Speakers Focus on Veto Power, Appointment of Next Secretary-General, Cooperation among UN and Regional Bodies as Security Council Debates Working Methods

SC/12088
20 October 2015
7539th Meeting (AM & PM)

Speakers Focus on Veto Power, Appointment of Next Secretary-General, Cooperation among UN and Regional Bodies as Security Council Debates Working Methods

The use of the veto, cooperation with the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as with regional organizations and troop- and police-contributing countries, and procedures to appoint the new Secretary-General were among topics addressed by speakers at today’s Security Council’s open debate on that body’s working methods.

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the Secretariat had always been and would remain a vital partner of the 15-member Security Council, providing detailed and actionable information on a wide range of issues.  The Department of Political Affairs briefed Security Council members every month on situations which could threaten international peace and security.  Early warning signs could play an even more important role in preventing situations from deteriorating or spiralling out of control.  The Security Council’s work affected all Member States in a world where peace, development and human rights were increasingly interrelated.

Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark), President of the General Assembly, said the relationship between the Assembly and the Security Council was mutually reinforcing and complementary.  “We must never lose sight of the fact that, at any given moment, some 178 United Nations Member States are not members of the Security Council,” he said.

For years, there had been calls for transparency and a more rigorous process in selecting the next Secretary-General, he said, and through Assembly resolution 69/321, States had requested that the Presidents of the Assembly and the Security Council begin soliciting candidates.  The Assembly President announced that he had already started discussions with his counterpart in the Security Council with a view to circulating a letter inviting the membership to present candidates.  Bearing in mind that there had never been a female Secretary-General, the inclusion and consideration of women candidates should be an important focus.

Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that according to the United Nations Charter, that 54-member body might furnish information to the Security Council and should provide it with assistance upon request, but the use of that provision had been very limited.  “The time has come to revitalize the relationship between the Charter bodies of this Organization,” he emphasized.

The changing nature of conflict, from inter-State war to complex civil conflicts, highlighted the fundamental link between sustainable development and lasting peace, he said.  The Economic and Social Council could interact with the Security Council on a regular basis on issues such as the promotion of institution-building and improved governance, the need for social inclusion, the role of women and youth, and the impact of environmental degradation on weakened societies.

The President of the Peacebuilding Commission, Olof Skoog (Sweden), called for more integrated, coherent and holistic action to build and sustain peace.  It was imperative to support the strengthening of capacity in post-conflict countries to enable them to exercise full national ownership.  Through its role in convening a wide array of critical regional and international actors, including troop- and police-contributing countries, the Commission could bring a peacebuilding perspective to Security Council deliberations.  It could also help formulate post-conflict strategies and bring priority peacebuilding issues to the Security Council’s attention.

The representative of Angola, also speaking on behalf of Security Council members Chile, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain, said:  “Meaningful change is driven by practice, taking the initiative and leading by example, as much as rules and procedure.”  Working methods must produce an effective political focus in the Security Council’s work.  The veto had a significant negative impact on the working methods, as elected members were routinely excluded for “no other reason than habit”.

The Security Council must become better at cooperating with other bodies of the United Nations and with regional organs, and it must improve consultations and coordination with troop-contributing and police-contributing countries, especially in relation to mandate development, he added.

The representative of Switzerland, speaking on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, said there was widespread and growing concern about the use of the veto to block Council action on mass atrocities.  Believing that all States had a role to play in improving the Security Council’s response to atrocity crimes, the Group had prepared a code of conduct that would be launched on 23 October, to which all Member States were encouraged to commit themselves.

The representative of France, also speaking on behalf of Germany, said respect for human rights was inseparable from peace and security, and called for greater Security Council interaction with the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court.  France, together with Mexico, had launched an initiative to restrict use of the veto when addressing such crimes as defined by the Rome Statute, he said, noting that the initiative enjoyed the support of 80 countries.

The Russian Federation’s representative said working methods and decisions on their possible modification were the preserve of the Security Council, with the sole goal of improving its effectiveness and efficiency in carrying out its peace and security tasks.  His Government was cautious of the Security Council addressing thematic subjects such as sustainable development, which undermined the Charter prerogatives of the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.  On the veto, which did not apply to working methods, he said it was unclear why it was criticized by countries or regions which, in the absence of the veto, would be under pressure from a huge group of States.

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, the representative of Sierra Leone said that cosmetic changes to working methods would not advance the fundamental need for a comprehensive Security Council reform to expand its permanent and non-permanent members.  Africa remained unrepresented in both the permanent and the non-permanent categories.  Commending the enhanced cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, the Group urged enhanced coordination between the two bodies, as well as secure predictable and sustained funding for African Union peacekeeping operations.

The representatives of the United States, Chad, United Kingdom, Lithuania, China, Venezuela, Nigeria, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Colombia, Poland, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Japan, Netherlands (also speaking on behalf of Belgium and Luxembourg), Thailand, Italy, Egypt, Estonia, Australia, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Singapore, Uruguay, Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Panama, Czech Republic, Peru, Pakistan, Cuba, Ukraine, Argentina, Algeria, South Africa, Nepal, Rwanda, Kuwait (on behalf of the Arab Group), Sudan, Tunisia and Republic of Korea also spoke, as did the Permanent Observer for the Holy See.

At the end of the meeting, Security Council President Román Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain), speaking in his national capacity, provided a summary of the day’s deliberations.

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. and suspended at 12:59 p.m. It resumed at 3:05 p.m. and adjourned at 6:05 p.m.

Opening Remarks

JAN ELIASSON, Deputy Secretary-General, said the Secretariat had always been and would remain a vital partner of the Security Council, providing detailed and actionable information on a wide range of issues.  The Secretariat translated the Council mandates into peacekeeping operations, special political missions, sanctions monitoring groups and other bodies.  The recent report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations provided recommendation on how such operations could be developed and improved.  An important interface between the Council and the Secretariat remained the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Procedure.  The Department of Political Affairs had instituted a monthly practice of briefing Council members on situations which could become threats to international peace and security.  Early warning signals could play an even more important role in preventing situations from deteriorating or spiralling out of control.

Among other things, the Secretariat provided support to 16 sanctions committees and 71 experts, he said.  The Secretariat was also improving cooperation on sanctions through the Inter-Agency Working Group on United Nations Sanctions, which brought together 24 United Nations entities.  As the Council, in the spirit of Chapter VIII of the Charter, enhanced its cooperation with regional organizations, the Secretariat was working to support the 15-member body in those endeavours.  The work of the Council affected all Member States in a world where peace, development and human rights were increasingly interrelated.

