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Cablegate: Unsc Reform: Member States Split On Beginning

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0545/01 1722030
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 202030Z JUN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4464
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0942
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0962
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 0589
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1939
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 6313
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2219
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0993
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0911
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 8491

C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000545

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2018
TAGS: PREL KUNR UNSC IN BR PK IT JA GM AR SP KS
SUBJECT: UNSC REFORM: MEMBER STATES SPLIT ON BEGINNING
NEGOTIATIONS BUT PGA DETERMINED TO PRESS AHEAD

REF: USUN 343

Classified By: Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d
)

1. (SBU) Summary. President of the UN General Assembly (PGA)
Srgjan Kerim convened the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on
June 17 to discuss the report prepared by his four-person
Task Force with suggestions on moving forward towards
inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) on UNSC reform. Major
players largely reiterated their previous positions (reftel)
and were divided over whether to proceed with IGN. The G-4
(India, Brazil, Japan, and Germany), a few African countries,
the UK and France all expressed a willingness to begin IGN as
soon as possible. India was particularly adamant about
pursuing IGN and implied that it might put forward a draft
resolution on UNSC reform if the negotiations do not begin
soon. Uniting for Consensus (UFC) countries, led by Italy
and Pakistan, along with Russia, China, and members of the
Arab League, all expressed opposition to beginning IGN at
this time because of the lack of an agreed text on which to
conduct the negotiations. Ambassador Khalilzad reaffirmed
U.S. support for modest expansion of the Council but
emphasized that UNSC expansion must be accompanied by broader
UN reform. At the conclusion of the meeting, PGA Kerim
announced that the Task Force would start preparing a draft
report for the OEWG to be delivered in mid-July, which could
serve as the vehicle to formally launch IGN. End summary.

2. (C) Comment. The bottom line from this OEWG meeting was
that there is no broad agreement on using the Task Force
report as a basis for launching negotiations on UNSC reform.
Despite this, Kerim professed optimism about the course
ahead, and suggested that member states could agree to use
some version of the Task Force report to begin IGN. We
believe Kerim is projecting confidence because he knows India
will table its draft resolution mandating the start of
negotiations if the PGA does not find a way to do so himself.
(Note: The Indian draft resolution was e-mailed to IO/UNP.
End Note.) India's intervention, in which it complained
about the lack of progress on UNSC reform, was largely a
pre-emptive justification for tabling such a resolution -
which, even if it fails to be adopted, would move the
discussion out of the OEWG and force a vote on UNSC reform
for the first time in more than three decades. So far, it
remains unclear how much support India's resolution would
garner, but much of its success or failure will depend on
whether the PGA is seen to be moving the process forward in a
credible way. End Comment.

PGA Looks Forward to IGN
------------------------

2. (U) PGA Kerim opened the meeting by commending member
states for their cooperative approach to the consultations on
the drafting of his Task Force's report on UNSC reform.
(Note: The Task Force report was e-mailed to IO/UNP. End
Note.) He said that the seven principles introduced at the
beginning of the process not only provide guidance for moving
the process forward but also serve as a warranty ensuring the
widest possible acceptance among the membership. He
emphasized that UNSC reform is an integral element of the
overall strengthening of the UN and that member states
continue to make progress on management reform, mandate
review, and system-wide coherence. Kerim reaffirmed that the
OEWG is the principal body for consultations on UNSC reform.
He noted growing recognition that the possibility of pursuing
an intermediary approach might be the "highest common
denominator option" at this stage. Kerim expressed his
belief that the necessary preconditions to begin IGN during
the 62nd session will have been achieved once the report of
the Task Force reaches general agreement. He conveyed his
intention to present the report of the OEWG to member states
in mid-July, including a draft decision to be adopted by the
UNGA, in order to facilitate the launch of IGN.

