GA Debate on Question of equitable representation on and increase in membership of Security Council

GA debate on Security Council reform

©UN Photo/Haughton

Statement by Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly at General Assembly Plenary Debate on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters


30 October 2015



Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here today to address one of the most discussed issues within the United Nations and beyond these past decades – that of UN Security Council Reform.

In the past seventy years, the world has undergone profound change. The challenges we face today in preserving international peace and security are increasingly complex and more numerous, informed by greater inter-connectivity and a series of new and emerging threats.

Those challenges require that the UN organ with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, is representative, credible, effective and efficient. This organisation – on its 70th anniversary – requires that  the Security Council is capable of fully fulfilling its mandate in line with the spirit of the UN Charter.

In this context, the need for Security Council reform is unquestionable. And, at the 2005 World Summit, leaders expressed support for reform in order to “make [the Security Council] more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus to further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.”

Ten years have passed since the World Summit and fifty years since the Security Council was last expanded to include additional non-permanent members. And during the General Debate and in my bi-lateral meetings in September, I was reminded of just how important this topic continues to be to a large majority of the membership as leaders expressed their concern about the lack of progress and their hopes for the current negotiations.

At the same time, I understand that discussions on this subject are sensitive and difficult, and that there are different positions among the membership. I am keenly aware therefore that a matter of such importance requires a spirit of compromise from all.

On 14 September, the General Assembly decided to immediately continue the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform in the 70th session, and as I have said on previous occasions, I intend to continue this process during my tenure based on the decision of the 69th General Assembly.

With this in mind, I moved last week to appoint Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, as the new Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations. I would like to thank Ambassador Lucas for taking up this important responsibility and I call upon all of you to extend her your full support and cooperation.

Ambassador Lucas succeeds Ambassador Courtney Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica, and I wish to thank him for his work in advancing intergovernmental negotiations during the 69th session, culminating in a text and its annex which reflects the positions and proposals made by member states.

I am confident that the forthcoming intergovernmental negotiations will build on the momentum and the progress made during the 69th session, and I encourage all of you to continue moving this reform-process forward, pursuant to decision 69/560 – in particular on the basis of above mentioned text and annex circulated by my predecessor in his letter dated 31 July 2015.

In this regard, it is critical that the negotiations avoid a mere repetition of previously-stated positions; a dynamic that has characterized this process in the past. Instead I encourage you to work with Ambassador Lucas to build on the progress made during last session’s intergovernmental negotiations and to advance text-based negotiations.

Of course, the success or otherwise of this process rests firmly with you, the Member States, but it is my hope that today’s debate can serve as a useful foundation for future reform and can galvanize effective negotiations over the coming months.

To conclude, ladies and gentlemen, let me wish you all productive discussions today and throughout this session. I stand ready and available to provide whatever support is required to Ambassador Lucas and to all of you, as you seek to preserve the legitimacy of this Organisation and to ensure the effective functioning of one of its most important Organs.

Thank you.