27 August 2008

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonís remarks to the open debate on Security Council working methods in New York, today, 27 August:

Thank you for this opportunity to address you on such an important subject.† I welcome this open debate on implementation of measures intended to make the Council more efficient and transparent, and I am grateful to you, Mr. President, for bringing us together.† Let me also express my appreciation for the tireless efforts of the delegations of Japan, Slovakia and Panama, as Chair of the Councilís revitalized Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.

Over the past years, the Security Council has faced increasingly complex responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security.† At the same time, we have experienced a surge in the demand for United Nations conflict prevention and management, peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities.

This makes it essential for the Council to keep addressing issues related to its working methods, including by implementing the measures set out in the note of the President of the Council two years ago.† These measures are a key step in making the United Nations more efficient, effective and accountable in the face of a growing array of new challenges.

I commend the Council for its efforts so far.† Since adopting the presidential note in July 2006, considerable progress has been made in implementing the measures. †The Secretariat, too, has taken steps to make the recommendations a reality, including those related to the timeliness and content of my reports to the Council; those on the familiarization of newly elected Council members; and the mainly technical points regarding wider and more user-friendly dissemination of information on the Councilís programme and activities to non-Council members.

Since taking office, I have stressed the importance of full accountability as a fundamental organizing principle and operational guideline for the work of the Organization. †As the Secretariat, we must ensure that we work and deliver as one to meet the mandates that the Security Council gives us and, at the same time, hold ourselves accountable for our behaviour and for outcomes.

I am confident that the Security Council, which carries out its responsibilities on behalf of all Member States, is also guided by this principle. †I appreciate that the members of the Council are committed to interacting with the wider United Nations membership through greater transparency, openness in decision-making and inclusiveness. †I consider this pivotal to the way the Council works and is perceived by the international community.

Since 1994, when the Security Council held its first debate on this issue, you have come a long way. †I trust that you will consolidate the gains that have been made and keep moving forward. †I look forward to working with you in strengthening the cooperation between the Secretariat and the Council even further. †I shall keep extending my full support to the Security Council and its members in their tireless efforts to make this indispensable organ an efficient, transparent and inclusive body.

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For information media • not an official record