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Expanding UN Security Council will not make it more effective — Russia’s envoy to UN

August 03, 2015, 9:52 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
However, Vitaly Churkin agreed that the issue of reforming UN Security Council is pressing
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Vitaly Churkin

Vitaly Churkin


UNITED NATIONS, August 3. /TASS/. Expanding UN Security Council will not make it more effective, Russia’s Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin told TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman in an exclusive interview on Monday.

"This is now the acutest and most important issue of reforming UN," Churkin said reminding that UN Security Council was last expanded in the 1960s. "Initially, there were 11 countries there, including five permanent members. After that, the number of permanent members remained, but it [UN Security Council] came to include 15 countries. Now, they are talking about including more members in UN Security Council so that it becomes more effective and representative. However, I want to note that UN Security Council will be more representative if its membership is expanded, but it will definitely not be more effective," the diplomat added.

Recalling his experience of working in UN Security Council, Churkin said that "it is hard for 15 members to reach agreement sometimes." "If there are 25 or 26 members, it will be hard even to hold a discussion," he noted.

However, Churkin agreed that the issue of reforming UN Security Council is "pressing". He reminded that inter-governmental discussions have been held on this issue for the last eight years, preceded by 11 years of informal consultations. "Two main camps cannot come to an agreement. There are countries that want to become UN Security Council permanent members, in addition to the existing five countries, and there are those who are categorically against it. Some countries that want to become permanent members say that they need veto right. For instance, Germany says that it needs veto right. African countries that want to have two permanent members [in UN Security Council] want to have veto right," Churkin explained adding that this remains "one of the most complicated issues."

According to the Russian diplomat, other countries propose creating a new category of "half-permanent members" in UN Security Council that will be elected not for two, but for eight years with a possibility of re-election. Neither of these options gets 129 votes in UN General Assembly that are needed for adoption, Churkin noted. "It would seem that instead of these talks, they could just prepare a draft resolution and submit it for voting to UN General Assembly. I should say that there are such resolutions, but they have not been submitted officially. They prepared such resolutions, but they are afraid to put them up for voting because they may not receive 129 voted. Then, they will have to put this issue away for several years because UN works in such a way that one cannot submit the same draft resolution for voting every year," the ambassador said.

"Difficult and rather nervous struggle continues around this issue," Churkin continued. "Some opinions were voiced that reforms are necessary precisely by the 70 anniversary of UN, but we warned against this and said that there should be no haste, the issue should come ripe first," he noted. The diplomat added that during general debate at 70th session of UN General Assembly in September "many countries will likely raise this issue and express their position in order to facilitate reforming UN Security Council."

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