|06USUNNEWYORK511||2006-03-15 21:44:00||CONFIDENTIAL||USUN New York|
VZCZCXYZ0002 RR RUEHWEB DE RUCNDT #0511/01 0742144 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 152144Z MAR 06 FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8327 INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0214 RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0138 RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0231 RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 1888
C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000511
1. (C) Summary. Switzerland has begun the process of
re-circulating a revised draft of its proposed General
Assembly resolution on Security Council working methods,
which was originally shared with member states last fall
(reftel). The Swiss have told the French that they and their
four co-drafters will share the text widely by the end of
March and seek action in the General Assembly before
September. We remain fundamentally opposed to the concept of
a GA resolution on this issue, as an attempt to alter the
relationship between principal bodies of the UN contrary to
the language of the Charter. The new text is only slightly
changed from the previous version, and not in a good way.
S5 text to be circulated in March?
2. (C) The French have shared with the P5 the latest version
of the proposed "Swiss-Five" General Assembly resolution on
Security Council working methods. (USUN has emailed the text
to IO/UNP.) According to the French, the Swiss passed the
text in Paris and noted interest in circulating it among UN
member states before the end of March, once negotiations on
the Human Rights Council have been completed. The timing is
also tied to the beginning of the latest session of the Open
Ended Working Group (OEWG) on UNSC Reform (expected in
March). Supporters of the draft do not want discussion of
Council working methods limited to the OEWG, which operates
on the basis of consensus. It is not clear if the Swiss
intend to formally table the draft resolution at this time,
but they indicated to the French that they and the co-authors
(Costa Rica, Singapore, Liechtenstein, and Jordan) would seek
GA action before the end of the 60th Session (in September).
3. (C) Our position has not changed. We believe the draft
resolution reflects an inappropriate view of the relationship
between two principal bodies of the United Nations. Per
Article 30 of the UN Charter, the Security Council "shall
adopt its own rules of procedure." Among the P5, the
Russians share our views, and have been unwilling to
negotiate the substance of the draft recommendations with the
authors. The French and UK are less categorical and have
indicated a willingness to engage in a discussion on the
specific recommendations. The French told us they do not yet
have an official position, but have a particular problem with
the draft's language related to the use of the veto and the
call for the Council to "report" on its implementation of the
recommendations to the GA. The Chinese position remains
Changes only make a bad text worse
4. (C) We maintain that any discussion of the specific
recommendations in the text will only serve to legitimize an
effort that has no basis in the Charter. The new text
reflects minor changes to the version circulated to member
states in November. The changes only make a bad text worse.
The new draft:
-- Includes a new preambular paragraph 3 that selectively
references Article 10 of the Charter to imply unlimited
ability for the GA to examine issues and make recommendations
to the Security Council. The proposed text conveniently
drops Article 10's reference to the explicit limitations on
the GA's authority as spelled out by Article 12.
-- In preambular paragraph 7, adds the concept of enhancing
the Council's "legitimacy" through working methods reform.
This concept is also emphasized through the reworking of the
first operative paragraph.
-- Reworks preambular paragraph 9 to make the call for
expansion of the Council more explicit. (This was edited to
respond to concerns that the S-5 effort would dilute support
for the expansion effort).
In the annex:
-- New language in paragraph 5 calls on the Security Council
to make its tentative program of work available to member
states as soon as it is available to the Council.
-- Paragraph 6 now explicitly calls on the Security Council
to "seek the views" of member states when Council decisions
are going to require implementation by member states.
-- Language relating to use of the veto is reworked to
recommend that a Council member exercising its veto right
should "explain the reason for doing so" at the time of the
vote and circulate the explanation to all member states as an
official document of the Council.
-- New paragraph 17 calls on the Council to "enhance its
cooperation and consultations" with regional organizations.
5. (C) The Swiss-Five proposal serves as a backdrop to the
Council's own discussion of documentation and procedures, now
"re-energized" under the leadership of Japanese PR Oshima.
The Russians and we maintain a sharp distinction between the
two issues that is not shared by the other members of the
Council, who often cite the Outcome Document's recommendation
that the Council adapt its working methods to increase the
involvement of non-member States, "enhance its
accountability" to the membership, and increase the
transparency of its work.