Sierra Leone Remarks at the IGN Input to the Summit of the Future’s Pact for the Future


Distinguished Co-Chairs,


Distinguished Delegates, 

I have the honour to present the African Union Member States’ views in response to the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) revised draft input to the Summit of the Future’s “Pact for the Future.”  

I would like to thank the Distinguished Co-Chairs for their continued leadership in facilitating the IGN’s activities and for convening this informal discussion.

Action 1:           We commit to an early reform of the Security Council to make it more representative, inclusive, transparent, efficient, effective, democratic and accountable

Regarding Action 1, we firstly wish to indicate that the chapeau for Action 1 must reflect the urgency for the reform of the Security Council. We accordingly propose replacing the word in the “early” and substituting it with “urgent”, to read “urgent reform”.

Further, we acknowledge with deep appreciation the inclusion of the second bullet point, which captures the membership’s general convergence that “the enlargement [of the Security Council] will redress the historical injustice against Africa as a priority and, while treating Africa as a special case”. This is not only a correct and accurate reflection of the general membership’s deliberations and expressions of support, but one that should be acted upon immediately. 

We also note the importance of reflection to improve the representation of the underrepresented and unrepresented regions and groups.

 We take note of the third bullet point in Action 1 on expanding the 2-year term of non-permanent members as part of a comprehensive Security Council reform. We see this as reflecting the general convergence that both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent categories, will be expanded. It is vital to note that many delegations and Interest Groups support expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, and genuine reform can only be achieved by expanding both categories of the Council’s membership. Therefore, we suggest adding a reference to the continuation of the discussion on an enlargement of the permanent category and this needs to be clearly reflected in the IGN’s contribution to the Summit of the Future’s “Pact for the Future”. 

Further, in the sixth bullet point of Action 1, the discussion on the limitations to the scope and use of the veto, specifically in the context of the IGN, revolves around the question of whether the veto should be abolished or extended to new permanent members, if retained. 

It is important to ensure that initiatives from outside the IGN do not influence the process, the question of the veto’s retention and extension to new permanent members, as this would go against the spirit of Decision 62/557. Therefore, we urge for a review of this bullet point to ensure it accurately captures the IGN discussion under the veto cluster. This is not to undermine the importance of the various veto initiatives aimed at limiting the use of the veto but rather to safeguard the integrity of the IGN process.

Action 2:           We commit to accelerating our efforts in the framework of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

In Action 2, bullet point one, it is suggested that the Co-Chairs develop a unified model using the reform models proposed by member States and Interest Groups as a starting point for further discussions. This, without more, appears to offer another path to reduce the documentation on the process to a single document. 

Accordingly, elaborating a consolidated model must not only take into account the Framework Document of 2015, the submitted models, but importantly for Africa, the guidance  which the African Head of States and Government have given on how to approach text-based negotiations, that is, the need for ”prior consensus between member States on the five clusters and an agreed framework, which broadly addresses the issue of historical injustice, that has wide consensus, and a model of reform that clearly addresses expansion in both categories of the UNSC”.

 It is also worth noting that not all member States or Interest Groups have submitted/presented their reform models. To that end, we propose rephrasing the paragraph to note the usefulness of the structured dialogue introduced by the Distinguished Co-Chairs and the need for more engagements, including for additional models and positions to be submitted by the Member States. 

Regarding Action 2, bullet points 2 & 3, we take note of the importance of the request to provide the President of the General Assembly with the necessary resources to support the IGN process; and to the UN Secretary-General to support the efforts and facilitate the reform process by providing the required expertise. This includes support from the Office of Legal Affairs, the Security Council Affairs Division, and the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) as appropriate. While the IGN remains a member States driven process, ensuring the necessary resources are available will be critical. 

Action 3:           We will strengthen the response of the United Nations system for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Distinguished Co-Chairs, in examining the chapeau of paragraph 3, we regret to express serious concern about the commitment to pursuing incremental improvements in the working methods of the Security Council and strengthening the General Assembly until the reform of the Security Council enters into force. We have to stress that we are fully in support of improving the working methods of the Security Council to make it fit for purpose. However, Africa does not favour an incremental reform focusing on so called ‘easier clusters’, or low handing fruits, which is fundamentally no reform in the context of righting the historical injustice and the Council’s structural imbalance.  

Africa’s position is that the composition of the Security Council, including its working methods, should be democratized, and improved to reflect the diversity of the UN Member States and the geopolitical realities of our present and future world. This would correct the existing imbalance of the Council’s structure and legitimize its authority and actions. 

In closing, Distinguished Co-Chairs, I have the honour to convey that Africa has full trust and confidence in your ability as Co-Chairs of the IGN to revise and update the text, considering today’s comments. We request that you prepare a further revised document that is not only concise and action-oriented but also one that, in our collective judgment, will take us closer to a consensus outcome and reflects the concerns of Africa.

I thank you. 

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