Security Council Hosts Annual Open Debate on Working Methods

by Jessica Kroenert
26 October 2015

On Tuesday 20 October, the Security Council hosted its sixth annual open debate on the topic of the Council's working methods. Pursuant to the concept note circulated by Spain, Member States primarily focused on how the Council could improve its relationships with other UN organs such as the Secretariat, General Assembly (GA), and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as well as regional organizations.

The selection process for the next Secretary General was an issue raised repeatedly in discussions about the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. In this regard, there were several calls for the presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council to issue a joint letter to begin the selection process, as well as many calls for female candidates to be nominated for the position. Another topic raised several times was the issue of the veto, and the complementary initiatives of France and Mexico and the ACT group to restrict the use of the veto in cases of mass atrocity. Spain has expressed their intention to release an outcome document incorporating all views expressed at the debate.

The following are informal notes taken by the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy and Center for UN Reform experts who monitored the debate. For a list of abbreviations used, please see below. For more information, please refer to the UN website's meeting coverage.

UN Security Council: Open debate on working methods
20 October 2015

Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson:

  • World’s expectations are high, which is why working methods are of interest to many - The SC has made reforms to working methods in the past
  • HIPPO report provides key recommendations to improve peacekeeping
  • While the council decides on its own procedures, the secretariat is ready to provide support and advice
  • Informal working group on Documentation has involved troop contributing countries in conversation
  • Members of the council can use Any Other Business (AOB) to bring other matters to discussion, which the secretariat has done 20 times, including bringing matters that could be international security issues to the council
  • Video conferences with other UN offices are a great innovation and are being more widely used
  • The council has encouraged early appointment of chairs of subsidiary bodies – outgoing chairs to provide documentation to incoming chairs
  • Identifying experts continues to be a time consuming process, which we have expanded to include more diversity
  • Secretariat supporting Council cooperation with regional organizations, including the AU

Mogens Lykketoft, PGA
  • We meet on occasion of 70th birthday and three weeks after adoption of 2030 agenda. The annual debate on working methods is timely
  • The transparency of the council is of interest to general membership, especially as we are soon to appoint next secretary general
  • There are a number of areas in which the SC and GA are linked – UN charter review, appointment of the SG, election of International Justice Tribunals, SC annual and special reports
  • I will continue to promote effective cooperation and coordination between bodies of the UN during presidency, including holding meetings with monthly president of SC
  • We must never lose sight of the fact that 35% of membership have never even served as council members
  • Calls for transparency openness especially in selection of SG, UN membership has provided clear guidance for the way forward – requested that PGA and UNSC President begin soliciting candidates for position
  • It is important for SC to regularly update GA on candidates for SG position and conduct informal meetings with candidates
  • Res 69/321 states that the SG should be the best possible candidate, with strong background of diplomacy. I am confident that there are a number of female candidates with these qualifications
  • Selection process should be finalized as early as possible, at least 3 months before assuming office. Providing adequate time before assuming office is fundamental to assuming responsibilities
  • Given the critical role of SG, the selection process must be as open and inclusive as possible - I look forward to working with all of you on this issue
  • The GA receives and considers SC annual and special reports, including Peace and security – this is a crucial exercise. While there have been improvements in these reports there are also calls to improve its analytical quality
  • Election of 10 non-permanent members to be conducted 6 months before elected members assume responsibilities. Therefore this session will hold two elections, one that just took place and next in June next year
  • SC reform, one of most discussed and sensitive issues of UN for many decades, this topic is of central importance to vast majority of membership
  • GA has elected to continue Intergovernmental Negotiations in 70th session and I intent to move this process forward.

