SC: Arria on Penholdership

Statement delivered by Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim at the Arria formula meeting on penholdership, 11. August 2022.

Chair,

Norway aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by Costa Rica on behalf of ACT.

And we welcome the opportunity to have an open discussion on this important issue- particularly to hear from the broader membership.

Although somewhat technical in nature, the issue of penholdership is not simply a procedural one.

The Security Council’s ability to swiftly, precisely, and inclusively discuss and draft Council action, and mandates, has a real impact on the lives of people living in conflict, and the assistance they receive. 

Chair,

From the little we have written in Note 507 on  penholdership, it is very clear that it is the prerogative of any member of the Security Council to initiate, and chair a drafting process on any issue. 

Elected members have a broad array of unique experience and added value- regional or otherwise- to bring to the table.

Consequently, they could have a more active role in drafting products, either as penholders or co-penholders.

For this reason, we support the African members’ request to be penholders or co-penholders on African dossiers.
And encourage A3- and other E10- in a coordinated manner, to approach the relevant penholder for a more active role on relevant files- particularly country specific files.

Likewise, we encourage the permanent members to constructively welcome such initiatives.

Chair,

Although key; the issue of penholdership is not only about who is, and who isn’t a penholder.

The Council must also continue to work to improve the penholdership process itself.

From our time on the Council, and in our own experience as a penholder, we have seen a number of areas of good practice, three of these include: 

  • One: Penholders should circulate drafts in good faith, and with adequate time for discussion.
  • Two: Penholders should broadly consult and consider the views of affected countries, and regional neighbours.
  • And Three: Penholders should systematically consider the views of the Chairs of relevant subsidiary bodies when drafting products.

We regret that the Council’s working group on procedural issues, the IWG, could not reach agreement on a Presidential Note this last year.

Chair,

The Council cannot remain static, we must continually consider and reflect on the way we work towards international peace and security.

Our work is just too important not to. 

This is a matter of the overall effectiveness of the Security Council, and Norway stands ready to take what we have heard from the membership today into our continuing discussions in the IWG.

Thank you.