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IGN: Security Council Reform

Nordic joint statement delivered by Ambassador Mona Juul at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, 13 February 2020.

| General Assembly

President, Co-Chairs,       

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

Please allow me to extend to you Ambassador Wronecka our sincere gratitude for taking on this process, and Ambassador Nusseibeh for again agreeing to steer the IGN this session.

We know we are in good hands, and we recognise 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 both also for your letter of 31 January inviting us to share at this meeting our views, and provide suggestions on the way forward.

We are happy to do so, as we did in the plenary meeting on 25 November.

The Nordic countries firmly believe that the IGN process needs to create the space for more genuine dialogue between Member States, and interaction on our respective positions and proposals.

We will support all efforts of the Co-Chairs to get us there.

We do have clear guidance for our work this session. Provided by General Assembly Decision 73/554 which outlines only two documents as the basis of our work. Commonly known as the “Elements Paper” and the “Framework Document”.

We welcome the continued recognition of the Framework Document. It remains an important resource as the most up to date reflection of the direct positions and proposals of Member States.

And the Elements Paper represents the gradual progress in the process over the past three sessions. We also agree with others that it has more space for improvement, particularly through expanding on the more difficult issues of: Categories of Membership, the Question of the Veto, and Regional Representation.

Whereas the remaining two issues of: Working Methods, and the Relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly, have now been comprehensively covered. We suggest not to expand these sections to include issues related to improving the working methods of current Council.

The IGN must stick to its mandated focus on a future, expanded, Council. Rather than making our already difficult task more complicated by adding issues already being considered in the Informal Working Group in the Council itself, and the GA revitalization process.

Co-Chairs,

To add briefly also on the substance of the IGN, the Nordic Countries seek a more transparent, accountable, and representative Security Council.

One with greater restrictions around the use of the veto, and one which is better equipped to address current global challenges, while also better reflecting current global realities, not least in its representation.

This means a balanced expansion of the Council from all regions, with increased representation of developing countries and greater possibilities for small states to serve as elected members. This includes ensuring that Africa takes its rightful place in the Council, though an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa.

Co-Chairs,

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. And - as mentioned in the past - stand ready to engage in text-based negotiations. While we have provided some suggestions on process, we will of course lend every effort to support the Co-Chairs in the path you choose towards progress this session.  

Thank you.