H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations as Chairman of the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform.
In a letter sent today, H.E. Mr. Ali Abdessalam Treki, President of the 64th General Assembly appointed the Ambassador as chairman, thanked him for accepting the responsibility and requested that member states “continue to extend [their] full cooperation and support to the process of Security Council reform.”
Ambassador Tanin has chaired the intergovernmental negotiations process since the process began last February, as mandated by a decision of the General Assembly. Since then, Ambassador Tanin has overseen three rounds of negotiations.
The first round included five exchanges, one on each of the five key issues: categories of membership; the question of the veto; regional representation; size of an enlarged Security Council and working methods of the Council; and the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly. The second round included three exchanges: the first on the concept of review or challenge; the second on the composition of the Council; and the third on voting, procedures and working methods of the Council. Finally, the third round included three exchanges; the first on all five key issues together; the second on the model including expansion in both categories of membership (permanent and non-permanent); and the third on the “intermediate model.”
As a result of the efforts of the Afghan Permanent Representative, member states moved forward with confidence in the process. Significant percentages of the membership participated in each of the three rounds, and member states from all interest groups were able to air their views freely. At the end of the session, President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann sent a letter to President Karzai, thanking him for allowing Ambassador Tanin to take on this important role, and expressing his appreciation for the work that Ambassador Tanin accomplished over the course of the year.
In September 2009, the General Assembly took a unanimous decision to continue the intergovernmental negotiations during the 64th General Assembly. The President of the General Assembly’s reappointment of Ambassador Tanin ensures that the process will have continuity and will retain the spirit of transparency and openness that categorized its first year. In the near future, Ambassador Tanin will continue negotiations with an aim to finding a solution on the reform of the Security Council that can garner the widest possible political agreement from Member States.