Portugal and Slovenia call for greater representation on Security Council

Portugal and Slovenia call for greater representation on Security Council

24 September 2008The leaders of Portugal and Slovenia today called for the membership of the Security Council to be expanded, saying broader representation is needed to ensure effective multilateralism in dealing with the biggest global challenges. The leaders of Portugal and Slovenia today called for the membership of the Security Council to be expanded, saying broader representation is needed to ensure effective multilateralism in dealing with the biggest global challenges.Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva told the General Assembly on the second day of its annual high-level debate that with the United Nations providing the best forum for tackling such challenges, its organs such as the Security Council must have greater diversity and transparency.“In a globalized and interdependent world only strong multilateral organizations can promote the fundamental values of peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development,” he said.Mr. Cavaco Silva laid out three essential premises – giving the UN the necessary means to fulfil its mission, assuring greater representation within the 15-member Security Council and other UN organs, and guaranteeing full compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Is it reasonable to continue with a Security Council without reforming its methods of work, in which countries like Brazil and India do not have a permanent seat?” he asked.He also said Africa should continue to receive priority attention. “Peace, sustainable development, access to education and health [and] the integration of African economies in international markets are essential goals on the road to building a more just, peaceful and equitable social order,” he declared.Turning to terrorism, he said implementation of a global strategy was vital for fighting this “common enemy,” but respect for human rights and fundamental liberties were essential in this battle.“Another ‘common enemy,’ slower but equally destructive, is hunger and extreme poverty,” he added. “Here, too, there have been many words and some action, but much more is needed.”Slovenia’s President proposed that the Security Council be expanded to include as many as 25 members, saying a transformation of the world’s major structures for maintaining peace and security was long overdue.Danilo Türk told the General Assembly that incremental improvement of the Council’s methods was far from sufficient.He called for six additional permanent members from all regions of the world to join China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.“There should be an additional category of non-permanent members with a more frequent rotation, six in any particular composition of the Security Council, elected in accordance with a formula to be determined by the General Assembly and alternating every second two-year term,” Mr. Türk said.He added that the remaining eight non-permanent members would be elected in line with the principle of equitable geographic distribution, thus ensuring the new, expanded Council would not have more than 25 members.Mr. Türk said a spirit of major change should infect the wider international system, given that “we live in a turbulent world at a turbulent time,” especially considering the recent turmoil in the global financial markets.“We live at a time requiring transformation… The UN should look to policies with a transformational potential and capable of producing transformational effects in a not too distant future.”

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