MOGENS LYKKETOFT (Denmark), President of the General Assembly, said it was an honour to brief the Council, as only the seventh President to do so and with the last time having been eight years ago.  Today’s debate was timely, and would be guided by the principles of transparency, inclusivity, accountability and efficiency.  The relationship between the Assembly and the Council was mutually reinforcing and complementary, and there were areas in which the two organs were linked:  certain peace and security issues; review of the United Nations Charter; appointment of the Secretary-General; the election of judges to international tribunals; and the Security Council annual and special reports, as well as the relations between the Council and subsidiary organs established by the Assembly.

He said he would continue to promote effective coordination and exchange of information among the principal United Nations organs, upholding the practice of meeting with Security Council presidents and keeping in contact on issues of common interest.  It was not surprising that the Council’s working methods were of great interest and concern for the wider United Nations membership, he said, stressing:  “We must never lose sight of the fact that, at any given moment, some 178 United Nations Member States are not members of the Security Council, and that some 35 per cent of the membership have never even served as Council members.”  For years, there had been calls for transparency and a more rigorous process in selecting the next United Nations chief, he noted.

Through resolution 69/321 on revitalization of the General Assembly, States had provided guidance on the way forward, requesting that the Presidents of the Assembly and the Council begin soliciting candidates, he continued, adding that he had already started discussions on that matter with the current Council presidency, and would continue to do so, with a view to circulating a letter to the membership inviting candidates to be presented and describing the entire process.  The Presidents would circulate, on an ongoing basis, the names of those individuals submitted for consideration, including their curricula vitae.  States had requested that the Assembly conduct informal dialogues or meetings with candidates, contributing to the transparency of the process.

Whoever assumed the position of Secretary-General should embody the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, while demonstrating a commitment to United Nations’ principles, he emphasized.  Bearing in mind that there had never been a female Secretary-General, the inclusion and consideration of women candidates should be an important focus.  The process for selecting the next person to be at the Organization’s helm must be as open and thorough as possible.  As for interaction with the Council, he said the Assembly considered annual and special reports from the Council, an important exercise showing the transparency and accountability that the wider membership expected.  There had been calls to further improve the Assembly’s analytical quality, he noted.  On the election of non-permanent Council members, the Assembly held two elections:  one held last week, and a second scheduled for June 2016.  Finally, on the important topic of Security Council reform, he said the Assembly had decided to immediately continue intergovernmental negotiations in that regard and he intended to advance that process.

SVEN JÜRGENSON (Estonia), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said relations between that body and the Security Council were enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  The Economic and Social Council might furnish information to the Council and should provide it with assistance upon request, but the use of that provision had been very limited.  Referring to the Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Haiti, Guinea-Bissau and Burundi, he said it had followed developments in South Sudan and maintained interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission.  Interaction with the Security Council, however, had diminished considerably.  “The time has come to revitalize the relationship between the Charter bodies of this Organization,” he emphasized.

The changing nature of conflict, from inter-State war to complex civil conflicts, highlighted the fundamental link between sustainable development and lasting peace, he continued.  The changing context of global cooperation for development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda further enhanced the moment for a revitalization of relationships.  The Economic and Social Council could interact with the Security Council on a regular basis in relation to issues of common concern, including the promotion of institution-building and improved governance, the need for social inclusion, the role of women and youth, and the impact of environmental degradation on weakened societies.  The Economic and Social Council stood ready to work with the Security Council on the modalities of such interaction, including through the establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group.  “This debate today should pave the way for renewed coherence among United Nations bodies and for a mobilization around the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, for which the Security Council also has a lot to contribute,” he said in conclusion.

Statements

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola), also speaking on behalf of Chile, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain, said today’s debate was about much more than working methods.  It was also about the Council’s decision-making, culture and effectiveness.  “Meaningful change is driven by practice, taking the initiative and leading by example as much as rules and procedure.”  The Chairman’s Notes agreed by the Council were couched in vague language, often were not implemented and some Council members even resisted implementing them.  That reflected disconnect between the Council’s working methods, the open debate and the Informal Working Group.  While consensus on procedure was a fine goal, it should not be elevated to the point where 15 members had a veto.  Working methods must produce an effective political focus in the Council’s work.  Council members had to display more discipline and restraint.  The veto might not strictly be a working method, but it had a significant negative impact on the working methods, as elected members were routinely excluded for “no other reason than habit”.  A more inclusive process for developing resolutions and presidential statements was needed.

Although the penholder system had improved efficiency, he said, it had also diminished the opportunity for wider Council engagement, especially by the elected members.  Everybody should feel a sense of ownership over the Council’s work, and others should not be precluded from offering their drafting ideas for texts.  The Council also must become better at cooperating with other United Nations and regional organs, bodies and offices.  One way to promote better interaction would be for Council members to respect the role of the Presidency in the Council’s regular business of the month.  It was also important to improve consultations and coordination with troop-contributing and police-contributing countries, especially in relation to mandate development.  The process of appointing the Secretary-General, which included close cooperation with the General Assembly, would be essential for all members of the Organization over the next year.  That was also relevant given the unequivocal call from the General Assembly for dialogue and a more transparent and inclusive process of decision-making on the issue.

MICHELE SISON (United States) said that among recent improvements in the Security Council’s working methods was the interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission at a time when the Council was grappling with complex threats to international peace and security.  The Council should continue to improve its working methods, she said, noting that the presidencies had some discretion regarding innovation.  The Informal Working Group had, among other things, clarified the role of penholders and also improved dialogue with other United Nations bodies.  The United States strongly supported more effective use of the Arria Formula as it provided a venue for hearing views other than those of Member States, as well as the voices of civil society.  Highlighting the importance of peacebuilding, she said the Council had continued to welcome the Chairs of various country-specific configurations of the Peacebuilding Commission to participate in its deliberations.  The General Assembly and the Security Council each had a defined role in the selection of the Secretary-General, and the United States was in favour of gaining the views of potential candidates.  Transparency and inclusiveness should be the norm, she stressed, adding that she looked forward to a process that would lead to the appointment of the best possible candidate.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), citing progress on public meetings, unanimous resolutions, presidential and press statements, said such improvements should not prevent greater qualitative reforms.  The Council’s inability to solve the Palestinian question and the absence of headway in settling the Syrian crisis had shown the Council was not meeting its responsibility.  Its effectiveness must be assessed by its results in conflict prevention and settlement.  He supported France’s proposal for a code of conduct on abstaining from veto use for mass atrocity crimes and urged clarifying its contours.  Preventing veto abuse involved reform of the Charter.  He supported the common African position on Council reform, advocating that African countries should fill the role of penholder on issues that applied to Africa.  He encouraged participation of the Peacebuilding Commission and chairs of the body’s country configurations at Council plenary meetings, stressing also greater involvement for regional organizations.  He welcomed General Assembly resolution 69/321 (2015) as a major step forward.

MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) invited participants to respond to a series of questions, including through Twitter.  He asked for thoughts on improving the Council’s daily interactions and about what more could be done to keep interventions to the agreed length, which would allow more time for hearing from those on the ground, including through Arria Formula meetings.  He asked what the point of good working methods were if there was not goodwill to use them effectively, especially when one member could bring efforts to a standstill by raising a hand in veto.  The United Kingdom would never vote for inaction in the face of mass atrocity.  The same could be said about appointment of the next Secretary-General, and he asked whether it would not send a strong message if done in a transparent manner.  Appointing a woman would be more powerful still, and he asked for ideas on maximizing the number of female candidates.  He also asked what more could be done to link the United Nations development agenda to the Council’s work on peace and security.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), calling for greater accountability, transparency and openness in the Council, welcomed the fact that more sanctions committees were briefing the body in public.  He urged that that become standard practice and the Counter-Terrorism Committee in particular engage with the wider membership of the United Nations.  The Lithuanian delegation had sought to increase the regularity of the Committee’s open briefings and through them tackle the issues that were not on its regular agenda.  The Secretariat’s capacity to provide adequate assistance to the sanctions committees’ work should also be strengthened and closer cooperation among the Council’s subsidiary bodies should be considered.  The success of joint meetings between the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee and Yemen sanctions committees were a case in point.  As for the increasingly heavy workload of the Council, there was some room for improvement by reviewing existing mandate cycles, especially where the situation remained static for long periods and did not warrant the prescribed frequency on deliberation.  Open debates were an important tool in the Council’s work and they need to be better organized.  It was painful to see ministers of non-Council members addressing the body with only junior experts there to listen to them.

LIU JIEYI (China) said the Council had made good progress on improving its working methods by, among other things, markedly increasing the number of open debates, which had made the Council more efficient and targeted.  Additionally, communications with Member States and regional organizations had been strengthened.  While expressing support for the improved working methods, he emphasized that the Council should focus on addressing the most urgent issues threatening international peace and security and act strictly within its mandate.  The Council should focus more on preventive diplomacy and mediation, and avoid sanctions as much as possible.  As foreseen in Chapter VIII of the Charter, cooperation with regional organization should be enhanced.  He also urged more consultations in seeking consensus.  More weight must be given to the opinions of countries under the Council’s consideration so that more rational decisions could be made, he said, calling also for enhanced communications with troop-contributing countries before mandates were adopted.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, called for the replacement of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure with definite rules of procedure.  The negotiation of draft resolutions still lacked inclusivity, and the practice of exclusion must end.  The Council’s sanctions committees should be supporting political solutions to conflict and go hand-in-hand with ongoing political processes.  Sanctions should also have an end date.  The Council must hold more open debates so that countries could make contributions, he said, adding that troop-contributing countries should be able to participate in relevant Council decisions.  Relationships among the main bodies should be based on respect for their competencies.  Underlining the important role of the General Assembly in selecting the Secretary-General, he said consultations should start as quickly as possible and candidates should be invited to present themselves in a timely fashion.  Venezuela supported the nomination of female candidates, he added.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said the large number of delegations present at the meeting testified to the interest in the Council’s working methods.  “The change we all seek will be achieved through incrementalism, not revolution,” she said, noting that the Charter had made clear the Council acted on behalf of the whole membership.  Thus, it must conduct its work in a transparent, accountable manner.  It had become more inclusive by making more use of public meetings and through deepened engagement with regional organizations, she said, calling for stronger engagement with the African Union.  She urged political will in implementing the resolution on Assembly revitalization, encouraging interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission and with the Economic and Social Council, the latter of which had been “almost negligible”.  The Council must be more receptive to closer engagement with various actors, both within and outside of the United Nations system.

VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said “a true revolution” had been seen, when Angola had spoken on behalf of six members, which should be supported.  Working methods and decisions on their possible modification were the preserve of the Council, with the sole goal of improving its effectiveness and efficiency in carrying out its peace and security tasks.  His Government was cautious of thematic subjects that should fall within the Assembly’s remit, such as sustainable development.  He could not support such initiatives which undermined the Charter prerogatives of the Assembly and Economic and Social Council.  The Council often was pushed into adopting rushed decisions, based on the Charter’s Chapter VII, and implementing sanctions.  That often worsened crises.  He urged democratization in the Secretariat, saying it was “not normal” when the Under-Secretary-General positions for peacekeeping, political and humanitarian affairs were usurped by three countries.  They should be rotated among all States.

It was unacceptable that the United States, in organizing a 29 September event on combating violent extremism, had invited representatives of self-declared Kosovo, an abuse of its host country position, he said.  The United States also tended to erect visa barriers, such as for refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  Often the African Union position was not heeded in the Council, while the position of third countries had acquired an exaggerated significance.  He called for consistent and principled actions. There was also a trend to use Arria Formula meetings as “propaganda shows”, the conference service costs of which were met from the regular budgets.  On the veto, which did not apply to working methods, it was unclear why it was criticized by countries or regions which, in the absence of the veto, would be under pressure from a huge group of States.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), also speaking on behalf of Germany, said the Council had been able to show creativity in addressing situations confronting it.  There was a need to strengthen relations between the various organs of the Organization while respecting their competencies and mandates.  Respect for human rights was inseparable from peace and security, he emphasized, calling for greater interaction with the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court.  No peace was possible without justice and without fighting impunity, he said, expressing support for peacekeeping missions sharing information with the International Criminal Court.  The protection of civilians was also under the Council’s purview, and it must avoid obstacles to dealing with mass atrocities.  Together with Mexico, France had launched an initiative to restrict use of the veto when addressing such crimes as defined by the Rome Statute, he said, noting that the initiative enjoyed the support of 80 countries.  France and Germany had decided to adhere to the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group code of conduct, he added.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the Peacebuilding Commission, said a more integrated, coherent and holistic action was called for in order to build and sustain peace.  The Peacebuilding Commission was a unique intergovernmental advisory platform of the Council.  It was imperative to support the strengthening of capacity in post-conflict countries in order to enable them to take the lead and exercise full national ownership.  The countries concerned were always at the centre of the Commission’s deliberations, he said.  Sweden was a staunch advocate of improved cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations such as the African Union, which meant that listening to such bodies was a top priority.  The Commission’s unique structure ensured that peacebuilding strategies had the full support of key stakeholders, he said, noting that, through the membership of troop- and police-contributing countries, the Commission could ensure a more holistic approach when considering decisions on transitions between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Through its role in convening a wide array of critical regional and international actors, the Commission could bring a peacebuilding perspective to Council deliberations and prevent duplication of efforts.  It could also help formulate post-conflict strategies of countries requesting its advice, and bring priority peacebuilding issues to the Council’s attention.  The report of the Advisory Group of Experts titled “The Challenges of Sustaining Peace” recommended that the Council regularly request and draw upon the Commission’s advice, he noted.

