Security Council Reform

Statement by Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations at the meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and on Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council

As others have before me I would like to congratulate Ambassadors Paulette Bethel and Frank Majoor on their appointment. Our best wishes for success in their work ahead go to them.

  • We need to see effective reform of the United Nations and that entails reform of the Security Council.
  • Iceland has consistently supported calls for increased transparency of the work of the Security Council.
  • Some substantive steps have been made in this regard, such as more open briefings, meetings and debates, which we welcome.
  • The open debates can serve as an important tool for communication between the Security Council, the wider UN membership, and international civil society as well. In this context I refer to Ambassador Kenzo Oshima´s report this morning which we gratefully acknowledge.
  • However, further measures are needed to improve the working methods of the Security Council. With this in mind, we welcome draft resolution A/60/L.49 on Improving the Working Methods of the Security Council, tabled by Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland, the socalled S-5. This draft resolution is not mutually exclusive to the working methods part of the G-4 proposal, if we approach the issue with renewed good will and a view for flexibility and compromizes.
  • Iceland has advocated a more representative and thus more legitimate Council which better mirrors today’s geopolitical realities.
  • We are of the view that there should be an expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent members of the Council. Changes are long overdue. My Government wants a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, both in expansion and working methods.
  • Indeed, Iceland was one of the co-sponsors of draft resolution A/59/L.64 (so-called G-4 resolution), introduced during the 59th session of the General Assembly. Iceland also fully supports draft resolution A/60/L.46 (the same draft resolution) tabled by Brazil, Germany and India in the beginning of this year.
  • This proposal (G-4) continues to be pertinent and relevant in our view and could be married with the African proposal with some added political will for compromizes. Consensus on the expansion of the Security Council is desirable but after almost thirteen years of debate in this working group we all know that it is not reachable. By marrying the similar G-4 and African proposals we believe that more than the required 2/3 majority would be reached.
  • It is indeed time to move on, as our Malasian Colleague said earlier this morning.


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