Central American leaders say UN must be reformed and democratized to tackle

Calling for “urgent restructuring” of UN mechanisms and bodies, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, the President of Costa Rica, underscored the need for a “democratic” elections of the next UN Secretary-General, and also called for measures to ensure that the permanent members of the Security Council cannot use their veto power in situations of humanitarian crisis. “Since 1946, the process for selecting the person who will hold the most important position in the international community has been characterized by opaqueness. Costa Rica is determined to change this, he declared. He said that along with Estonia, Costa Rica is leading the efforts of almost 30 States to establish a process that is transparent, democratic, equitable, inclusive, “and one that, unlike today, would be consistent with Charter and similar high level international processes.”Mr. Solis Rivera also emphasized the need to elect a woman as the next UN Secretary-General in order to uphold Organization’s principle of empowering women and girls.“The time has come for the General Secretariat to be occupied by a woman. Let us acknowledge the great capacity, competence and commitment of women in all areas, and let us send an unequivocal political signal that, as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, this Organization stands by what it preaches in terms of equality and empowerment of women and girls,” he declared. The President went on spotlight what he saw as the Security Council’s inadequate and untimely decision-making process.“To consolidate the United Nations at the centre of global governance, the Security Council should take on its responsibilities with regards to maintaining international peace and security, taking into account human rights considerations in its actions and improving its work regarding conflict prevention. The Council’s focus on conflict prevention is inadequate and, when it does take action, it often comes too late,” he said. The President associated the inefficacy of the Security Council as the main reason for the emergence of humanitarian crisis of Middle-east and Central African countries.“None of these crises emerged without prior warning,” he said. “The responsibility of promoting, protecting and fulfilling the peoples’ rights and fundamental freedoms rests with the [Member] States. However, when governments fail to meet the ‘responsibility to protect,’ either because they lack the will or the ability to safeguard the rights of their own people, then it is up to the international community, and in particular the Security Council, to intervene and deploy the wide variety at its disposal to resolve conflicts,” he added. “Because human lives are at stake, Costa Rica supports France’s proposal to restrict the veto in the case of mass atrocities […] and to demand a political commitment to act promptly and decisively in such situations,” he suggested.This call for Security Council reform was echoed by the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez, who urged review of UN structures and governance mechanisms, including the Security Council, towards achieving greater transparency and geographical representation.President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez of Panama addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session. UN Photo/Cia PakHe went on to urge the “great powers” to join forces, as they had to end the Second World War, to work together to forge a roadmap to defeat terrorism and ensure that peace would prevail. In addition, he reminded the Assembly that “politics is meant to serve society,” and as such, nations should work together and in a non-politicized manner to eradicate poverty and ensure equal opportunities and sustainable development for all. President Varela Rodriguez said that Panama was facing irregular migration flows and as such had pledged to treat migrants with dignity. The joint fight to resolve the problems that had led “our brothers” to leave their countries must continue. Further, the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), informally known as COP 21, must reach a definitive, universal agreement. The Coalition of Tropical Forests, chaired by Panama, had worked on measures to mitigate and prevent the impacts of climate change on forests, including procuring resources to that end.

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