I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway. We welcome this opportunity to focus on the key issue of regional representation here today.
As we have underlined, the Nordic Countries seek a more transparent, effective, accountable, and particularly a more representative Security Council.
The world has changed since the last expansion in 1965, not least in regional makeup of the UN membership. To address current global challenges, we need a Council which reflects current global realities.
For the Nordic Countries this means a balanced expansion of the Council from all regions. Including increased representation of developing countries and greater possibilities for small states to serve as elected members.
An integral component of this expansion will be to ensure that Africa takes its rightful place in the Council, through an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats, redressing the historical injustice done to the African continent.
It is in the best interest of the Security Council that the continent is ensured equitable representation, including permanent representation.
In this respect we fully support your work to better reflect all positions in the Revised Elements Paper including the Common African position, and welcome the work undertaken last year to this end.
In your letter you invited us to also address the principles of reform. While the IGN is a process of getting a better understanding of each other’s positions and proposals, agreement on principles should not be a precondition to substantive negotiations, particularly not text-based negotiations.
In this respect, we feel that GA Decision 62/557 and the relevant paragraphs on Security Council reform in the World Summit Outcome Document have already clearly set out the principles to enable us to move the process forward.
Thank you for the opportunity to elaborate on the key issue of regional representation today. We remain ready to hear, and consider all views on this subject.