SC: Multilateralism

Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Mona Juul in the Security Council Open Debate on reformed multilateralism, 14 December 2022.

Thanks to the Inadian presidency for convening this meeting.

We also thank the Secretary-General, and the President of the General Assembly for their briefings.

You have both deftly illustrated the changing nature of our multilateral system.

One which has served us so well for 75 years.

Many of the problems that face us today can only be solved though multilateral cooperation.

Yet, multilateralism and multilateral institutions are under pressure.

As a small State, Norway feels this acutely.

In these turbulent times, we need a well-functioning and well-regulated international community, where small and large States cooperate to find common solutions.

Defending and strengthening international rule of law, and multilateral cooperation, is a core priority for Norway.

And we have had the privilege to do so from our distinguished seat here in the Security Council for the past two years.

While some may look to the Council and only see challenges, Norway sees a Council with a vital role in upholding international peace and security.

And a significant, if often underutilised, capacity for preventive diplomacy and early action.

It is with this perspective that Norway will continue to support the ongoing General Assembly discussions on comprehensive reform of the Security Council.

Yet, to make the Council more effective, transparent, and accountable there are steps we can and must take now- that don’t require amendments to the UN Charter.

Let me outline three “musts” for Norway:

First: The Security Council must hear from more- and more diverse- voices.

We need to create a more inclusive multilateralism, with a Council that is more representative.

We already see the vital role the A3 plays and we commend them for voicing strong African positions in the Council.

In a comprehensive reform, Norway staunchly supports increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa. 

But we must also work now to ensure broader ownership of Council decisions and products.

We therefore support the A3’s request to be penholders or co-penholders on African dossiers.

We encourage A3, and indeed all E10 members, to approach relevant permanent members for a more active role on relevant files.

And we encourage the permanent members to constructively welcome this.

Second: the Council must be more in touch with the direct impact of its decisions on the lives of people on the ground.

The Council should involve more, and diverse, civil society briefers- including women human rights defenders.

This should be done in a systematically inclusive, safe, and meaningful way.

The Shared Commitments on WPS have paved the way for this work.

The Council should also draw more regularly on the expertise of human rights institutions and capacities within the UN system- to detect situations which can develop into major security crises.

Likewise, the Council would benefit from more informal situational awareness briefings from the Secretariat, and Council visiting missions.

Here we see great potential for impact through joint visiting missions, including with the AU Peace and Security Council. 

Third: the Council must be more connected with the rest of the multilateral system.

The Council alone cannot resolve all challenges.  

We welcome the vital role the General Assembly has played this year through: Uniting for Peace; adopting, and successfully implementing the Veto Initiative; and continuing work on the ACT code of conduct- there must be greater accountability and transparency around the use of the veto.

The Council also needs to better align its work to other parts of the UN- like the Peace Building Commission- and with vital regional bodies like the AU.

It should also be more vocal in its support to the Good Offices of the Secretary-General.


The very hallmark of multilateralism is to commit beyond one’s own self-interest.

Let us all use this occasion to recommit today.