GA: Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform

Statement on behalf of the Nordic countries (N5) in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform, delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Andreas Løvold

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


Thank you for your focus here today on working methods, and for your guiding question on the majority required for decision making. This is indeed a very important  topic that was brought out in our discussions last year, and in your subsequent update to the Revised Elements Paper.

Although it may- on the surface- seem quite a technical question it is clear that is also a pivotal one which will impact on the ability of the Council to act on matters of international peace and security in the future. It will affect the threshold for the Council to make decisions, it will change the mix of permanent and elected members required for decision-making, and will also shift the very way an enlarged Council makes its decisions.

We therefore welcome this opportunity for in-depth discussion today, so groups and Member States can debate, consider, and refine their positions on this issue. The Nordic countries do not have a set view on this matter, but stand ready to listen and consider our own position in light of this discussion .


As was just underlined last week in the Council’s Open Debate, the working methods of the Council are of interest to, and indeed impact all Member States-  including those not currently sitting on the Council.

By continuing to work outside the IGN to ensure that the Council we have today is , regularly and consistently reviewing and improving its working methods, , we are not only improving the current situation,  increasing efficiency and accountability, but we are helping to ensure that a future  expanded Council does not face the same challenges as the one today.

 In the IGN process however we have a more focused mandate on working methods directly impacted by expansion of the Council’s membership. We therefore welcome your efforts Co-Chairs to keep the proposals on working methods in the Revised Elements paper focused on exactly this. For example, our topic today on the threshold for decision making, or modalities for the rotation of the Presidency in an enlarged Council. We would therefore encourage further editing of the Revised Elements Paper with this in mind.



It is of course understandable however- given their importance- that we want to raise and discuss the full range of issues related to working methods, in all forums available to us. In this connection, the Nordic countries wanted to again recognise the excellent initiative by you Co-Chairs, to establish last year a formal dialogue with the IWG Chair. We very much appreciate this innovative step, and strongly support it being an annual, if not more frequent, contact.

We welcome the letter transmitted in April last year to the IWG Chair listing working methods issues related to the current Council which were discussed in the IGN. We would welcome feedback from the Council if this was subsequently discussed, and any action taken.

Co-Chairs, we support you in all efforts to improve the relationship between the IGN and IWG, and strongly encourage any further steps you can take to formalise this continued flow of proposals and positions of Member States on issues of current working methods, to the Council for immediate action.

Thank you.