GA: Joint Nordic Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Veto Initiative

Statement delivered by Denmark's DPR Erik Laursen on behalf of the N5; Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden


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


Today we mark the second anniversary of the adoption of resolution 76/262 on the Veto Initiative. Its adoption marked a significant step towards strengthening the accountability and transparency of the Security Council.

The Nordic Countries commend Liechtenstein for their important ongoing work on this landmark resolution.

Two years on, the importance of the initiative is unfortunately still strikingly clear. In the first months of 2024, we have already seen five instances of a permanent member exercising its veto. The frequent use - and misuse - of the veto is preventing the Council from effectively fulfilling its vital mandate of maintaining international peace and security.

With the number of vetoes increasing, so does the number of times we meet here in the General Assembly to discuss the vetoes cast and set out our expectations for the Council to uphold its responsibility.


This Assembly could do more than just lament the failure of the Council to fulfil its responsibilities for international peace and security. The Charter empowers the Assembly to consider and make recommendations on any matter within the scope of the Charter, including to make recommendations on matters of international peace and security. In addition to these Charter-based powers, the General Assembly is also granted authority under the ‘Uniting for Peace’ resolution. The Nordic countries hold the view that the General Assembly could act more decisively when the Security Council is unable to do so. We invite all interested Member States to consider collective actions to this end.


Let us be clear. The Security Council does its work on behalf of all UN Members, as set out in Article 24 of the UN Charter. Its decisions affect us all. And it is accountable to us all.

In its second year, resolution 76/262 has further strengthened a recalibration of the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly ensuring a more accountable and transparent relationship.  

The Nordic countries have been supporters of the veto initiative from the very beginning, and we continue to see its value as a landmark instrument for accountability between the Council and the broader UN membership.

We also wish to commend the important role played by the elected members of the Security Council. Under difficult circumstances and increasing divides in the Council, the E10 have demonstrated their ability to move the Council forward in delivering concrete results. The joint E-10 ceasefire resolution on Gaza serves as one clear example among many.


In view of the dynamics in the Security Council today, including the blatant violation of the Charter by a permanent member of the Council, this debate could not be more timely and our determination could not be more urgently needed. The misuse of the veto is blocking the Security Council from fulfilling its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Let me also take this opportunity to reiterate the Nordic countries’ full support for comprehensive reform of the Security Council. Much work lies ahead on the reform of the Security Council to make the Council more representative, efficient, transparent and accountable. Addressing the matter of the veto is central in this regard.

The Nordic countries also again urge Member States – including permanent members of the Council - who have not yet done so to join the ACT Code of Conduct and the Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity launched by France and Mexico. We encourage all delegations to share their views, and work towards further initiatives to limit the scope and use of the veto. Including ensuring the full application of Article 27(3) requiring the obligatory abstention of a party to a dispute from voting.


In closing, let me reiterate that the Nordic countries stand ready to continue our engagement and contribution to strengthen the transparency, representativity, efficiency and accountability of the Security Council.

The misuse of the veto continues to threaten the legitimacy of the Security Council, and undermines trust in the UN’s ability to safeguard international peace and security.

An effective Security Council is fundamental to delivering on the promise of multilateralism in providing solutions to global challenges through effective, representative and legitimate institutions.

Thank you