56th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 2

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13-Nov-1995 01:17:28
Assembly concludes debate on promotion, consolidation of new, restored democracies, takes up question of Security Council membership at the 56th plenary meeting of the 50th session.

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"Bullets do not differentiate between democrats or dictators. Democracies, however, are best equipped to deal with such despicable acts", the representative of Israel told the General Assembly this morning as it concluded its consideration of support for democracies by the United Nations system.

The representative of Belize said he was impressed with the efforts of the Department of Public Information (DPI) to support independent and pluralistic media in various regions. "We hope, too, that, in its seminars, DPI stresses the importance of disavowal by the media, in the context of the political process, of the use of abuse and sound bites which distort and deceive."

"Having experienced the destructive and anti-human force of apartheid, we owe it to ourselves and to humanity to order our affairs in such a manner that an effective and lasting blow is struck against any form of dictatorship", the representative of South Africa said. And the representative of the Russian Federation said the value of democracy, especially for those countries like his own, which were involved in the movement of the new and recently restored democracies, was that it provided the basis for reconciliation and tolerance and the search for peaceful solutions.

Statements on support of democracies were also made by the representatives of Suriname, United States, Bangladesh, Philippines, Argentina, Ukraine, Belarus and Yemen.

The Assembly this morning also took up the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council, hearing many calls for more equitable geographical representation and the limitation if not elimination of the veto. Speaking on behalf of the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the representative of Honduras said only a Council with a broad membership would have the greater credibility necessary for Member States to be more willing to participate in the collective responsibility of maintaining peace and security. The veto was anti-democratic and should at least not be given to any new Council members.

Speaking on behalf of the non-aligned countries, the representative of Colombia said that although those countries welcomed the actions taken by the Council with regard to its transparency and working methods, they considered them still insufficient. Specific measures should be adopted to improve the working relationship of the Council with the Assembly, other organs of the United Nations, and the non-members of the Security Council.

"We should work for a reform that brings about the inclusion of all, and the exclusion of none", the representative of Italy said, adding that it would be elitist to add two more permanent members from industrialized, northern hemisphere countries.

The representative of Germany said the Council needed "experienced inhabitants", that were able and willing to contribute on a global scale to maintenance of peace and security. "We, and a large number of Member States, believe that Germany is one of those countries."

The representative of India suggested criteria for the selection of countries for permanent Security Council membership, including population, contribution to the United Nations system, and participation in peace-keeping. On the basis of such criteria, some countries, such as India, would clearly qualify for permanent membership.

Statements on Security Council membership were also made by the representatives of Uganda, Brunei Darussalam, Portugal, and the Republic of Korea.

Consideration of the resolution on promoting and consolidating new or restored democracies was postponed to a later date.

The General Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. today to continue its consideration of the equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council.

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