Vice President of ECOSOC
  • This meeting is welcome step in increased cooperation between UN bodies – cooperation between ECOSOC and UNSC
  • Article 65 states ECOSOC can provide information to SC, yet use of this provision has been limited – most notable is ad-hoc advisory group on Haiti, a promising example along with similar groups on Guinea-Bissau and Burundi: The creation of these groups led to advanced interaction between SC and ECOSOC
  • ECOSOC has followed South Sudan situation and has maintained cooperation with PBC however interaction with SC has diminished
  • Time has come to revitalize relationship between UN bodies
  • As HIPPO report stressed, inclusion of development agenda is critical to ensuring peace
  • SDG 16 lays the ground for common work – need to address violence as well as to strengthen international institutions against corruption, making them more accountable and transparent
  • There are many issues of common concern, international governance, social inclusion, women and youth, financial crises and global stability, environmental degradation
  • ECOSOC stands ready to work together on modalities for systematic interaction, or establishment of ad-hoc working group – improved coherence and cooperation on SDGs
  • I trust our willingness to work together will be stronger than institutional cleavages

  • Speaking on behalf of Angola, Chile, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain, a group of SC members who share common wish to make working methods and SC interactions with other organs of UN more effective to better reflect contemporary realities
  • This debate is about much more than working methods, about SC performance and accountability to membership in accordance with Charter
  • Difficulty in responding effectively suggests need for new approach
  • The informal working group should base its future work on the outcomes of this open debate
  • Discussion of procedure should not be elevated to the point of having a 15 member veto
  • All council members have responsibility to improve processes at all levels of diplomacy , which is why we have fostered increased dialogue.
  • The veto may not be strictly a working method, but is has a significant negative impact on working methods, where elected members are routinely excluded for no reason other than habit
  • The very recent introduction of penholdership has improved working methods considerably, but is has also diminished opportunity for wider council engagement by elected members, and has increased risks of council initiatives being drafted in interest of permanent members
  • Wherever possible we want to encourage a change to penholdership system, to ensure necessary continuity and inclusion of elected members and leveraging their expertise
  • The council needs to become better at cooperating with other UN and regional organs,
  • Council members need to respect the role of the presidency in arranging meetings with ECOSOC and PGA
  • It is important to improve consultation and cooperation with troop and police contributing countries in regards to mandate development and renewals
  • Process for SG appointment will be a key issue for all members of organization over next year
  • Council has been slow on cooperating with GA on this matter
  • This is especially relevant given unequivocal call from GA for more transparent and inclusive process

United States
  • Recent improvements and peacebuilding commission
  • SC is grappling with disparate and complex threats to peace and security – council has an obligation to consider how working methods can be improved
  • Informal Working Group has adopted a series of notes to improving working methods – they have done their part to improve dialogue with other bodies
  • US supports Arria Format meetings, to inform ourselves informally about difficult issues on the agenda – 13 such meetings this year have provided a wide range of expertise and civil society to participate in SC
  • The SC has continued to welcome PBC to participate in council meetings, the PBC provides valuable information from on the ground in post-conflict states
  • We look forward to participating in 2015 PBA review process, how the Council and PBC can better work together
  • As coequal principal organs, the GA and SC each has own defined role in selection of SG, US is in favor of the membership gaining an understanding of the views of the potential future SG – guided by principles of inclusiveness of all member states
  • We believe the course has been set for selection process of next SG

  • Improve working methods, greater transparency and improve interaction with non-council member states
  • When you look at decisions adopted unanimously and presidential statements, tremendous progress has been made – more public meetings, however often unaccompanied by decisions
  • Of 63 adoptions over past year, 60 were adopted unanimously
  • Inability of council for council to find solution for Palestine or Syria clearly shows this organ is not accomplishing its mandate in responsible manner
  • SC must be assessed based on its results in conflict prevention and settlement
  • Chad supports French proposal for abstention of right to veto in mass atrocity crimes, but we remain skeptical of the effective use of veto
  • Best way to limit use of veto is to amend the charter – the very principle of right to veto warrants special consideration in terms of reform of SC
  • Africa only continent with non-perm member or veto Chad reiterates support of common African position on SC reform
  • Elected members of council do great work in subsidiary bodies and working groups – we advocate a more open and inclusive process of appointment of chairs of these bodies
  • Role of penholders being reserved for one category of members drafting key resolutions and statements is a system that should be abolished
  • Penholdership should be held by region that the issue pertains to
  • We welcome review of PBC – given valuable contribution to post-conflict
  • We stress greater involvement of regional organizations in maintaining peace and security
  • Council should promote more preventative diplomacy to prevent repeated referral to chapter 7 of Charter
  • Welcome RES 69/321 which marks a major step in electing a future SG, a list of several candidates for the GA, mutual understanding between SC and GA, process for SG appointment should reflect new realities

