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Joint Nordic Statement delivered at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and matters related to the Security Council on 25-26 January, 2021

25.01.2021  21:17

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Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.

I would like to express our gratitude to the Ambassadors of Poland and Qatar for co-chairing this session of Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform (IGN). We appreciate your facilitation of the process.

Co-Chairs,

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of an effective multilateral system with the UN at its core. In the field of peace and security, the Security Council has a unique responsibility according to its mandate under the UN Charter. Therefore, the international community requires a Council that is more transparent, more effective, more accountable and more representative. The Security Council must have the required legitimacy to tackle the global challenges of today. It should also be adaptable to the challenges of the future and support a coherent UN response.

Your Excellencies,

We welcome the Co-Chairs’ letter, dated 8 December 2020, where the current IGN session is outlined. In today’s meeting, the Member States are invited to share their views both on the process itself and also on questions of substance.

Once again, the Nordic Countries reaffirm their sincere commitment to our collective endeavour to reform the Security Council. We also emphasize the importance of the system-wide approach and close linkages between the Security Council reform and the reform of the peace and security architecture as a whole.

In our joint statement delivered during the latest General Assembly debate on this subject in November last year, the Nordic Countries called for commencing more substantive text-based negotiations. Today, we reiterate this call. In our view, it would offer a way to encourage substantive discussions and advance the process further.

We agree with your assessment Co-Chairs, that a renewed momentum must be given to this process in light of our joint commitment in the UN75 Declaration, which states that the UN Member States “commit to instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council”.   

Co-Chairs,

Turning to the issue of regional representation, as part of the reform the Nordic Countries support a balanced expansion of the Security Council from all regions to better reflect current global political and economic realities, and to ensure increased representation of developing countries, including both permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa. In our view, it is also important to provide for an opportunity for small states to participate in the decision-making process of the UN Security Council, including serving as elected members. We welcome ongoing discussions on these and other issues as negotiations progress.

We must also carefully consider the possible negative impacts of the veto power on the work and functioning of the current and future Security Council, and of the United Nations as a whole. The use of the veto power must come with accountability and transparency.

In the absence of a comprehensive reform, the Nordic Countries once again urge all Member States to join the “Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” and the “Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity” launched by France and Mexico.

Finally, Your Excellencies,

The Nordic Countries stand ready to contribute to a constructive dialogue among Member States in this session, to build on the progress of previous years, including the Framework Document and the Revised Elements Paper, which form the current basis of our work. We look forward to the guidance of the Co-Chairs on the way forward.

Thank you.