NEW YORK, APRIL 3 – For the first time since the inception of the debate on the Security Council reform over 20 years ago, Italy, speaking on behalf of the group Uniting for Consensus, suggested to increase in elected members from the current ten to a total of 21 non-permanent seats, bringing to 25 the total membership of the Council. In the newly enlarged Security Council, Africa would become the most represented regional group with a total of six seats, followed by the Asia/Pacific group (5), Latin America and Caribbean (4), Western European and Others (3), Eastern Europe (2); SIDS and Small States (1).
Such an increase, the Italian Permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi explained to the intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council, would allow “to get back to the single-digit ratio of one elected seat per nine UN Member States”. More non-permanent members will also foster a new dynamic between elected and existing permanent members within the Council, contributing to decision-making, transparency, working methods and, ultimately the effectiveness of the Council, Cardi said.
UfC stressed that the newly enlarged Council would not loose anything in terms of functionality: “This has been demonstrated by other similar-sized bodies of global governance, such as the Board of twenty-five Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development“.
With the goal of enhancing regional representation on the Council, UfC looked at the ratios within each regional group and readjusted them in pursuit of the shared goal of more equitable representation. To this end, the UfC proposed that the twenty-one elected members be distributed as follows:
– 6 seats to the African group, by adding 3 non-permanent seats;
– 5 seats to the Asia-Pacific group, by adding 3 non-permanent seats;
– 4 seats to the Latin America and Caribbean group, by adding 2 non-permanent seats;
– 3 seats to the Western European and Others group, by adding 1 non-permanent seat;
– 2 seats to the Eastern European group, by adding 1 non-permanent seat;
– 1 seat to rotate among existing regional groups, reserved for Small Island and Developing States (SIDS) and Small States.
“All Member States will be able to run, on an equal footing, for the non-permanent seats – whether two-year or longer-term – assigned to their regional group. Any new seats being sought on behalf of a region will remain available to all members of that regional group, and we believe this position addresses the need for improved regional representation of Africa, as well as other under-represented groups” Cardi said.
With regard to the rotating seat, UfC believes that Security Council reform should address the particular challenges facing SIDS and Small States, as well as the appropriate, enhanced representation of these States in a reformed Security Council. According to our proposal, this rotating seat would not prevent SIDS and Small States from running for a seat within their regional group instead, should they choose to do so; it would be an additional way for them to gain access to the Security Council. Given the uneven distribution of SIDS and Small States within the regional groups, the general membership will have to determine the eligibility criteria and the election modalities for this seat, including a fair rotation pattern.
Such an enlargement would also assure an increased and more stable representation to other regional cross-cutting categories of Member States: if regional groups have more elected seats available, Uff stressed, accommodating countries belonging to cross-regional groupings, such as Arab countries, will become practical and easier.
To read Ambassador Cardi’s speech in full, click here. (@OnuItalia)