United Kingdom
  • Even in informal discussions can include too many prepared statements
  • How can we bring more transparency and improve participation?
  • How can we improve efficiency to remain on schedule for meetings?
  • What is the point of working methods if there is no commitment to uphold them and states can exercise veto
  • We are proud to support ACT code of conduct and will never use veto in mass atrocity and urge other members to do same
  • Wouldn’t it be powerful to appoint the SG in transparent way? How can we ensure more qualified female candidates in pool?
  • UK plans first ever meeting of development ministers in SC next month to better incorporate 2030 development agenda

  • On the sanctions committees we have sought to engage with relevant countries concerned. We welcome DPI’s steps in making sanctions information public
  • Closer cooperation among subsidiary bodies should be improved
  • We call on council members to take fresh look at SC annual report, Lithuania has submitted a number of proposals to informal working group on documentation
  • Increased use of Any Other Business (AOBs)is critical to address the number of conflicts today
  • Council members need to bring the interactive back to interactive debates – opportunities to engage in debate not just reading prepared statements
  • Open debates are an important tool and we should reconsider their format to make them more effective. It is painful to watch when ministers are addressing the Council and the members are represented by junior level staff.
  • During UNGA several meetings about veto restraint - it is unacceptable to think that veto is being used to protect perpetrators such as in Syria or MH17
  • On the selection of the next secretary general - more open transparent process with consideration of gender is important

  • The Council has used various modalities to strengthen communication with other organizations: China supporting to continue improving working methods
  • Council should focus its energy and resources on focusing on most urgent issues, should act strictly within its mandate including with cooperation with ECOSOC and PBC and others
  • The council should attach more importance to preventive diplomacy and mediation – avoid resorting too easily to tools such as sanctions
  • The council should engage in more adequate consultations to achieve consensus
  • The council should give more weight to opinions of countries concerned, listening to non-council member states
  • communications with TCCs and Secretariat should be enhanced before issuing mandates

  • We also support statement to be made by Iran on behalf on non-aligned movement
  • Strengthen working relations of SC with other bodies of UN within their respective mandates
  • We must overcome provisional nature of rules of SC – provisional for 70 years –put an end to exaggerated discretional nature of its bodies
  • At times negotiation processes have lacked necessary inclusivity without bearing in mind opinion of non-permanent members of council
  • We insist on need to put an end to practices of exclusion
  • We must devote attention to sanctions committees - should be assisting political resolution to conflict – should only exist with political solutions and should have an end date –elected members have little power to change this imbalance – sanctions should be used as an instrument not a solution
  • Issue of penholders who decide who what and how mandates are created and considered – deep democratization of working methods is needed
  • It is important to hold open discussions to addressing issues so that more countries can contribute to conversation and solutions
  • TCCs should be able to participate in SC decisions on peacekeeping operations
  • The council should deal strictly with issues of peace and security in accordance with article 39 – we are concerned that issues not in this vein are being considered by council that belong to ECOSOC or GA – must have balance and respect for roles of different bodies
  • Nomination of female candidates for SG
  • Review of mechanism for making decisions, and veto, is important for working methods
  • We want to highlight that threat of use of veto has made it impossible for Palestine to be recognized as a full member even though it is supported by vast majority of membership

