Statement by Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Sixty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Open-ended Working Group
on the Question of Equitable Representation on and increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council
Let me first of all thank you for organizing this meeting of the Open?ended Working Group [on the Question of Equitable Representation on and increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council]. Once again we state our view that no reform of the UN is complete without a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, expansion of its membership as well as increased transparency of the work of the Council.
Iceland welcomes the report of the five facilitators in which they aptly reflect on the views of the UN membership at this time and offer notions on the way forward. This Open-ended Working Group has been deliberating for so many years that it is indeed hard to come up with something that has not been launched at some earlier time.
Iceland is of the opinion that the process should now swiftly move forward towards negotiations based on the facilitators´ report and thereby the perceived momentum that it has created should be put to the test. If there now is a window of opportunity it must be used, otherwise we might well have to wait for a couple of decades before we have another possibility to reach solutions in this important matter. In this connection we urge you Madame President to proceed through the appointment of two facilitators that could, before the end of this month, put together a paper with elements for negotiations.
Iceland was one of the co-sponsors of the so-called G-4 proposal, and is still of the opinion that an expansion of the Council should be in both categories, permanent and non-permanent, and that this is still the view of a majority of member states of the UN. The aim must be to make the Council more representative, increasing its effectiveness without compromising its efficiency. However, we realize that all must now show flexibility if solutions are to be found; solutions that the vast majority of UN members can agree on. Innovative ways forward should therefore be sought.
Any result of our negotiations must in particular include increased representation of developing countries on the Security Council, safeguard the possibility of smaller states to serve on the Council and increase transparency through reformed working methods.
Thank you Madame President