The UN General Assembly withdrew from its agenda a resolution tabled by the European Union calling for the right of its President, Herman von Rompuy, and its High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, to take the floor during the debates.

A motion to this effect, presented by Suriname on behalf of Caricom, was adopted with 76 votes in favour, 71 votes against and 26 abstentions.

While not seeking to obtain a seat, the European Union hoped to obtain observer status equivalent to that of a non-member State in order to make optimal use of the new institutions created by the Treaty of Lisbon.

Two permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation and China, voted for its deferral. Numerous States from the South took the view that the Europeans are already over represented within the UN and its agencies. Therefore, they consider that it’s not up to them to make room for the European Union, but that it is incombent on Members States of that supranational organization to withdraw in favour of newer members.

This question is particularly thorny considering that issues like the reform of the UN Security Council and the voting rights at the heart of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are up for debate at the same time. None of these issues can be looked at separately since it would be advisable to achieve a new global balance more in harmony with contemporary realities.

The European Union does not have a replacement strategy in the context of this negotiation. Short of a fully-fledged observer status at the UN, the functions of EU President and High Representative for Foreign Relations are no more than empty shells. More than ever, the Lisbon Treaty appears like a whim of the transatlantic ruling class, completely cut off from the preoccupations of their European constituents and the realities of North-South relations.

Translated from Spanish by Luís Mdahuar.