  • We strongly believe the change we all seek will be achieved through instrumentalism not a revolution
  • Article 24 makes it clear that the council is acting on behalf of members of UN – there is a need for council to conduct itself in transparent and accountable way
  • Much has been achieved but we believe a great more should be done
  • Use of public meetings has increased which is a positive development to accommodate interests of member states
  • Engagement with regional orgs is critical in work of council
  • We want to take special note of council’s relationship with AU – hasn’t been smooth sailing but this is a partnership we would like to see strengthened as most agenda items are African issues
  • The adoption of resolution on revitalization of work of GA, especially appointment of next SG –political will is needed to implement this
  • PBC plays critical role in supporting the work of the council
  • The Council can draw on the PBC’s advice- particularly in reviewing Peace operations
  • Concerning ECOSOC, interaction between SC and ECOSOC has been negligible - development and human rights issues fall under purview of ECOSOC

  • We believe that its necessary to say that improving working methods of SC are the purview of the SC - getting swept away with populism is dangerous
  • We share concerns that Council is overstepping on certain thematic subjects that should fall within purview of GA and other bodies
  • The number of speakers at open ended debates can reach 100, it’s like the GA just moves into the UNSC chamber for a day. Doesn’t it make more sense to hold such discussion at the GA?
  • Sanction mechanisms leave a lot to be desired – often worsen crises
  • There has been a lot of discussion of selection of next SG – but lacking discussion on technical issues
  • We shouldn’t be creating further pressure on current SG as a lame duck
  • We should be focusing on democratization of the secretariat – appointment of certain senior posts is usurped by 3 members – this appointment process needs to be more transparent
  • We welcome contributions of UN secretariat to SC discussion
  • We need to understand that all members of organization must respect the rules of the house – we think its unacceptable that the Kosovo representatives were invited to counter terrorism event – glaring disrespect to secretariat leadership – this falls on US as host of the UN
  • Countries who you’d think were greatest proponents of engagement f civil society end up blocking participation of relevant civil society groups
  • Some relevant countries’ participation is overlooked, the AU, the PKO hosting countries, etc.
  • The council does have mechanism such as Arria-formula meetings- but they have been used as propaganda shows – we call on our colleagues to use these meetings to provide clarity to council
  • On the issue of the veto – we do not think it applies to working methods – one of the key provisions of the charter – it is clear why undermining the right to veto is being pursued by those states that seek to hold majority in council

  • Germany and France delivering joint statement
  • We favor strengthening relationships between UN organs, HRC and the ICC are critical partners of the SC – we encourage more frequent briefings by High Commissioner of Human Rights as well as RtoP
  • Peacekeeping missions that are part of its mandate – council should interact directly and frequently with those responsible for these missions –as well as PBC in post-conflict
  • We favor closer contact with ICC, with visits of the prosecutor to NY or SC to the Hague
  • We deplore the fact that the council has not been able to fully implement certain resolutions with regard to referral to the ICC
  • In terms of blocking initiatives to address mass atrocities –we have put forward a proposal to restrict use of veto – supported by 80 states

    On behalf of PBC
  • Very timely in light of three reviews of peace and security agenda – which make a strong case for changing the way we do business
  • More coherent action is required - countries with which PBC engages are always in the center of its deliberations
  • We must strengthen the capacity of peacebuilding countries to take ownership
  • PBC is strong advocate for improved cooperation between PBC, SC and regional groups such as African Union
  • The unique composition of PBC membership ensures support of points of view of key stakeholders - we engage with those that are implementing our mandates
  • PBC partnership with regional organization and financial institutions can help address root causes of conflict
  • The report on how to strengthen PBC and relationship with Council should be considered by member states – PBC can provide more timely and strategic advice on peacebuilding operations In national capacity and on behalf of Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway
  • Our ability to unite and find collective solutions demonstrated by funding meeting in Addis Ababa
  • Peace and security leg of UN is limping
  • Council must redouble its efforts in diplomacy and political solutions
  • We need a more effective, representative, and transparent SC
  • Limiting use of veto is a key step in responding effectively to global crisis - we support ACT and Franco-Mexican initiatives – encourage other states to join
  • We need a reformed council where Africa Latin America and Asia are adequately represented
  • More transparency- open debates strengthen legitimacy of decisions
  • Appointment of SG – GA resolution must be fully acted upon, including joint letter from GA & SC presidents, and the inclusion of female candidates
  • We need more comprehensive approach to peace operations and resolution 1325
  • Horizon scanning, Arria-formula meetings and briefings are important
  • Efficiency – holding SC elections 6 months before term is a good step
  • Council can become more effective with political will – and that council members take their roles above their own national interest