Major Players Restate Positions, Split on IGN
---------------------------------------------

3. (U) Most member states reiterated their positions (reftel)
on UNSC reform and spent most of their time on whether and


how to move the process forward. Many noted the lack of a
single agreed text to serve as the basis for negotiations,
but the majority of delegates expressed their determination
to enter into IGN as soon as possible. The G-4 lined up
behind this proposal. The P-5 was split. France and the UK
expressed willingness to begin IGN and said they were open to
an intermediary solution with a new category of seats with
longer-term membership and the possibility of conversion to
permanent membership. Russia said it favors the compactness
of the UNSC and emphasized the need for the broadest possible
support among member states for UNSC reform. China said it
continued to be open-minded but emphasized that there is not
yet sufficient common ground to move the process forward onto
IGN. Egypt, speaking on behalf of the African Group, stated
that it was still studying the report and was not in a
position to give a firm response. Other African states,
including South Africa, Mauritius, and Ethiopia, reaffirmed
their commitment to the Ezulwini consensus, which calls for
two permanent seats for Africa with veto rights, but
expressed a willingness to engage in IGN.

4. (U) UFC delegations, led by Italy, Pakistan, Mexico,
Argentina, South Korea, Canada, and Spain, coalesced around
the notion that the member states were not ready to enter
into negotiations at this time because the OEWG had not yet
reached agreement on the modalities or framework for IGN, nor
had it agreed on the elements to serve as the basis for
negotiations. They continued to oppose the addition of new
individual permanent members to the UNSC and advocated an
intermediate approach that focuses on non-permanent seats for
regions rather than seats for individual states. They
criticized the report for not adequately reflecting the issue
of regional representation. Italy stated that further
consultations of the OEWG were required to meet the
preconditions for IGN. The UFC was joined by Mauritania,
speaking on behalf of the Arab League.

India and Rest of G-4 Push for IGN
----------------------------------

5. (U) The Indian PermRep Nirupam Sen, joined to varying
degrees by Brazil, Germany, and Japan, expressed dismay at
the lack of progress on UNSC reform. Sen reiterated India's
willingness to enter IGN but criticized what he viewed as the
report's consideration for a transitional or intermediate
approach, noting that such an approach has been rejected by
the African Group, by many small states, by India and others.
He argued that the basis for IGN should include all options,
including expansion in the permanent category and an
intermediate approach. Sen further criticized the report for
omitting certain key perspectives, particularly those of the
P-5, that support adding new permanent seats. Sen quoted
Secretary Rice's recent article in Foreign Affairs to suggest
that the U.S. is predisposed towards supporting India's bid
for permanent membership on the UNSC. Brazil, Japan, and
Germany also expressed concerns about the report's focus on
the intermediary approach, but they were less critical of the
report than Sen, and suggested that with certain
modifications the report could serve as the basis for IGN.
The G-4 and their supporters were main proponents of moving
the discussions from the OEWG to the UNGA plenary, which
would circumvent the OEWG practice of consensus
decision-making.

U.S. Reiterates Support for Modest Expansion
--------------------------------------------

7. (U) Ambassador Khalilzad began by thanking the PGA for
convening the meeting and the members of the Task Force for
their report. He reiterated that the U.S. remains open to a
modest expansion of the Council but that it must preserve its
effectiveness in responding to threats to international peace
and security. Adding 50 percent more seats would not be, he
noted, a modest expansion. He emphasized that new "extended"
or permanent members must be uniquely qualified to assume
their duties and that the expansion of the Council cannot be
separated from broader UN reform. Ambassador Khalilzad
indicated that Japan is qualified for permanent membership
and that other states should also be considered. He stressed
the importance of the role of the OEWG and asserted that
adopting a fixed timeline for negotiations could be


counter-productive. He reaffirmed the U.S. position that the
Council must address its own working methods. Ambassador
Khalilzad made a point about the need for comprehensive
reform of the UN in areas such as financing, decision-making
in the UNGA, and oversight and accountability. In closing,
he stated that the U.S. hoped to work with other member
states to achieve comprehensive reform and secure the future
of the UN for the next 50 years.

Next Steps: Awaiting the Task Force Draft Report
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (SBU) At the close of the meeting, Kerim announced that
the Task Force will start preparing a draft report for the
OEWG that will be delivered in mid-July. He reported that
the willingness to enter negotiations was largely supported
and that, despite the criticism of the Task Force report
expressed by several member states, the membership was not
far away from general agreement on using the report as a
basis for IGN. The PGA's draft report on the work of the
OEWG during the 62nd session of the UNGA could serve as the
vehicle to launch IGN. But the UNGA resolution that
traditionally endorses this report and extends the life of
the OEWG until the next UNGA session is typically adopted by
consensus, which seems like it will be difficult to achieve
given the comments expressed during this OEWG meeting.
Khalilzad

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