Speaking in his national capacity and on behalf of the Nordic countries, he said the Organization’s development “leg” was striding forward with vigour, while the peace and security leg was limping severely.  The Council was falling short in its mandate to maintain peace and security and must redouble its efforts in support of good offices and diplomacy.  There was a need for a more effective and transparent Council, and limiting use of the veto would be a key step in that direction.  Sweden strongly supported the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group code of conduct and the Franco-Mexican initiative on its use.  There was also need for a Council that reflected today’s geopolitical situations.  The President of the Council should, together with the President of the General Assembly, kick-start the nomination process for Secretary-General by issuing a joint letter calling for qualified candidates, especially women.  More transparency was needed, including through open debates.  Active consultation and dialogue with troop- and police-contributing countries, as well as regional and subregional organizations, would lead to a richer understanding of challenges and potential solutions.

JÜRG LAUBER (Switzerland), speaking on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, said there was widespread and growing concern about the veto when employed to block Council action on mass atrocities.  The Group welcomed the political declaration of France and Mexico on suspension of the veto in such cases.  Believing that all States had a role to play in improving the Security Council’s response to atrocity crimes, the Group had prepared a code of conduct that would be launched on 23 October, to which all Member States were encouraged to commit themselves.  Regretting that “horizon-scanning” meetings had been all but discontinued, the Group welcomed a renewed focus on prevention.

HARALD BRAUN (Germany) said his country and France supported a more transparent, inclusive process to select the Secretary-General, working through consensus.  On revitalizing the Assembly, he cited the relevant resolution, noting the particular importance of the joint letter from the presidents of the Assembly and the Council on the issues of nominations and invitation for States to consider female candidates.  He supported efforts that would improve the Council, including through Arria Formula and monthly wrap-up meetings, and making discussions more interactive.  Improving the Council’s working methods did not replace the need for structural reforms, he said, recalling the 14 December Assembly decision on equitable representation and enlargement of the Council.

BHARTRUHARI MAHTAB (India) said the question of the prerogatives of the permanent five Security Council members and those of the rest of the United Nations membership lay at the heart of the debate over the prerogatives of the Council and the General Assembly.  Regarding the selection of the next Secretary-General, he said his delegation had pressed for the Council to recommend two or more names to the Assembly.  In India’s view, there was no legal impediment to the Council’s doing so.  As for the issue of transparency, the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee was the most non-transparent of the Council’s subsidiary bodies, he said, pointing out that no information was shared on the listing criteria; there might, in fact, be no criteria at all, he added.  While a focus on working methods was useful, it could in no way be a substitute for reforming the Security Council in a manner that would give its decisions legitimacy and acceptability, he stressed.

ABDALLAH Y. AL-MOUALLIMI (Saudi Arabia) agreed with the concept paper prepared for the debate, stressing that his country had regularly called for the Council’s reform, which itself had dated to 1993.  Despite positive results in increasing transparency and participation, there was a problem in the Council’s work that had affected its credibility and weakened its ability to settle conflicts, as seen in deadlock on issues such as the Palestinian situation and crisis in Syria.  He called for positive consideration of all ideas for reform, especially those tabled by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, to which his country belonged, as well as for restricted veto use, and an agreement not to obstruct action on war crimes and genocide.  Stressing that the Council’s most important function was to maintain peace and security, he said Saudi Arabia was ready to cooperate to achieve that objective.

RICARDO ALDAY GONZÁLEZ (Mexico) expressed hope that the declaration to restrict veto use for mass atrocity crimes, presented by France and his country would receive support when formally presented on Friday.  Using the veto to block action against mass atrocities contravened the Charter and restricting its use was a moral duty.  The Council could take better advantage of advice from the Peacebuilding Commission and increase its interaction with the troop and police contributors.  He urged holding timely consultations on the definition, amendment or renewal of mandates, saying that information flow to non-member States had improved.  On the selection of the next Secretary-General, he called on the Presidents of the Assembly and the Council to work together to ensure the text was respected, and urged cooperation in Assembly negotiations on Council reform.

MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said there was room for improvement in the Council’s working methods and their implementation.  Noting the key role played by the Peacebuilding Commission and other entities, she stressed the need for better cooperation among military, preventive, reconstruction and peacebuilding aspects of the Council’s work.  The resolution on Assembly revitalization reflected the need for greater transparency and inclusiveness in elections, including in the search for the next Secretary-General.  It referred to the holding of Arria Formula meetings on candidates for that post, demonstrating that the wider United Nations membership was more involved in the Council’s work.  The election of a female Secretary-General would mark a significant improvement and historic opportunity for change.

BOGUSŁAW WINID (Poland) said the selection of the next Secretary-General should be guided by more transparency, inclusiveness and interaction with the candidates.  Poland was in favour of presenting more women candidates as that would be a significant step towards achieving gender balance in the United Nations system.  Given the importance of geographical distribution, the next Secretary-General should be from the Eastern European Group.  Turning to Council reform, he underscored that it should not be limited only to the body’s working methods.  Poland looked forward to a swift resumption of intergovernmental negotiations in that regard.

