Vatican Suggests a U.N. Security Council More Representative of World Population

Archbishop Migliore Offers Criteria for Reform

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NEW YORK, OCT. 6, 2004 ( The Holy See made its contribution to the debate on U.N. reform by requesting that the Security Council represent as much as possible the world population.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, suggested that the criteria for the organization’s reform should be to transform it into a «community of states.»

In addressing the question of the restructuring of the Security Council, the papal representative said that «one might consider that its composition should reflect, as far as possible, a representation of the world population, of geopolitical regions, of various levels of economic development and of different civilizations.»

«This list may not be complete, but it includes criteria that are essential in order to improve the credibility and efficacy of a reformed Security Council,» he said Monday.

In regard to overall U.N. reform, including its diverse agencies, Archbishop Migliore offered «some terms of reference.»

«First of all, we should keep in mind that the United Nations is a community of states that shares fundamental values, well outlined in the Millennium Declaration: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility,» he stated.

«Strengthening the United Nations system implies the acknowledgment that this is a system founded on cooperation rather than on competition among states and actively nourished by constructive will, trust, keeping of commitments and collaboration among equal and reciprocally responsible partners,» the archbishop said. «Making these founding principles irreversible is a primary task.»

«In the process of reforming and adapting this institution it is important to identify guiding principles, as well as objectives, just and fair criteria, acceptable to all member states, that will in turn pave the way towards a constructive reflection on the composition of the different bodies,» he continued.

«The bottom line is the recognition of the principle that all states are by nature equal in dignity,» the Holy See’s permanent observer said.

«We know very well in this institution that even though nations may differ widely in material progress and military strength, they are all conscious of their juridical equality,» he added. «It is true, however, that the nations that have attained a superior degree of scientific, cultural and economic development have the responsibility to make a greater contribution to the common cause.

«On a more practical note, the essential criteria that should be taken into account for reshaping the structures and revisiting the procedures of this organization are as follows: for the structures: representation and inclusiveness; for the procedures: impartiality, efficiency and efficacy; for the outcomes: accountability and responsiveness.»

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