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On UNSC Reform, New UfC Paper Calls for Transparency, No New Permanent Seats

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 25 -- With UN Security Council reform to be taken up again tomorrow, Inner City Press has obtained and is publishing here the United for Consensus group's proposals for 2015, being circulated today by Italy's mission to the UN as UfC Focal Point.

 As before, UfC is opposed to the creation of new Permanent seats on the Council (while that is what the G4 grouping wants).

   United for Consensus says, “we could support a UNSC of up to 26 members in total - a Council that is more representative of the international community as a whole while preserving the principles of democracy and accountability to Member States. The legitimacy of the Council depends not only - or even primarily - on its composition, but on its transparency, accountability and effectiveness. It is not just about who takes decisions, but most importantly the inclusive and democratic nature of decision-making.”

   “Transparency in the work of the Security Council should be enhanced through, for instance, better access to information, an increase in open briefings, and greater interaction with the General Assembly and other interested parties, including TCCs/PCCs and regional and sub-regional organizations.”

   Inner City Press and the new Free UN Coalition for Access might add there has in some recent months been a decrease even in question and answer media stakeouts after closed consultation of the Council.

  UfC continues, “the new category of longer term non-permanent seats and an appropriate increase in two-year non-permanent seats could guarantee better representation among regional groups as well as Small States, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Such an increase in the membership of the Council could also provide avenues to account for the aspirations of cross regional and sub-regional groups. Re-election and rotation of seats would be left to the autonomous arrangements within each regional group.

    On the veto, UfC says “While outright abolition of the veto would be ideal, in the immediate term our negotiations should address how to best limit the use of veto in circumstances that include, but are not limited to, mass atrocities.”

   Inner City Press is putting the full United for Consensus document online here. We'll have more on this.


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