ANA CRISTINA RODRÍGUEZ PINEDA (Guatemala) said use of the veto had often prevented the Council from complying with its responsibility under the Charter.  While it must prevent or stop mass atrocities, the right of veto should be limited in such cases.  Guatemala supported the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s code of conduct and was concerned about the increasing number of letters sent to the President seeking to justify military action in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter.  They were sent mostly post-facto and served often as justifications for all future military action.  She expressed regret at the lack of agreement on the need for the Council to recommend several candidates for Secretary-General to the Assembly, to propose the term of office and re-election.  A critical analysis of the selection and appointment process for the Secretary-General should be a priority, she emphasized.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said an analysis of the present conflicts and geopolitical tensions demanded not only a review but an immediate, appropriate, strategic and transparent implementation of reforms.  The Council must accord greater importance to the General Assembly and to the need for closer collaboration between the Council and the Presidents of the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.  A greater number of open meetings would provide synergy, transparency and increased cooperation.  Incoming non-permanent Council members must be allowed to attend Council meetings, including informal consultations.  The slate of candidates for Secretary-General should be shared with the Assembly.  Use of the veto should be exercised with the greatest caution, especially in certain circumstances.  The Council should only impose sanctions after proper assessment of their impact, and they must not be imposed unilaterally.  “What is most needed is not just reforms, but also changed attitudes,” he said, adding that national interests of Member States must be balanced with greater objectivity and global perspectives.

MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said that after the issuance of Note 507 in 2010 under the Japanese presidency of the Informal Working Group of the Security Council on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, 10 other such Notes had been issued.  “And yet, what we have done to date is still not enough,” he said, citing proposals on the Peacebuilding Commission’s participation in relevant debates and the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General.  Japan supported initiatives by France and the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group on restraining veto use in mass atrocity situations.  Noting that most Council debates were marked by “statement after statement, with little follow-up”, he said Council members were often represented by junior officers when the permanent representatives of non-Council members made statements.  It was rare for non-Council members to receive feedback, meaning that open debates did not serve their intended purpose.  Japan welcomed the intention to adopt an outcome on that issue he said, emphasizing that it was essential to codify the Council’s invisible customs and practices.  He stressed the important role of the Informal Working Group in that regard.

KAREL J.G. VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), also speaking on behalf of Belgium and Luxembourg, said on the subject of transparency that the process of selecting and appointing the next Secretary-General was of eminent importance.  On the topic of inclusiveness, greater involvement on the part of troop- and police-contributing countries when discussing specific peace operations would contribute to greater support for the mandates of such operations.  As for the matter of effectiveness, there was a “pressing need” for the Security Council to take action in cases of mass atrocities, he emphasized, noting that on the several occasions when the Council had failed to exercise its responsibility to prevent or halt atrocities, both itself and the United Nations as a whole were delegitimized.

CHAYAPAN BAMRUNGPHONG (Thailand), highlighting the importance of sanctions in restoring peace and security, said the Council should exercise utmost care in devising targeted sanctions regimes and should minimize their unintended economic and social consequences.  Thailand welcomed the research-based approach to attribute and quantify the impact and effectiveness of sanctions and underscored the importance of clear criteria for listing and delisting those on sanctions lists.  He urged the Council to continue convening public meetings, particularly on issues with broader impacts and complexity.  Closed meetings were necessary but the Council should share information, developments and outcomes with the wider membership of the Organization through frequent debriefing sessions.  The body must also remain accountable to its goal and respond to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  Thailand supported the proposal put forward by France and Mexico, as well as the code of conduct put forward by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) said implementation of the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development would require a fresh look at working methods and effective synergies among different United Nations bodies.  An integrated approach was needed to implement the recommendations of the peacekeeping and peacebuilding reviews, as well as on the role of women in peace and security.  Security issues that were a matter of concern to the larger part of the United Nations membership warranted more attention.  An open debate on small island developing States’ security challenges held during the New Zealand presidency of the Council was a good example in that regard.  Information sharing was key to conflict prevention, and interaction between the Council and Secretary-General could foster awareness and early warning.  Italy was committed to providing support for the Department of Political Affairs to ensure effective deployment of mediation teams where needed and welcomed the strengthening of early warning mechanisms such as the Framework of Analysis of the Office of the United Nations Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect and the Rights Up Front Initiative.  The Council should become more representative, transparent, democratic and accountable.  Italy had joined the French-Mexican initiative and the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s code of conduct to limit the use of veto on issues linked to mass atrocities.

AMR ABDOULATTA (Egypt), noting that the Council’s work was a collective responsibility, said the body would benefit from more consultations among States, as well as timely information exchange, which would help democratize and legitimize its decisions.  He supported more robust engagement with the United Nations membership, especially those States affected by crisis, and with troop- and police-contributors, recalling note S/2010/507 in that context.  The Council should foster more meaningful partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, as well as improve cooperation with the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  Adoption of the 2030 Agenda, review of peace operations and the global study on implementation of Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security offered the opportunity to draw upon the membership of those bodies.  There was a for need closer cooperation among those organs, while observing the balance among their functions and mandates.  The appointment of the new Secretary-General would be done through a merit based process, and he urged it to start soon with the joint letter from the Presidents of the Assembly and the Council.

MINNA-LIINA LIND (Estonia) associated with the statement made by Switzerland on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group and said that over the years, many resolutions had been passed on the issue of selecting the next Secretary-General, and not implemented.  A joint letter by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council should be sent in the coming weeks to all Member States calling for nominations.  In making the final decision, preference should be given to qualified female candidates.

GILLIAN BIRD (Australia) said that her country believed several areas related to the Council’s working methods should be priorities, naming atrocity prevention and conflict prevention.  The Secretariat should be empowered to bring emerging threats to the Council table.  A better-informed Council would be a better Council.  The use of a diverse range of briefers, such as Arria Formula meetings, would ensure that the Council was better informed.  Calling for improved interaction with the Assembly, she noted that last month, the Assembly had adopted a historic resolution demanding greater transparency on the selection of the Secretary-General.  The onus was now on the Council to issue a letter asking Member States to submit candidates.

DESRA PERCAYA (Indonesia) associated with the Non-aligned Movement and said that the views of non-member countries should be taken into serious consideration when dealing with conflict situations under the purview of the Council.  The mechanism for consultations with regional and sub-regional organizations should be strengthened.  A balanced and harmonious cooperation between the Assembly and the Council was equally critical.  Too many times, the Council had taken no action in the face of mass atrocities and serious threats to international peace and security.  Indonesia was in favour of abolishing the use of the veto.  The Council should determine a workable mechanism to ensure that the veto would not pervert the cause of humanity and justice.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) associated with the statement delivered by Switzerland on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group and said that the people of the world expected the Council to protect them from genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.  Too often, the Council had failed to live up to those expectations.  It was for that reason that the Group had elaborated a Code of Conduct regarding Council action against atrocity crimes.  Urging Member States who had not yet done so to join the Code before its official launch on Friday, 23 October, he said that it represented a minimum standard the international community expected Council members, who were called upon to collectively exercise the primary responsibility for international peace and security, to live up to.

