58th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 1

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14-Nov-1995 01:34:13
Equitable geographical representation needed on Security Council, say speakers in General Assembly at the 58th plenary meeting of the 50th session.

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Speakers in the General Assembly this morning expressed general agreement on the need for more equitable geographical representation on the Security Council, but differed on what form that should take. The Assembly was continuing its discussion of the question of equitable representation on and increase in the Council's membership.

The representative of Pakistan joined others in calling for more equitable geographical representation on the Council, but added that, "the accommodation of regional representation should not fuel the tendencies towards hegemony and domination which are manifest in some regions". He opposed any increase in the Council's permanent membership, stating that such an increase would only serve the interests of a few countries and alienate the majority of others. He called instead for a proportional increase in the number of non-permanent members.

The representative of the United States enthusiastically endorsed the candidacies of Japan and Germany for permanent membership, adding that his country could not agree to any enlargement that did not result in their permanent membership. He also said that there should be no change in the status, powers and obligations of the current permanent members. The United States supported a modest number of additional seats beyond those for Japan and Germany. However, it believed that the total size of the Council should not exceed 20.

The representative of the Netherlands said Germany and Japan, the second and third largest contributors to the Organization, deserved permanent seats. He expressed concern that the influence of most troop-contributing countries on the decision-making process in the Council remained marginal. That amounted to a kind of taxation without representation and could be detrimental to the political commitment of actual and potential troop contributors.

Also addressing the issue of financial contributions, the representative of Libya said the level of a country's contribution should not guide any decision on an increase in the number of permanent members. "We believe that the selection of new permanent members should not be done on the basis of who is bigger or stronger, but on the basis of regional perspective, according to the procedures to be agreed upon in every region." He also charged that the problem was that certain members of the Council did not want reform; they sought only to keep their power.

The representative of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said there could be no compromise on the right of small countries to serve on the Security Council and to contribute to the cause of peace. "We attach the highest importance to democracy and equity not only in our internal affairs but also in our international relations", he said.

Statements were also made by the representatives of Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Lebanon, Tunisia, San Marino, Egypt, Zambia, Swaziland, Ukraine, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Slovenia and Kuwait.

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

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