will of course be followed by individual meetings on the rest of the five key issues. I believe that this structure will allow the text to continue to evolve in a fair, balanced, comprehensive and open membership-driven way.

I would like to stress that Member States are as always welcome to comment on any matter they deem relevant. However, rather than restating known positions at the meetings devoted to the specific key issues, I encourage all of you to look concretely and comprehensively at the text with a view to making specific amendments that would reduce obvious overlaps, address existing differences and combine common elements in the language of the negotiation text. For my part, and as is customary, I will continue to discharge my responsibility as Chair by reflecting all suggested amendments by Member States in coming versions of the text. Amendments will, however, only be applied with the agreement of the Member State, -or States, whose language is affected as is usual practice in this house when we negotiate. On this note, Member States are of course always encouraged to deliberate amongst each other and convey any results thereof to me either during our meetings or through a letter. You are, and will remain, the masters of your own positions, but only if you reach across the aisle in a spirit of compromise and good faith can this process move forward. Don’t just ask what the text can do for you, but also what you can do for the text.

On this note, I urge you to bring the same kind of engagement and determination to the next exchanges as you have shown in the previous rounds. The task at hand deserves it. Let me remind all of you that we continue to meet in an informal setting. This should mean brief interventions rather than prepared statements, and interaction. I will certainly encourage that to the best of my abilities. Let me also clarify, that an individual meeting could go on for longer than one day, so that we do justice to the scope of every single issue.

Again, thank you all for your participation and engagement in this process. I am confident that, together, we will continue to move forward towards a solution that can garner the widest possible acceptance.

Thank you.