BERNARDITO AUZA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, said States wished to have an equitable share in the Council’s influence in the Council, which called for greater interactivity and a willingness to consider the views of the wider membership.  He urged the Council to re-examine its practice of adopting a resolution on a matter that was subsequently debated by the wider membership, as it left States wondering if their inputs mattered.  It was imperative that the Council and Assembly maintain a transparent relationship.  On the fair application of the Charter, and international agreements, he said arbitrary interpretation of laws and double standards in dealing with parties to conflict were among the causes of feelings of victimization.  The Council could increase its legitimacy by outlining clear criteria for applying the principle of the “responsibility to protect”.

GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran), speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, said the Council had neglected to demonstrate transparency, openness and consistency in numerous instances.  He cited its reluctance to convene open debates on some important issues, restrictive participation in some debates, and discrimination against non-members of the Council in sequencing and time limits of statements during open debates.  The Rules of Procedure, which had remained provisional for 70 years, should be formalized.  The number of public meetings should be increased, while closed meetings and informal consultations should be kept to a minimum.  Subsidiary organs established by the Council should provide adequate and timely information on their activities to the general United Nations membership.  The Council’s annual reports needed to be more analytical and comprehensive, and should include an assessment of cases in which the Council had failed to act or cases in which its outcomes were not consistent, whether resolutions, presidential statements or press statements.

As for the Council’s monthly assessments, the Movement believed that they should be more comprehensive and analytical and the Assembly might consider proposing parameters for their elaboration, he said.  The Council should heed the Assembly’s recommendations on matters relating to international peace and security.  Furthermore, the Council should not encroach on issues under the agenda of the Assembly or the Economic and Social Council.  Initiating formal or informal discussions on the situation in any Member State or any issue that did not constitute a threat to international peace and security was contrary to Article 24 of the Charter.  In recent years, the Council was too quick to authorize enforcement in some cases while being silent and inactive in others.  Expressing concern over an increasing use of Chapter VII, he said efforts should be made to use Chapter VI and VIII for the pacific settlement of disputes before resorting to Chapter VII.  He welcomed efforts to strengthen the Assembly’s role in selecting a new Secretary-General.

JOSEPH TEO CHOON HENG (Singapore) called on the permanent Council members to refrain from using their veto to block Council action on the prevention of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  In that regard, Singapore supported the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s Code of Conduct on the Council’s action and the joint proposal by France and Mexico for the permanent members to refrain from using their veto in cases of mass atrocities.  The Council needed to adopt its rules of procedure to improve transparency and accountability in its work, thereby enhancing its credibility with the wider United Nations membership.  Turning to the selection of the next Secretary-General, he called on the Council to work more closely with the Assembly to make the selection more open and transparent.

CRISTINA CARRIÓN (Uruguay), endorsing statements by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group and Liechtenstein, on the code of conduct, and Estonia, on the selection of the Secretary-General, said her country had contributed to United Nations peacekeeping and relevant political discussions.  Uruguay was interested in the ongoing reviews of peacekeeping, peacebuilding and resolution 1325 (2000).  The need for early consultations with troop- and police-contributors was growing more important, as listening to ground conditions would improve efficiency.  Cooperation among the Council, the Secretariat and States must be improved.  “We do not need new instruments for consultations to be carried out in an efficient way,” she said, stressing the need for early access to the Secretary-General’s reports.  Uruguay was committed to improving working methods during its non-permanent membership on the Council.

VANDI CHIDI MINAH (Sierra Leone), speaking on behalf of the African Group, noted a number of modest improvements in the Council’s work, including the use of informal interactive dialogue with Member States, the Peacebuilding Commission and regional organizations.  However, action was needed to improve the Council’s working methods as outlined in document S/2010/507 and subsequent relevant documents.  Cosmetic changes to working methods would not advance the fundamental need for a comprehensive reform of the Council to expand its permanent and non-permanent members.  Africa remained unrepresented in the permanent category and underrepresented in the non-permanent category.  The Group, therefore, reiterated its call for comprehensive reform as contained in Assembly decision 62/557.

Turning to the relationship between the Council and the Assembly, he said the two organs must work closely together within their respective spheres to foster a harmonious and cooperative interaction between them without encroaching on each other’s mandates.  The Assembly’s role, including on questions of international peace and security, must be strengthened if it was to take its proper place as the most representative, democratic and deliberative body of the United Nations.  Commending the enhanced cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, he urged enhanced coordination between the two legislative bodies, as well as secure, predictable and sustained funding for African Union peacekeeping operations.  Despite those positive achievements, the Security Council’s inconsistency in addressing issues that were of importance to regional organizations was of great concern.

ÁLVARO MENDONÇA E MOURA (Portugal), associating with the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, underscored the usefulness of open debates in the Security Council’s work and urged their greater efficiency.  Productive debates could be held in a single morning session.  Portugal supported the shorter format proposed by Spain for future open debates.  Underscoring the importance of the Security Council’s interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission and Economic and Social Council, Portugal called for regularly including the presidents of those bodies as briefers or participants in informal dialogues.  Regarding the Security Council’s cooperation with the latter, there was merit in organizing periodic meetings to discuss issues relevant to both organs.  Their interaction could also be channelled through subsidiary bodies such as sanctions committees and working groups.  Diversity was the Organization’s strength.  Security was connected to so many areas covered by United Nations system and the Security Council could not insulate itself from such experience.

ELIF ÇALIŞKAN (Turkey) said many challenges faced daily at the United Nations were the result of a lack of transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of the Council.  That could be remedied to a certain extent by increasing the number of the body’s elected members.  The use of the veto was the main reason for the Council’s inaction in matters of peace and security.  Turkey supported the initiatives of France and Mexico and the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s code of conduct aimed at limiting the use of the negative vote in the case of mass atrocities by permanent and non-permanent members.  Nevertheless, the code of conduct regarding non-permanent members could only be meaningful if the permanent members embraced it.  On the selection of the next Secretary-General, the recent Assembly decision on revitalization of its work did not include any references to a deadline or a multiple number of candidates to be recommended by the Council.  Turkey believed that the current situation was far from addressing the structural shortcomings of that process.  On the need to improve the transparency of the Council, more informative briefings and Arria Formula meetings, timely availability of draft resolutions, presidential statements and information on the work of subsidiary bodies, as well as a decrease in the frequency of closed meetings were needed for meaningful interaction.

ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said the Council should be more transparent, accessible and accountable, and that countries with a special interest in a substantive matter being considered should have their views fully considered.  Consultations among the Council, troop and police contributors, and the Secretariat should become more institutionalized.  Welcoming France’s proposal on the veto, he said the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s code of conduct, while constructive to the debate on voting patterns, should emphasize that military action was a measure of last resort, and that decisions authorizing use of force should rely on enhanced procedures for monitoring their implementation.  On the selection of the Secretary-General, he cited important initiatives, such as the “1 for 7 Billion” campaign and proposal by “The Elders”, stressing the Assembly’s more active role in the nominating process.  The Council should make better use of the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory function, and non-permanent members should take on greater drafting responsibilities.

FEDERICO ALBERTO GONZÁLEZ FRANCO (Paraguay) said that when working methods were addressed, transparency and efficiency, among other issues, were among the topics.  Transparency should permeate all activities, but today, open meetings were the exception not the rule.  That prevented non-member States from affecting the decisions of the Council.  With regard to accountability, it was essential to recall that Council members acted on behalf of all Member States of the Organization.  Urging that annual reports of the Council to the Assembly contain substantive analysis, not just summaries of meetings held, he added that the Council’s working methods had to assure the effectiveness of that organ.

JUAN CARLOS MENDOZA-GARCÍA (Costa Rica) said his delegation favoured more “fluid and dynamic” communication between the Security Council and other United Nations bodies including the Assembly, Economic and Social Council,  Secretariat, Peacebuilding Commission, International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.  That communication should also extend to regional organizations, troop contributors and civil society.  The election of the next Secretary-General was a golden opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the Assembly and the Security Council.  Underscoring the urgency of the selection process, Costa Rica hoped a woman would occupy the post.  The country was encouraged that it would have the opportunity to know the names of the candidates and their platforms, as well as interact with them.  It would continue, along with other Member States, to generate political momentum to ensure that the Security Council would not present more than one candidate to the Assembly, constituting a true election rather than a designation.

LAURA ELENA FLORES HERRERA (Panama) said reform of the Council was a growing interest.  The Council must respond to an historic moment and open its membership in order to strengthen a decision-making body representing 193 States in a manner that was effective, transparent and accountable.  On veto use, which had at times prevented action in the face of violence, she supported the code of conduct proposed by Liechtenstein and the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, as well as the proposal by Mexico and France, especially as the latter marked the first time a permanent Council member had led the discussion.  Diverse participation in the Council, notably by developing countries, would democratize its decisions, as even the smallest nations demanded equal treatment.  It was important to consider the Informal Working Group’s conclusions in order to rationalize the Council’s methods.

JIRI ELLINGER (Czech Republic) agreed that there was room for improvement in how the Council interacted with the Assembly, as open debates with a predetermined outcome beforehand did not lend a feeling that the views of non-members mattered.  That was the same for draft resolutions and presidential statements, on which debate with non-members could be intensified.  The selection of the Secretary-General was an outdated process and he supported a more transparent election, calling resolution 69/321 (2015) a move in the right direction.  Candidates should present themselves to the Assembly during informal dialogues and meetings.  He also supported the Security Council’s greater engagement with the Peacebuilding Commission and the Economic and Social Council, and supported the link between sustainable development and sustainable peace.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) endorsed the statement made by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, especially with regard to the procedure for electing the next Secretary-General.  His delegation reiterated the urgent need for reforming the Council’s working methods in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness.  The use of the veto should be eliminated, he said, adding that his delegation supported all efforts aimed at restricting the right to veto.  The important concept of the “responsibility to protect” was at serious risk of being diluted.  The growing complexity of the mandates of peacekeeping operations required ever-greater cooperation, and there was a need to move from a conflict-management approach to a prevention approach.  Only early warning could prevent conflicts and preserve future generations from the scourge of war.

NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan) associated with the Non-aligned Movement and said that improvements in the Council’s working methods had happened over the years in no small measure due to the persistent efforts of its non-permanent members.  But much more needed to be done, he said, calling for a more robust partnership between the Council, troop- and police-contributing countries, the Secretariat, and the general Membership.  The Office of the Ombudsperson needed to be made independent.  The opaqueness of the process surrounding the selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General was not good for the Council or the United Nations as a whole.

RODOLFO REYES RODRÍGUEZ (Cuba), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said agreements on sensitive issues were made by permanent members, and on occasion, not all of them, leaving non-members with the dilemma of whether to accept the final product, without having had a possibility to participate in negotiations.  The Council often did not wait for debates to conclude before making a decision.  The number of public meetings should increase, while closed-door meetings and informal consultations should only be held in exceptional cases.  Resolutions and presidential statements should reflect the views of States, as expressed in public debates.  Non-members should have access to subsidiary bodies.  The Council should formalize its rules of procedure, as they continued to be “provisional”.  He expressed concern at the Council’s consideration of issues outside its functions.  Its report should be analytical, and the Council should also present special reports, as outlined in the Charter.  The veto was an antidemocratic privilege that should be eliminated as soon as possible.

ANDRIY TSYMBALIUK (Ukraine) supported increasing the Council’s transparency and interaction with the United Nations membership.  The Council should be open and fully accessible to all States, as well as promote cooperation.  Ukraine was aware of its responsibility to implement resolution 69/321 (2015).  Conflict prevention must feature more prominently in the Council’s work, as it was important for countries facing clear and imminent threats to their security.  More regular consultations with troop and police contributors throughout the mandate life cycle were crucial.  The veto had outlived its utility and had been detrimental to the Council’s performance.  He welcomed the proposal to suspend its use in mass atrocity cases, as well as the proposed code of conduct.  He also advocated non-use of the veto in cases of aggression against a Member State, as blocking action under such circumstances contravened the Charter.

MARIO OYARZÁBAL (Argentina) said that the Council had many responsibilities, and to fulfil them required a degree of coordination with other players.  The trend of raising issues in the Council that went beyond its purview should be discouraged, as it was dangerous and could lead to the Council considering issues to the detriment of representational bodies.  Development promoted peace, but it was not the only factor that promoted peace.  “Securitizing” the development agenda was to be discouraged.  Turning to the issue of due process in the Council sanctions committees, he said that Argentina favoured the extension of the Ombudsperson to all sanctions committees, beginning with the Taliban committee.  On selection of the next Secretary-General, he called upon all delegations to make sure it would be a genuine election.

