The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.


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Statements and Speeches

Statement by Mr. Sipho Seakamela, Minister Counsellor, South African Mission during the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Question of “Equitable Representation for the Increase in Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Council”

22 June 2016

Madam Chairperson,

We would like to thank you for convening this meeting, which is yet another opportunity to deliberate and find common understanding on the important issue of the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).  My delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by the Permanent Representatives of Sierra-Leone and Saint Lucia on behalf of the African Group and the L.69 Group respectively. Furthermore, we wish to make additional points in our national capacity.

We thank you for preparing and circulating the document entitled “Elements of convergence on two key issues of Security Council reform: the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly, and size on an enlarged Security Council and working methods of the Council”, which could be a valuable resource in the future deliberations amongst Member States.  We recognize your commitment and efforts aimed at contributing to solid proposals for our consideration as Member States.

At the outset, I wish to reiterate South Africa’s commitment to working with you Madam Chairperson and other Member States in a constructive manner that will lead to progress in the intergovernmental negotiations on the basis of a concise text and in accordance with General Assembly decision 62/557. Our ongoing efforts must build on the strides made during the 69th session and preserve the progress achieved in the Framework Document of July 2015 and not try to reframe it.

We would therefore like to have a strong reference of the Framework Document in the opening part of the Elements of Convergence Document. Such a reference will safeguard the gains made during the previous session and avoid any re-negotiation of the issues contained in the Framework Document.

Madam Chairperson,

While we take note of the proposed elements of convergence contained in the document you circulated, we are concerned that the proposed elements document does not reflect convergence on all issues. Instead, the document is limited scope and reach. We would therefore like to encourage you Madam Chairperson, to also reflect these concerns in the subsequent document.  Furthermore, we see no harm in including reference to both areas of convergence and divergence in the outcome text.

In our view much more work needs to be done in this session, and we believe the best way forward is firstly for the Chair to make proposals on each of the elements followed by meetings of the IGN to discuss those proposals.  We therefore request that you urgently circulate a time table of additional meetings focused on the five elements so that we can use the remainder of the session to identify convergences.  To ensure that these meetings are productive, it may be necessary for the Chair to circulate discussion points and or language proposals similar to the document before us with the aim of guiding the discussions. 

South Africa is further of the view that the IGN should adopt a clear roadmap to substantively guide our negotiations in the remainder of the 70th Session and also in the 71st Session.

Madam Chairperson,

In conclusion, South Africa is convinced that significant convergence exists among the positions and proposals submitted by member states and the various groups. We would therefore like to encourage you to consolidate these proposals into a concise and streamlined text.  On our part, my delegation stands ready to work with other all delegations in a constructive spirit and with a view to building additional momentum for actual negotiations on the reform of the Security Council.

I thank you.