Statement by H.E. Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus


Joint Debate of the 59th session of the General Assembly

 on the Report of the Security Council (11)

 and the Question of equitable representation on

 and increase in the membership

 of the Security Council and related matters (53) 


13 October, 2004

Mr. President,

We have been dwelling upon the issue of UN reform for years and we have now reached a point where we have to contemplate the new face of the United Nations in the twenty first century. The report of the High Level panel expected in less than two months has to fully take into account the views and the ideas of all and allow for a far-reaching approach that will yield the desired results. I believe that the Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly must be viewed mainly from this perspective.

In this context, the Report we have before us, however informative, creates nevertheless a feeling of uneasiness. The functioning of the United Nations system is not satisfactory and the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council is not what it should be. The shift of attention from the General Assembly to the Security Council is a symptom rather than a remedy. This shift could in fact be the last line of defence against the erosion suffered by the United Nations system in recent years and which has been gradually dethroning the UN as the primary instrument of contemporary international relations.

As we are try to work towards effective multilateralism revolving around the United Nations, it is of primary importance to restore, or to construct, a really interactive dialogue between the two main political organs of this Organisation. More transparency and accountability are also required. These attributes are even more crucial at a time when, beyond any differences of opinion on functions and competences, we all realise the need for an integrated approach as well as the interdependence between the issues dealt with by the General Assembly and those dealt with by the Security Council.

Mr. President,

I would like also to succinctly articulate our own contribution towards the discussions for reform of the Security Council, the most important instrument at our disposal in the UN system, entrusted with the primary responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security. In the process of the ongoing deliberations we must consistently take into account that the outcome of this reform will judge the level of effectiveness of the Security Council, and concurrently, its ability to execute its functions and powers, as those are enshrined in the UN Charter.

As a small state whose primary source of protection is the rule of law and the strict adherence to international legality, Cyprus has always maintained that the credibility and legitimacy of the Council must be ensured firstly through the broader and more equitable representation of UN member states in its composition, secondly by taking into acount the realities and the criteria embodied in article 23 paragraph 1 of the Charter, and thirdly through securing efficiency both in the work of the Council and in the implementation of its resolutions.

We are supportive of a contremporary Security Council, the structure of which will adequately reflect the tremendous change in global political reality since the inception of the Organisation, and whose composition will comprise a more balanced representation of all geographical groups. To this end, we look forward to the Report of the High-Level Panel and the recommendations of the Secretary-General and anticipate that the member states will rise to the occasion and seize the opportunity to pursue a strong follow-up.

It must also be underlined that the concept of security today is a multifaceted one and does not any longer pertain only to traditional threats. It is therefore imperative to adopt an all inclusive approach with the broadest possible perspective in order to combat security deficits regardless of their nature.

We also believe that we should do more to involve troop contributing countries in the deliberations, and that all major stakeholders must have ample possibilities to adequately make their views known, adding value to the decisions of the Council. Simultaneously one should bear in mind that the spirit and practice of effective multilateralism must firstly respect and uphold international legality and protect individual and collective human rights, and secondly that it not only encompasses, but also derives from, the comprehension and consideration of local realities and particulars, on which it must then proceed to formulate proposals.

Mr. President,

Cyprus believes that the effort underway to reform the Security Council must be a comprehensive and far-sighted one. In the spirit of the abovementioned principles and with the aim of reinforcing the legitimacy and efficacy of the Council, we are supportive of increasing both its permanent and non-permanent membership. In this respect, we believe that the joint French and German position on the enlargement of the Council could provide a basis for achieving those requirements which will enable it to fulfil its role for the maintenance of international peace and security, having always as a priority the best interest of the peoples whose security the Council is mandated to safeguard.

Thank you.

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