|Title||Ambassador Kim addresssing at the General Assembly on November 15, 2012|
15 November 2012
Allow me to extend my deepest appreciation to the membership of the General Assembly who rendered its valuable support to the candidature of the Republic of Korea for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for the term 2013-14.
(On Regional, Non-proliferation and Thematic Issues)
The Security Council actively engaged in tackling a great number of challenges all around the world during the reporting period. The Council remained the most relied-upon organ for the international community in the field of international peace and security.
The vigorous engagement by the Security Council was indispensable in enhancing peace and moving the political process forward in such places as Somalia, the Sudan and South Sudan, and Timor-Leste.
We have seen encouraging developments in Somalia, where the support of the Security Council to the transition process, in cooperation with the African Union, has laid a solid groundwork for the establishment of a legitimate government.
The firm actions by the Council, as envisaged in its unanimous resolution 2046 (2012), countered the escalation of violence between the Sudan and South Sudan and enabled the negotiations on unresolved issues to make progress. The Republic of Korea, on its part, intends to contribute to the stability and reconstruction in the region by sending a 300-strong engineering corps to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the coming months.
In Timor-Leste, the UN’s active involvement in the country’s peace and stability since 1999 now draws to a successful end. We believe that such successful engagement by the international community in the form of UN peacekeeping operations, a peace investment which pays off with a clear-cut exit, needs to be emulated.
The Republic of Korea also appreciates the works of the Security Council in managing the developments during the course of the “Arab Spring” in countries ranging from Libya to Yemen. We note the adoption of the Security Council resolutions regarding Libya including 2009 (2011) and 2016 (2011) which offer a political basis for improving the security situation in the country. We also welcome the adoption of Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012) for political transition in Yemen.
Syria remains the biggest peace and security challenge of the day. The Republic of Korea is deeply concerned about the mass killing of civilians and gross violations of human rights in Syria. We commend the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States and the Security Council-mandated Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) with a view to the implementation of the six-point proposal during the reporting period. We truly hope that the Security Council will be able to build unity and act decisively on this tragic and longstanding issue which has large repercussions for regional security.
Regarding the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the Republic of Korea fully supports the two-State solution, a vision where both Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace and prosperity. We hope that a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the matter will be reached in the near future with the support of the international community.
Among other concerns before the international community are the challenges to the constitutional order in democracy. We are worried about the military coups conducted in Mali and Guinea-Bissau earlier this year and welcome the firm actions by the Security Council as shown in its resolutions 2056 (2012) and 2048 (2012).
It is also worrying that the activities of armed elements destabilize the peace and stability in fragile regions, with the M23 (23 March Movement) in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in the Central African region, and armed rebel groups in northern Mali being the cases in point. We hope that the Security Council will remain firm and vigilant in responding to such destabilizing forces.
On the issue of non-proliferation, the Republic of Korea welcomes and supports the swift adoption of the Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2012/13) on North Korea’s launch of a long-range missile in April 2012. We particularly note that the Presidential Statement strongly condemned the launch, underscored that it was a serious violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), and expressed its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further launch or nuclear test by North Korea. We also take note of the works of the 1718 Sanctions Committee, which include the designation of additional entities subject to sanctions measures in May 2012.
On international cooperation for non-proliferation, the Republic of Korea appreciates the growing role of the 1540 Committee, as shown in Security Council resolution 2055 (2012). We also welcome the adoption of the Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2012/14) on nuclear security in April 2012.
The Republic of Korea also values the work of the Security Council on thematic and cross-cutting issues. We welcome the increasing engagement of the Security Council in issues concerning women and peace and security, children and armed conflict, and post-conflict peace-building. We believe that the Council should exert more effort in identifying the linkages between the thematic issues and country specific situations, keeping the issues more focused and action-oriented so as to make substantial contribution to improving the situation on the ground.
(On Working Methods of the Security Council)
During the reporting period, the Council has undertaken notable efforts to enhance the participation of the wider membership in its work, including by increasing the number of public meetings and providing monthly briefings by its president. Such efforts toward openness and transparency should continue to be strengthened.
The Council should also work on expanding its relationships and enhancing coordination with regional and sub-regional organizations. Cooperation with regional institutions has become all the more essential for finding appropriate solutions to crises and conflicts, as well as for making optimal use of resources and capacities.
(On Security Council reform)
On the issue of the Security Council reform, the Republic of Korea believes that the only plausible way to bring about a more representative, accountable, democratic and effective Security Council is through the holding of periodic elections.
Periodic elections are essential in ensuring the democratic principle, which lies at the heart of the legitimacy of reforming the Security Council.
Security Council reform should be firmly based on a membership-driven and comprehensive approach, as stipulated in General Assembly Decision 62/557 (2008). We look forward to the stewardship of Ambassador Tanin as Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform, so that we can achieve concrete progress during the current session of the General Assembly.
The Republic of Korea, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2013-14, will spare no efforts in enhancing the accountability, transparency, and efficiency of the Council.
Thank you. /End/