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Seeking permanent seat at UN Security Council, Germany's UN envoy calls for reform

'Year after year, countries present their vision and what they want, and that's it,' Christoph Heusgen tells Anadolu Agency

Betul Yuruk   | 16.06.2021
Seeking permanent seat at UN Security Council, Germany's UN envoy calls for reform

UNITED NATIONS

The east wall of the UN Security Council's chamber features a huge mural showing a phoenix rising from the ashes of war and symbolizing the promise of future peace, but the structure of the council has been debated for failing to maintain its primary responsibility to resolve conflicts.

In recent years, calls have grown for reform at the UN Security Council from many countries including Turkey over its failure to maintain peace and security in Syria, Myanmar, and Yemen.

Among the countries that insist on the betterment of the UN's most powerful body is Germany. To date, it has been elected as a non-permanent member of the council six times and was last an elected member between 2019-2020.

As the second-largest donor, which provides the highest amount of funds including voluntary contributions to the overall UN system after the US, Germany wants to be represented as a permanent member at the council and demands reform, given its position in the global arena.

In a sit-down interview with Anadolu Agency at the Security Council chamber, Germany's outspoken Ambassador to the UN Christoph Heusgen recalled that the Security Council was established after the Second World War.

"The last time it was reformed was in the 60s, and since the 60s -- basically two generations -- the composition has not changed," said Heusgen.

"For the Security Council to be accepted so people really believe this is the body that represents us, its composition needs to change and it has to represent the composition of the world as it is today."

He said many African states did not exist then, but today, there are 54 African countries, and not one of them is represented in a permanent way right now.

The ambassador also recalled that during the Cold War, the Security Council was stalled on many occasions.

"And we have it again today that on many issues, the Security Council [is] not really advancing as we would like to see," he added.

Heusgen believes the Security Council, which currently has 15 members, should be expanded to 25-27 members.

"The challenge is to actually come to a stage where we sit down and negotiate. We're not there yet. We are in a situation where, year after year, countries present their vision and what they want, and that's it. But this is not enough," said the German diplomat.

"Unfortunately, two countries -- and this is China and Russia -- are blocking all our progress towards real negotiations.

"They are very happy with the status quo and don't want a change, and this is something that we have been trying very hard on to this year to change and get the numbers so that we can make extra progress," he added.

He also said that the 75th anniversary of the UN was very important as the world leaders called to ''instill new life'' into the negotiations on Security Council reform in a declaration.

He said that Qatar and Poland, which were appointed to lead and facilitate negotiations on Security Council reform, came to a conclusion on the basis of all discussions and produced the so-called elements paper that should be the basis for further negotiations.

"We were very hopeful that this would actually be accepted, but now the president of the General Assembly -- a Turkish compatriot, Mr. Volkan Bozkir -- in his proposal to the General Assembly was very disappointing," he said. "Instead of saying ‘let's follow the ambassadors of Qatar and Poland's proposal,’ he said let's go back to last year and have the same conclusion as we had last year to have two papers and not really allowing the General Assembly in the next session to come to a real conclusion."

He added that they were still working on the same proposal to move forward.

16.06.2021

Seeking permanent seat at UN Security Council, Germany's UN envoy calls for reform

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