Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries.
Please allow me to extend our sincere gratitude to Ambassador Hermann of Denmark for taking on this process, and Ambassador Al-Thani of the State of Qatar for again steering the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform this session. We know we are in good hands, and we recognize this can be a thankless task. Please be assured you can count on the full support of the Nordic countries in your work this session.
Thank you also for your letter of 27 December, inviting us to reflect on the IGN process, and how a renewed momentum can be given to it, also in view of the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report. We are happy to do so, as we did in the plenary meeting on 15 November.
In the field of peace and security, the Security Council has a unique responsibility according to its mandate under the UN Charter. The Nordic countries seek a more transparent, effective, accountable and representative Security Council that can support a coherent UN response to the complex and cross-cutting issues we face. One that – in its composition and working methods – reflects the global realities of today and tomorrow. The world has changed since the last expansion of the Security Council in 1965.
Regarding the process, the Nordic Countries have repeatedly called for commencing more substantive text-based negotiations. Today, we repeat this call. In our view, it would offer a way to encourage substantive discussions and advance the process further. The Nordic countries see this as essential for achieving progress.
Turning to the issue of regional representation, Nordic countries support a balanced expansion of the Security Council from all regions, with adequate representation of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. This includes ensuring that Africa takes its rightful place in the Council, through an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa. We would like to see increased representation of developing countries and improved opportunity for small states to serve as elected members. We welcome ongoing discussions on these and other issues as negotiations progress.
We must also carefully consider the impacts of the act of the veto in our deliberations on Security Council reform. Permanent members’ veto power has restrained the Council’s ability to act on critical issues. Use of the veto power 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.
Finally, Your Excellencies,
In closing, please allow me to reiterate that the Nordic Countries 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 2021, which form the basis of our work.
We hope that a renewed momentum can be given to the IGN, in view of the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report, in which the Secretary-General takes note of the renewed urgency to continue the intergovernmental negotiations, and also in light of the commitment from the UN75 Declaration.