UN Watch

UNGA president 'optimistic' about Security Council reforms

United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces says she is “optimistic” about the Security Council reforms even though its pace has not matched her initial expectations.
By Arul Louis Nov 22, 2018
By Arul Louis
 
United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces says she is “optimistic” about the Security Council reforms even though its pace has not matched her initial expectations.
 
She said at a news conference here on Wednesday, “What we need now is the political will to have progress, really look at the pieces of the puzzle and see where we want to go.”
 
“Perhaps, we need to be more creative on the forum rather than on the content” of the negotiations, she added.
 
She said that about ten years ago when the General Assembly passed the resolution creating the intergovernmental negotiations (IGN) process for Council reforms she had naively believed that it would accomplished in two or three meetings.
 
While that did not happen, she said, “ten years later, when you look at the scenario, it is really not discouraging at all because this is a very contentious, complex issue.”
 
There are several interested parties with very strong positions, she said.
 
On the prospects of a negotiating text that has eluded the IGN and is the primary hurdle, she said without using the term, she said, “If you put together all the (statements of) different groupings, and all the different positions, then you come up with a document that tries to put together all the different views and just point out the parts and aspects of the reform that have larger agreement, not to speak about consensus, but perhaps larger agreement.”
 
During the Assembly session on Council reforms on Tuesday she said she heard the current positions of different groups and what they were asking for.
 
“We have seen slight changes and new new elements, and we have countries that are providing a list of issues to consider that are extremely important,” she added.
 
Overall, she said, “I wouldn't be that pessimistic. I think that there are some very clear strong elements, and that it is not that we are lacking ideas.”
 
But progress “would depend heavily on the willingness and the rhythm and the pace that the member states want to provide to this process,” she added.
 
To reboot the process for the current Assembly session, she appointed Permanent Representatives Lana Zaki Nusseibeh of the United Arab Emirates and Christian Braun of Luxembourg as the co-facilitators of the IGN on Tuesday.
 
(Arul Louis can be followed on Twitter @arulouis)

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