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Cablegate: Unsc Reform: Mostly Process and Little Substance

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RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0343/01 1022257
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112257Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4108
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 8470
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2154
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0946
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1877
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 0586
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0670
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 1955

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 USUN NEW YORK 000343

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KUNR UNSC BR IN JA GR
SUBJECT: UNSC REFORM: MOSTLY PROCESS AND LITTLE SUBSTANCE
IN LATEST OEWG MEETING

REF: A. USUN 310
B. STATE 36722 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) Summary and comment. President of the General
Assembly (PGA) Serdjam Kerim convened the Open-Ended Working
Group (OEWG) on April 10 to discuss the four proposals he
received as a basis for inter-governmental negotiations (IGN)
on UNSC reform -- the Cypriot paper, Italian letter, African
letter, and OIC letter (ref A) -- and try to divine a way
forward. Instead of discussing the substance of these
proposals, member states focused largely on the process by
which these proposals were developed and repeated their
positions on UNSC reform. The G-4 group was split
internally, with Germany and Brazil expressing support for
the Cypriot paper and calling for IGN to start immediately,
Japan doing the same but complaining about parts of the
paper, and India appearing to reject the Cypriot effort
completely because it does not adequately reflect the option
of adding new permanent members to the Council. Uniting for
Consensus (UFC) countries, led by Italy and Pakistan, refused
even to acknowledge the validity of the Cypriot paper, and
called for the OEWG to first agree on a procedural framework
to prepare such a paper before it could be properly
considered. They repeated their view that intermediate
expansion of the UNSC -- new longer-duration, non-permanent
seats -- is the only basis for discussion.

2. (SBU) Summary and comment cont'd. P-5 states were also
split along familiar lines, with the UK and France expressing
support for the G-4 model as well as a willingness to
consider intermediate expansion, and the U.S., Russia, and
China taking a cautious approach. The U.S., Russia, and
China agreed that the OEWG, which operates on the basis of
consensus, should be the forum for discussions on UNSC
reform. The African Group, the largest bloc of votes not
allied with either the G-4 or UFC positions, used the OEWG
meeting to reiterate its unreaslistic insistence on two new
permanent seats for Africa with veto rights as well as two
additional non-permanent seats. This exhange of well-known
and unchanged positions left many member states to conclude
that an opportunity to move UNSC reform forward had been
lost. At the conclusion of the meeting, a beleagured PGA
Kerim effectively passed the buck on UNSC reform to his Task
Force, which now confronts the nearly impossible task of
reconciling the views expressed during this debate into a
basis for IGN that can be agreed by all states. The Task
Force will start consulting with member states next week and
hopes to present its report at another meeting of the OEWG in
mid-May. End summary and comment.

PGA Passes Buck to Task Force
-----------------------------

3. (U) PGA Kerim opened the meeting by commending states for
the four inputs they submitted on UNSC reform and announcing
that his Task Force -- PermReps from Bangladesh, Portugal,
Chile, and now Djibouti -- would initiate discussions with
the membership on how to reach an agreed basis on which to
begin IGN. He expressed his intention to convene another
OEWG meeting soon at which the Task Force could present its
report. He hoped that the report would lead to negotiations
in the UNGA before the end of the 62nd session, but added
that the OEWG (which operates on the basis of consensus)
should continue to function until there is an agreed text on
which to begin negotiations. Kerim said that during these
negotiations, member states would have to commit to UNSC
reform at the highest political levels, compromise to the
maximum extent possible, and refrain from unilateral steps
(such as tabling a separate resolution while the negotiations
are underway). He also emphasized that reform of the UNSC is
an integral part of overall UN reform.

P-5 Split Along Familiar Lines
------------------------------

4. (U) The P-5 split along familiar lines, with the UK and
France embracing both the G-4 and intermediate expansion
models in light of the Brown-Sarkozy communique released
after the recent UK-France summit, and the U.S., Russia, and
China underscoring the need for the broadest possible
agreement on UNSC expansion and reiterating several
red-lines. The UK and France both termed the Cyprus paper a

USUN NEW Y 00000343 002 OF 003


good starting point for IGN and said they were ready to
discuss intermediary solutions which could lead to renewable,
non-permanent seats with the option for conversion to
permanent status in the future. They also said any reform
must ensure the UNSC remains effective. China and Russia
declared that the OEWG must remain the channel for UNSC
reform. China said any expansion of the Council should
increase the representation of small and developing
countries, especially from Africa, but should be acceptable
to all member states. China also welcomed the PGA's plans on
how to proceed. Russia said it was "open to considering
intermediate solutions" but emphasized that any reform should
secure much more than the two-thirds majority required by the
UN Charter. Russia also said it favors the "compact nature"
of the UNSC.

