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Cablegate: Unsc Reform: Open-Ended Working Group Deeply

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0796/01 2482254
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 042254Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4899
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 0971
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0980
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 2021
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 2305
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 1004
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 8522

C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000796

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2018
TAGS: PREL KUNR UNSC IN BR PK IT JP GM
SUBJECT: UNSC REFORM: OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP DEEPLY
DIVIDED BUT NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY ON END-OF-SESSION REPORT

REF: USUN NEW YORK 768

Classified By: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
--------

1. (U) The Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Security
Council reform met September 2 to discuss the draft report
and decision that must be sent to the General Assembly for
adoption before the end of the 62nd session (Sept. 12). The
debate illustrated the continuing divide between the Group of
Four (G-4) who seek an immediate launch of inter-governmental
negotiations in the UNGA and the Uniting for Consensus (UFC)
bloc that first seeks agreement in the OEWG on the framework,
modalities, and negotiables for those negotiations. For the
first time, the G-4 came out strongly against the General
Assembly President's (PGA) Seven Principles since they call
for negotiations based on reaching "general agreement" of the
UN membership and a sequenced way forward.

2. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad pressed the PGA in a September 3
bilateral meeting to retain reference to the Seven Principles
in the draft since they include the need for reform of the
broader UN system hand-in-hand with Security Council reform.
A smaller group of states (representatives of both blocs, the
P-5, and African states) met September 3 with the PGA's
Security Council reform Task Force to bridge the considerable
differences that remain. Several more meetings will likely
be held before the September 12 deadline. A few states have
proposed launching inter-governmental negotiations after a
time-bound discussion of framework, modalities, and
negotiables in the OEWG. End Summary.

Open-Ended Working Group:
Clearly Divided
------------------------

3. (SBU) President of the General Assembly (PGA) Srgjan
Kerim chaired the September 2 meeting of the Open-ended
Working Group (OEWG) on Security Council reform in which 39
states spoke on the PGA,s draft OEWG report and draft
decision (e-mailed to IO/UNP on 8/26) which must be sent to
the General Assembly before the end of the 62nd session. The
debate illustrated the continuing divide between the two main
blocs: (1) Group of Four and its supporters, mainly the small
island states, who want to launch inter-governmental
negotiations immediately (with a specific timeframe) in the
General Assembly with any outcome requiring an affirmative
vote by two-thirds of the membership and (2) Uniting for
Consensus and its supporters who favor further discussion in
the OEWG on the framework, modalities, and negotiables before
moving to start negotiations within the OEWG subject to the
general agreement of the membership.

G-4 Attack Seven Principles
---------------------------

4. (SBU) The debate also showed a split between the two
groups on support for the PGA,s Seven Principles for
approaching Security Council enlargement. The G-4 and its
supporters rejected the inclusion of the Seven Principles as
one of the documents (listed in (d) (3) of the draft decision
and in several places in the draft report) that will form the
basis for negotiations. The UFC, on the other hand, voiced
full support for inclusion of the Seven Principles since they
articulate their main concerns - identification of the
negotiables before negotiations; consultation on the
framework and modalities for the negotiations; requirement to
reach general agreement on all aspects of Security Council
reform. At the end of the OEWG meeting, the PGA announced
that the Task Force would begin a series of smaller meetings
with states to negotiate amendments to the draft decision
with a view to holding the next meeting of the OEWG early the
following week, to conclude the process by Friday, September
12.

U.S. Bilat with PGA
-------------------

5. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad met bilaterally with PGA Kerim,
September 3. The PGA, while taken aback by the G-4's attacks
on him during the September 2 meeting for including the Seven
Principles in the draft decision, said he was pleased that
the membership was now focused on actual amendments to the


text. He opined that the G-4 had gone too far in its
statements in the OEWG meeting, especially the German Perm
Rep who said the OEWG is no longer needed. Ambassador
Khalilzad emphasized that the Seven Principles remain
important to the U.S. and should appear in the report/draft
decision since the first principle enshrines the requirement
that UN Security Council reform must go hand-in-hand with
reform of the broader UN system. Ambassador Khalilzad
suggested that a possible way to bridge the divide is to
perhaps offer a time-bound discussion of the framework and
modalities in the OEWG and then proceed with
inter-governmental negotiations.

