Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Report of the Security Council ;
Question of equitable representation on
and increase in the membership of the Security Council
and related matters : joint debate
Sixtieth Session of the United Nations
Like many colleagues before me today I condemn in the strongest way the terrorist attacks in Amman yesterday and on behalf of the Government and People of Iceland express the profound condolences to the Government and People of Jordan, and in particular to those who lost family members and to those that were injured.
At the outset, I would like to thank the President of the Security Council for the month of November for presenting the Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. The report reflects the continued increase in the volume and scope of the activities of the Council. I will, however, limit my short statement to the issue of the reform of the Security Council.
Regarding working methods of the Security Council, Iceland has consistently supported calls for increased transparency of the work of the Security Council. This implies more openness, proactive communication and strengthened accountability. Some substantive steps have been made in this regard, such as the growing practice of open briefings, meetings and debates of the Security Council, which we welcome. The open debates can serve as an important tool for communication between the Security Council, the wider UN membership, and international civil society as well.
Iceland agrees with the Secretary-General that effective reform of the United Nations entails reform of the Security Council. Iceland has advocated a more representative and legitimate Council which better mirrors today’s geopolitical realities. We are of the view that there should be an expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent members of the Council. Changes are long overdue. During the general debate in September the Foreign Minister of Iceland expressed disappointment that the G4 proposal for reforming the Security Council seemed not to have the support it deserved. “While not perfect, it remains the most practical basis for reforming the Security Council. Therefore, this approach continues to have Iceland’s firm support” the Foreign Minister stated. Indeed, Iceland was one of the co-sponsors of the said proposal (A/59/L.64), introduced last July, during the 59th session of the General Assembly. This proposal continues to be pertinent and relevant in our view. Consensus on the expansion of the Security Council is desirable but after more than twelve years of debate we all know that it is not reachable. We should utilize the democratic decision-making at the disposal of the General Assembly.
Finally, Mr. President, I would like to use today’s opportunity to welcome the establishment of the “Security Council Report” published by an independent not-for-profit organisation in affiliation with the Columbia University Center on International Organization, which aims to provide a consistent publicly-available analytical information about the activities of the Security Council. I believe that this initiative will be especially beneficial for smaller delegations.
I thank you Mr. President.