5. (U) Per ref B, Amb Wolff expressed appreciation for the
various proposals submitted to the PGA on UNSC expansion, but
reiterated several well-known U.S. positions. First,
expansion of the UNSC must preserve its ability to respond
quickly and effectively to threats to international peace and
security, which means only a modest increase in seats is
possible. Second, aspiring intermediate or permanent members
must have demonstrated strong commitments to democracy, human
rights, and non-proliferation and provide substantial
peacekeeping or financial contributions to the UN. Third,
UNSC reform must be part of a package of comprehensive reform
of the UN. Fourth, the OEWG should not focus on working
methods of the UNSC, as the Charter entrusts each principal
organ to devise its own working methods. Fifth, it is vital
to achieve the broadest possible support for UNSC expansion
to ensure that no significant portion of the membership is
alienated by the result. For this reason, the OEWG should
remain the forum to carry forward discussions on IGN.

G-4 Air Their Dirty Laundry
---------------------------

6. (U) Within the G-4 camp, Germany and Brazil were most
positive about the Cypriot proposal, while Japan expressed
reservations about the text and India excoriated it. Germany
and Japan, arguing that the "overwhelming majority" of
countries are ready to begin IGN and that the Cyprus text
offers a good basis to start, said there is no need for any
more preparatory work. Member states should start IGN now,
without waiting for another report. Brazil also supported
the Cyprus text and called for IGN to start. Although Japan
supported the Cyprus text as a basis for IGN, it said UNSC
reform must include additional permanent seats, and
complained that the Cyprus text does not adequately reflect
this option. Indian PermRep Sen, in an especially convoluted
20 minute speech, insisted that UNSC reform must include
expansion in the permanent category in order to check the
unfettered power of the P5. New intermediate seats would be
unable to remedy this "historical injustice." Sen ridiculed
the OIC for purporting to represent developing countries
while opposing new permanent seats, which he said is the only
way to rebalance power in favor of the developing world, and
he criticized the Cyprus text for failing to appreciate this
fact.

UFC Talks Only Process
----------------------

7. (U) UFC delegations, led by Italy, Pakistan, Mexico,
Argentina, South Korea, Canada, and Spain, refused to discuss
the substance of the Cyprus proposal and insisted that it had
no legitimacy as a basis for IGN. Recalling the report of
the facilitators in the 61st UNGA, UFC delegations repeated
once again that only intermediate expansion, without the
option of new permanent members, could be a basis for
negotiations. But to begin those negotiations, member states
must first agree on a procedural framework, then agree on a
text basis for IGN, and only then can they start the actual
negotiations. All of these discussions, UFC countries
argued, must take place in the OEWG -- which operates on the
basis of consensus. Pakistan and Italy made the debate
personal by attacking the German-Cypriot over-arching group
effort as exclusive and arbitrary in nature. They termed the
Cypriot paper "regression" from the results of last year's
OEWG discussions because it failed to focus solely on the
intermediate option. In deference to Africa, Italy argued

USUN NEW Y 00000343 003 OF 003


for new permanent seats for regional organizations (such as
the AU or EU), while Pakistan insisted that the Muslim
"Ummah" desrves at least one-third of the seats on the UNSC
because Muslim states comprise 57 of 192 member states of the
UN.

Africans Close Ranks and Stand Firm
-----------------------------------

8. (U) The African Group, the largest bloc of votes not
allied with either the G-4 or UFC positions, used the OEWG
meeting to reiterate its long-held insistence on two new
permanent seats for Africa with veto rights as well as two
additional non-permanent seats (also called the Ezulwini
Consensus). Several African states which supported India's
submission of a unilateral resolution (L69) on UNSC reform
during last year's OEWG meeting in an effort to jump-start
negotiations on the issue, such as South Africa, Nigeria, and
Congo, reverted to the African Group position during this
meeting. Several African speakers noted that AU Foreign
Ministers directed their PermReps to "participate" in IGN on
UNSC reform, but only on the basis of the Ezulwini Consensus.
In defending the Ezulwini Consensus, many African speakers
railed against the "historical injustice" that deprived
Africa of permanent seats on the UNSC in 1945, and questioned
why Africa should allow the same mistake to be repeated now.

Next Step: Good Luck Task Force
-------------------------------

9. (SBU) At the close of the meeting, a somewhat beleagured
Kerim announced that he would ask his Task Force to begin
consulting member states as early as next week (April 14-18),
with a view to presenting a report on reconciling the four
inputs as soon as possible. Separately, USUN heard from the
Portugese and Chilean Missions that the Task Force intends to
meet with UN regional groups first, followed by meetings with
interested groups such as the P-5, UFC, G-4, AU, etc. These
meetings would be intended to present a new text as a basis
for IGN by mid-May. The Portugese and Chileans acknowledged
that their task is an extraordinarily difficult one, as it
was not clear from the OEWG meeting how the four separate
inputs could be reconciled, given the wide divergence in
views expressed. But they suggested the Task Force would try
to present a paper nonetheless, and if that paper were
rejected as a basis for IGN, at least the Task Force would
have done its job.
Khalilzad

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