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U.S. Department of State
96/02/01 USUS Press Release #014-(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
 
 
 
 
FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY                  USUN PRESS RELEASE #014-(96) 
CHECK TEXT AGAINST DELIVERY                          FEBRUARY 1, 1996 
 
 
Statement by Ambassador Karl R. Inderfurth, United States Representative 
for Special Political Affairs, in the Working Group on Security Council 
Expansion, February 1, 1996 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Mr President, we welcome your presence in the chair at today's opening 
meeting of the renewed session of the Working Group and extend our 
thanks for your efforts to assure the continuity of the Working Group 
during the 50th session. 
 
We also want to express again our gratitude to Ambassador Breitenstein 
for his fair and unstinting leadership as vice co-chair.  We hope and 
expect that the vacant vice co-chair seat will soon be filled so that 
member states will have the benefit of a full bureau when we re-commence 
our substantive meetings at the end of this month. 
 
Mr President I will be very brief.  The bureau has asked member states 
for their views on the future work of the Open Ended Working Group. 
 
With regard to substance, the question of Security Council expansion and 
reform was discussed repeatedly and at length in hundreds of statements 
during the commemorative session of the 50th General Assembly, as well 
as the general debate, and the debate on agenda item 47.  Although this 
high level of interest produced no dramatic breakthroughs, we did 
observe two modest developments that may be useful to our work this 
winter and spring. 
 
First, among governments that specifically addressed how the Council 
should be expanded, a large majority clearly favored expanding the 
number of countries occupying both permanent and non-permanent 
categories.  Second, within the temporary member category, interest in 
rotating, semi-permanent or other types of elongated terms is continuing 
to develop as a complement to, not a substitute for, new permanent 
members.  We welcome both of these trends, which we believe are 
constructive. 
 
On procedural matters, the suggestions contained in the bureau's Draft 
Program of Work are fully acceptable to my government.  We put 
particular value on the continuation of informal consultations, as 
outlined in paragraphs 4 (c) and 6 of the Draft Program.  On this point 
let me emphasize that the authority to convene consultations is inherent 
in the role of a chairman.  In fact, if the bureau believes informal 
consultations are needed to facilitate agreement, the conduct of such 
discussions is not merely a prerogative of the bureau, rather it is an 
obligation.  This applies no less to the co-chairs of this Group than it 
does to the bureaus of the working groups on UN reform, or finance, or 
Agenda for Development, or Agenda for Peace, or on any other subject, as 
attested by the long history of such groups at United Nations 
negotiations. 
 
In closing, Mr President, let me say again that we welcome your 
important support for the continuity and momentum of the Working Group 
during the balance of the 50th anniversary.  We continue to believe that 
the 50th anniversary is a significant opportunity for progress. 
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