6. (C) The PGA responded that he had asked the Task Force to
concentrate on amendments to the draft decision and the need
for general agreement on a framework, modalities, and
negotiables, since those are needed for the negotiation. He
was not prepared to throw out the Seven Principles but was
prepared to move them to a different part of the text. He
said that both sides have to give -- the UFC has nothing to
fear from starting inter-governmental negotiations and the
G-4 and friends need to understand that negotiations must be
based on modalities, framework, and negotiables.

Meeting with Task Force Chairs:
G-4 says "General Agreement"
only applies to OEWG
------------------------------

7. (SBU) Three of the four Task Force Vice Chairpersons, the
Perm Reps of Bangladesh, Chile, and Portugal, met September 4
with a PGA-selected slate of states: Germany, India, Japan,
Brazil, Pakistan, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Egypt, the UK, the
U.S., Russia, Guinea, South Africa, and Uganda. It was
another session focused on strong statements by both blocs.
G-4 members insisted that they would not accept the Seven
Principles in the draft decision since that would give them
legal standing. The Indian DPR in particular objected to the
fifth principle since it says any agreement "must contain"
general agreement. The Italian Perm Rep reiterated the
historical record of negotiations based on general
agreement/consensus. The Pakistani expert said the OEWG
should be the forum for the discussions and later interjected
that if reform is to be achieved through negotiations then
general agreement should be the aim.

OEWG: Germans say its no longer useful;
Canadians suggest technical roll-over
-------------------------------------

8. (SBU) The German DPR said Germany's concern with the
Seven Principles stems from their sequencing. He noted that
the OEWG had been working for 15 years and "had surpassed its
usefulness" and should end unless it receives a "sensible
mandate" to continue. The Canadian representative
suggested that, if no agreement can be reached, a technical
roll-over of the OEWG should be considered, but other states
said that we were not yet at that point. The Vice Chairs
said another Task Force meeting would be scheduled.

Possible compromise in sight?
-----------------------------

9. (SBU) The Egyptian Perm Rep reiterated calls for
decisions to be based on general agreement to achieve reform
with the broadest support, and suggested that
inter-governmental negotiations start within the OEWG and
after agreement on a framework and modalities. If the
negotiations do not progress, then those negotiations could
move to the General Assembly, he suggested. The Japanese
Perm Rep argued in favor of using the final week of the
present UNGA session to discuss the negotiables, framework,
and modalities for inter-governmental negotiations. He
pressed for states to focus on these issues and compromise so
that a draft decision can be agreed upon which includes a
start date for inter-governmental negotiations. (Note: In an
August 22 meeting with the PGA reported reftel, the U.K Perm
Rep had proposed a discussion of parameters during the
opening months of the 63rd session and then the launch of
intergovernmental negotiations at the start of 2009. End
note.)

Next steps
----------


10. (SBU) USUN will continue to attend these meetings
organized by the Task Force and will draw from the following
points if useful and appropriate to ensure U.S. redlines are
not crossed:

-- We continue to strongly support the PGA's Seven
Principles, including his first principle -- that any reform
of the Security Council must be undertaken hand-in-hand with
the transformation of the wider United Nations system. There
are UN bodies in more dire need of reform than the Security
Council. A comprehensive package of reforms must therefore
include reforms in other areas such as General Assembly
financing and decision making We have yet to see significant
movement on these issues.

-- We believe that it is vital to achieve the broadest
possible support for Council expansion, to ensure that no
significant portion of the membership is alienated by the
result and agrees that it constitutes an improvement over the
status quo. For this reason, we continue to believe that the
Open-Ended Working Group should be the forum to carry forward
discussions on inter-governmental negotiations, including
those actual negotiations.

-- Several states have put forward proposals in the last few
days to launch inter-governmental negotiations after a
time-bound discussion of framework, modalities, and
negotiables in the Open-Ended Working Group. We believe that
these proposals should be seriously considered by both sides
going forward and urge further discussion on such a proposal.
Khalilzad

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