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Statement of William R. Pace
General Secretary
World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy
UNGA Hearings on UN-Reform Summit June 24, 2005

Mr. President,
1. The United Nations and collective security should be synonymous. That in its 60th year the UN is considered antithetical to collective security is the disaster that the Secretary-General warned of in 2003.
2. Power arrangements are not the primary purpose of this organization human security must be the primary purpose if the UN is to prevail as the institutional hope for achieving the goal of aving future generations from the scourge of war.
3. Instead, the worlds largest arms dealers run the Security Council and the diplomats of dictatorships paralyze negotiations in key UN bodies
4. In this 60th anniversary year of the United Nations, civil society is here to insist that if nations truly want to preserve their ational security, they and the UN must now deliver human security to e the people. WFM applauds the endorsement of human security in the Presidents Draft Outcome Document. Further we believe the emergence of the norm of the Responsibility to Protect, also included in the draft declaration, advances fundamentally the principles of human security.
5. It is however, a disaster that many of the worlds greatest national democracies are undermining the integrity of their national political principles in demanding they become regional hegemonies in the UN, rather than fighting for a more democratic and strengthened United Nations.
6. Mr. President, expansion of the Security Council is an important goal to revitalize the Council's representivity and legitimacy. My organization, however, fiercely opposes adding more vetoes or permanent members to the Council. Permanent membership has resulted in dysfunction and ineptitude [or inefficacy]. As the world becomes more democratic this imperial anachronism must be discarded.
7. We cannot countenance other democracies groveling to exacerbate rather than repair this dysfunction. We must reform the Security Council to be a more democratic, accountable, transparent and peace-preserving body. We therefore strongly support the idea of adding more elected members and believe that 20 elected members could allow a much more democratic and powerful counterpart to the 5 permanent members.
8. However, while expansion has important merits, we agree with many governments that the most important reform of the Security Council must be reform and improvement of the working methods of the Security Council. In this regard, Mr. President, we strongly endorse Singapores proposal regarding paragraphs 84 and 85, to launch immediately two parallel negotiations, [after years of neverending discussion in this building,] to adopt resolutions on reform of SC working methods and revitalization of the General Assembly before the September summit. Your draft resolution on the General Assembly, and the Swiss and Liechtenstein non papers offer excellent bases on which to proceed. The political opportunity may be better now to conclude these negotiations than at any time in many years! Greater transparency and indicative voting could radically improve accountability of the Council. Could the permanent members dare to oppose a code of conduct restricting their use of the veto in situations involving genocide!
9. Mr. President, on the other cluster of issues in the Strengthening the United Nations section of the paper, I will attempt to comment briefly on several of these, and my printed paper will include amplifications I do not have time to raise in my verbal intervention.
10. But first, Mr. President, I must disagree with many of my colleagues who have called these hearings unprecedented. We who have been working with the General Assembly for many years know this is not unprecedented. What is unprecedented is that since the Millennium Summit NGO rights of participation have been mostly going backwards, not forwards. I appreciate, Mr President, your personal intervention to secure these hearings, and we are aware of the resistance you encountered. But, in all due respect, the Millennium and now the Millennium Plus 5 processes for NGO participation in the summits have been mostly symbolic, superficial, and are a retreat from the major advances we achieved in UN treaty and world conference processes over the last 17 years.
11. Mr. President, however, my main appeal to you and governments and my colleagues from the non-governmental organizations of global civil society is that while we cannot expect further serious consultation opportunities leading into the summit, that you support, in the follow-up on the issues in the Declaration, a return to the consultative, treaty, conference and prep-com modalities of participation of NGOs. My staff indicate that there are more than 40 references to follow-up negotiations that the Draft calls for I would like to ask you and governments to commit to NGO consultative-prep- com type arrangements in at least four of these: the Human Rights Council, the Peacebuilding Commission, the development of a binding instrument regulating small arms, and the responsibility to protect. [Consultation in others should also be considered.]
12. Mr. President, if the NGOs are prevented from exercising their consultative rights in establishment of the Human Rights Council this will be perhaps the most serious reversal of our rights in the last 60 years!
13. Instead, we ask you to consider, in paragraph 102 of the ODD, deciding to restart the negotiations on 1996/297, the decision calling upon the GA to examine the extension of NGO rights in the GA.
14. Mr. President, your language affirming human rights, development and security as the pillars of the United Nations, if adopted, would be one of the greatest achievements of your presidency. [WFM is leaving comment on the proposed Human Rights Council to other organizations, due to the time limit and its consideration being in another cluster.]
15. Contrary to the UN neo-diplomatic myth of the last 5 years, the UN GA treaty and conference/prep-com process has been the most successful negotiating modality in the history of this institution, and the closed, never-ending GA processes have been the least successful. Who can compare the [Brundtland igh Level Panel Earth Summit process that, among other achievements, resulted in the climate change, biodiversity, desertification, and new law of the sea treaties and Agenda 21. Or the extraordinary Rome Statute on the establishment of the International Criminal Court treaty process! What have the closed negotiations of the last 10 years achieved? Taking a few months more to get it right is not only smarter, in the long run it is cheaper; and it brings a sense of ownership of all who participate.
16. The UN General Assembly is the premier, universal policy-making body of the international legal order. The UNGA should have primary responsibility for providing policy and normative coherence for the greater UN system, one that includes the World Trade Organization and the international financial institutions.
17. The General Assembly and ECOSOC: The UNGA, in cooperation with a strengthened ECOSOC, could coordinate the adoption of normative regulations that could resolve conflicts between international laws and rules regarding trade and finance, for example, that are incompatible with international human rights, environment, labour, and other laws and standards. The longer the postponement of effective regulation of the transnational corporate activities, the greater will be the dangers and the more draconian will be the remedies.
18. Secretariat: WFM recognizes the need for securing and enforcing greater accountability, but we deeply regret the erosion of and commitment to an independent international civil service.
19. International Environmental Governance: Mr. President, WFM believes that if we are to have world trade organization, world bank, international labor organization, world health organization it is a moral and legal travesty that global environmental protection is only afforded the status of a voluntary programme.
20. Inter-Parliamentary Union. WFM welcomes the movement to discuss the appropriate modalities to add a parliamentary dimension to the UN. The IPU is an extraordinary, increasingly improving organization and should have a central role in this crucial debate. But, WFM believes that other parliamentary bodies should also be consulted; international, regional, as well as elected local authority bodies. Any new deliberative body must also be democratic, transparent, and allow for equal or better consultative arrangements for NGOs as exist in other bodies of the UN.
21. WFM is dedicating enormous resources to help promote the adoption of a successful Declaration by the 60th anniversary summit. We believe the UN is not only not irrelevant, but indispensable for pursuing world peace in the 21st century. We applaud the proposal for world leaders to affirm human rights, development and security as the three pillars of the United Nations for the coming decades. But, these must not be pillars on paper, but pillars of stone embedded in just international law and international democracy.
Thank you.
William R. Pace
Executive Director, World Federalist Movement
Convenor, Coalition for the International Criminal Court
708 3rd Avenue, 24th Floor
Tel: +1 212 599-1320 ext. 31 Fax: +1 212 599-1332
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Web: http://www.wfm.org; http://www.iccnow.org

 

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