SABRI BOUKADOUM (Algeria), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that Security Council decisions often preceded open debates.  Delegations should be able to express their views prior to those decisions.  Measures that could improve the Council’s work included formalizing the Rules of Procedure and increasing the number of public meetings, while keeping closed meetings and informal consultations to a minimum.  Subsidiary organs established by the Security Council should report on their activities to the general United Nations membership in a timely manner.  Cooperation between the Security Council and regional and subregional organizations was also crucial.  Chapter VI and VIII should be prioritized over Chapter VII.  The Security Council should take into account the Assembly’s recommendations on matters relating to international peace and security.  Issues on the agenda of the Assembly or the Economic and Social Council should not be shifted to that of the Security Council.  The cooperation between the Assembly and the Security Council should be enhanced.  The selection of Secretary-General and the use of veto power were good topics which they would review together.

EPHRAIM LESHALA MMINELE (South Africa), endorsing the statement by the Non-Aligned Movement, said little had happened despite years of debate on the Council’s working methods.  One key area of reform was the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General.  Since the current Secretary-General’s term was drawing to an end, the Council could increase its engagement with the broader United Nations membership by holding Arria Formula meetings to discuss the issue.  South Africa called on the Council to work closely with the Assembly President to formally start the process as early as possible.  South Africa welcomed the debate in recent years on the use of the veto and the restriction of the veto.  While South Africa in principle agreed to a discussion on the use of the veto, it repeated that the fundamental question that needed to be addressed remained the Council’s composition and reform.  The only way to deeply improve the Council’s efficiency was by carrying out substantive reform that made the body representative of current geopolitical realities.

DURGA PRASAD BHATTARAI (Nepal), aligning himself with the statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said he would like to see genuine reforms in all aspects of the Council’s working methods, as much as in its structure.  Reforms should be complemented by steps to revitalize the Organization as a whole.  The Council should not perpetuate the feeling that it hijacks other bodies’ agenda, taking little action and thereby shifting the burden of inaction to others.  The term of the Secretary-General should be fixed, and closed to extension, to prevent a first term spent on ensuring a second.  It was also time for the United Nations to have gender balance in senior posts, as mandated in Nepal’s Constitution.  “The Security Council must rise to the challenge, with courage, determination and accountability, to emerge from opacity into transparency, in the cause of global peace, security and prosperity,” he said in conclusion.

MABONEZA SANA (Rwanda) said that despite many positive trends in the Council’s working methods, it had not yet lived up to the expectations of the 2005 World Summit, particularly regarding efficiency and effectiveness; transparency and accountability; and implementation of Council decisions.  Rwanda hoped the Council would move ahead on the reform of penholders, based on the Note of the President S/2014/268 of 14 April 2014, which recognized any Council member’s right to be a penholder.  That reform would let Council members — representing regions of conflict being discussed by the body — share the pen with current penholders.  Regarding the selection of the Secretary-General, if one person was expected to work for more than 7 billion people in the world, the people represented in the United Nations should have their say in who to choose for the post.  The selection process should be transparent and inclusive.  Rwanda welcomed the adoption by consensus on 11 September of resolution 69/321 on the Assembly’s revitalization.

ABDULAZIZ S.M.A. ALJARALLAH (Kuwait), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, emphasized the importance of improving the Council’s transparency, stressing that the body must be more able to overcome today’s challenges.  The international reality had changed since 1945.  Efficiency depended on reform of its working methods.  Consideration must be given to creating permanent rules of procedure, rather than relying on provisional rules that had been in effect for decades, and opening discussions to all United Nations members.  He called on subsidiary organs to report adequately on their activities, urging the Council to observe its own Charter limits.  He supported the Non-Aligned Movement’s position outlined in document S/2015/574, including proposals for improving Council working methods.

OMER DAHAB FADL MOHAMED (Sudan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Arab Group, urged greater Council transparency.  Reforming the Council’s working methods was important for ensuring equitable geographical representation, especially for Africa, which accounted for 67 per cent of the cases before the Council.  He cited the Movement’s conference papers, beginning in 2010, on reform of working methods.  Stressing that the majority of Council meetings were closed consultations, he said transparency required concerned States to participate and recalled the importance of regional and subregional organizations in that regard.  He looked forward to recommendations by the Informal Working Group, in accordance with the annual report to be presented to the Assembly.  On the invocation of Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council must be careful that that “sharp” instrument was not blunted.

MOHAMED KHALED KHIARI (Tunisia) associated with the Non-Aligned Movement and said that there should be greater coordination and dialogue between Council members and non-members, particularly troop- and police-contributing countries, as well as with relevant regional and sub-regional organizations, and the Peacebuilding Commission.  The commitment by members of the Council to make more effective use of public meetings, interactive dialogues, wrap-up sessions, and Arria Formula meetings was welcomed.  Those practices increased the Council’s transparency and credibility.  Private meetings and closed consultations should be the exception, not the rule.  His delegation supported the idea that the veto should not be used in cases of mass atrocities, and welcomed the French initiative on the code of conduct, which aimed to put an end to impunity and to protect human rights.

HAHN CHOONGHEE (Republic of Korea) said that, in addition to the Security Council’s relationship with non-members, its interactions with the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council could improve the United Nations’ overall performance.  His country had done its utmost to promote transparency during its Security Council term.  Today, it was involved in peace and security issues through Arria Formula meetings, informal interactive dialogues and open briefings by Special Representatives and Special Advisers.  The Republic of Korea would work to improve the Security Council’s interaction with the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  He urged the Security Council to engage early in conflict situations and hold deeper dialogues with both the Secretariat, and with troop and police contributors.  Selection of the next Secretary-General should be more participatory and transparent.

ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI, President of the Security Council, made some closing remarks in his national capacity as representative of Spain.   During the debate, six major areas had been referred to by delegations, he said.  All speakers had agreed on the importance of the Council’s working methods and the relevance of open debates.  Second, many States had stressed that practical implementation was key.  All delegations had raised the use of the veto, and many had referred to Council reform in a broader sense.  The third major idea noted by delegations had been transparency.  Many had asked for the Council to increase public meetings.  The Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group had stressed the usefulness of monthly informational meetings of the Presidency.  The fourth point referred to cooperation with other bodies, he said, noting that there had been a clear consensus with regard to the need for the Council to maintain close cooperation with other bodies.  Many delegations had stressed the usefulness of early warning systems produced by the Peacebuilding Commission.  A fifth point was the appointment of the next Secretary-General.  Many delegations had insisted on the need for the Council to send several names to the General Assembly.  The sixth point was that working methods were a dynamic process.

For information media. Not an official record.