Statement by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly
Informal Meeting of the Plenary on the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Question of Equitable Representation On and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Council
25 January 2021
(As prepared for delivery)
I would like to thank the Co-Chairs, Her Excellency Ms. Joanna Wronecka, Permanent Representative of Poland, and Her Excellency Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar, for chairing this process and organizing this meeting today. I request that all Member States extend their support and cooperation to the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) as they discharge their duties in the coming months.
During the United Nations 75th year, global leaders reiterated their view that the work of the United Nations is more critical than ever, especially in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. That, of course, includes the work of the Security Council, a Main Organ of the UN, with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, a central mission of the United Nations.
In the current context, it is more crucial than ever that our efforts are efficient and effective and that the United Nations, including the Security Council, is fit for purpose, so we can best deliver for those we serve. The effectiveness of the United Nations and all its bodies is important not only to individual Member States but for the reputation of the UN as a whole.
In the framework of the World Summit Outcome Document of 2005, Member States demonstrated clear support for reform of the Security Council, an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations.
The implementation of the Council’s decisions, and its very legitimacy, could be enhanced if the Council was reformed to be more representative, effective, efficient, accountable and transparent. Additionally, discussions among Member States on how to take into account the principles of democracy and representation in pursuing the objective of a more democratic Security Council are essential.
It is crucial that any reforms to the Council reflect the realities of the 21st Century, consistent with the five clusters identified on the General Assembly decision 62/557. This message has been repeated by Heads of State and Government during this year’s High-Level General Debate.
In my view, the most appropriate platform to pursue this reform is within the framework of the IGN. However, this process will be put at risk if we fail to make real progress. Accordingly, I ask all delegations to utilize the opportunity, that this IGN session provides to engage constructively. We must give this process a chance.
The success of these negotiations and of any reforms of course depends on you, Member States. It is your contributions, through negotiations and other discussions, that ultimately can lead the way towards meaningful reform of the Council.
I have held encouraging and forward-looking discussions with many Member States and all major groupings, where we shared ideas and expectations of Council reform. I would like to thank the Co-Chairs for taking the initiative to start the meetings of the IGN in a timely manner, following consultations with Member States.
Since it was established 75 years ago, the United Nations has responded to its core mission of maintaining international peace and security and has helped to mitigate dozens of conflicts and save hundreds of thousands of lives through humanitarian action.
The Security Council must reform if it is to effectively uphold this mandate. I therefore warmly encourage all Member States to actively engage with each other this session, to seek the broadest possible consensus on comprehensive reforms to the Security Council and to continue the efforts to resolve the main differences among the membership.