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Joint Nordic Statement at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform

Statement by Counsellor Sofia Ekfeldt Nyman, Sweden on behalf of the Nordic countries at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters, United Nations, 7 March 2022

 

Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries.

At the outset, let me express the Nordic countries full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The Nordic Countries recalls the resolution “Aggression against Ukraine” adopted by an overwhelming majority of 141 States during the UN General Assembly's 11th emergency session last Wednesday. We condemn in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which grossly violates international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and undermines international security and stability. We stand by Ukraine and reiterate our unwavering commitment to its sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Co-Chairs, thank you for convening this session today.

The Nordic countries would like to reference to previous statements.

Turning to today’s important discussion [categories of membership] and the question of the veto, the last two weeks have shown, that reflecting on the impacts of the act of the veto is more important than ever. We are all aware that the effectiveness of the work of the Security Council, a key element for the success of the United Nations, has been increasingly hampered by the use - or threat of use - of the veto. Permanent members’ use of veto has restrained the Council’s ability to act on critical issues and fulfill its mandate to maintain international peace and security.

Use of the veto should be restrained and come with greater accountability and transparency. In particular, the use of the veto in situations of mass atrocities is not in line with the spirit of the UN Charter. The Nordic countries urge all Member States to join the ACT ‘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. These are important initiatives dealing with the present composition of the Council that we must implement now, while also separately continuing to carefully consider the impacts of the act of the veto in our deliberations on a future reformed Security Council,  through our discussions here in the IGN.

Finally, Your Excellencies, in closing, please allow me to reiterate that the Nordic Countries thank you for the work plan you have outlined and we stand ready for constructive dialogue this session with all Member States and groups of States, building on the progress of previous years, including the Framework Document and the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper of last year, which form the basis of our work.

Thank you.

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