  • Coordinator of ACT group – 25 countries aimed at improving security Council independent of SC reform process
  • There is widespread concern about the veto blocking council action – we welcome France political declaration, but we believe all SC members and all states can improve council response to atrocity crimes – Code of Conduct Liechtenstein
  • Estonia and Costa Rica – also played a crucial role in regards to GA revitalization and election of SG – this process should start without delay - first step joint letter of PGA and SC president calling for candidates
  • We support the practice of wrap-up meetings and briefings by non-council members – we regret only 4 wrap-up meetings have taken place this year
  • We also welcome increased open meetings and Arria-formula meetings that include briefings by non-traditional actors and civil society
  • We must have open debate with TCCs and PCCs but this has been unfortunately too limited
  • We support active communication and cooperation with PBC as a forum that can act early and include POVs of relevant stakeholders
  • ACT welcomes Council’s new focus on prevention efforts
  • We welcome intervention of SG on manners that impact international peace and security
  • All reviews of peace operations provide useful recommendations
  • ACT encourages all elected members to seize opportunity and support increased role of elected members of Council
  • ACT welcomes UK and Spain’s involvement in Women, Peace and Security

  • Statement on behalf of France and Germany.
  • Crucial role of UNSG. Support more transparent and inclusive process in selecting SG. Must be guided by GA resolution. Crucial to implement the provisions of the text. Particularly important in regard to the joint letter.
  • Resolution invites member states to consider women candidates for this position. We support this appeal.
  • Support improving transparency by including non-SC members in AF and wrap-up sessions.
  • Encourage future SC members to continue these practices.
  • Working methods cannot replace discussions for comprehensive reform. Call attention to the consensus decision in the GA in the IGN process. Must now focus on negotiating the text.

  • Openness of this debate is constricted by limited speaking time
  • Selection of next SG is one of most important issues. At heart of this issue is the prerogative of the P5. We have pressed for the SC to recommend 2 or more names to the GA. There is no legal impediment for SC to do this. Must also do away with secret straw polls that allow P5 to exercise the veto without taking ownership of it. Discussions should be held in open sessions of the SC. SG should issue reports summarizing the process.
  • We need to mention that the most non-transparent subsidiary body is the 1267 Al-Qaida committee. No info shared as to what criteria for listing and delisting is. We think there is no criteria at all.
  • Article 44 of Charter requires that consultations be held with TCCs before mandates for PKOs are finalized. This has never happened. Look to elected members to change this.
  • Should be transparency in determining speakers in open debates. Priorities should be given to member states not NGOs.
  • Request that on next open debate, discussions be held with non-members on outcome doc.
  • Problems afflicting SC go deeper than working methods. Working methods cannot be a substitute for reforming SC.

Saudi Arabia:
  • We’ve called for reform of SC on several occasions. Need SC capable of assuming its primary role in maintaining peace and security.
  • Reform process started in 1993 when several reports were published on work of SC, emphasizing the complimentary relations between SC, GA and ECOSOC. Despite these efforts, we have failed to reach a comprehensive solution that would enable the SC to perform its basic tasks in an ideal manner.
  • Majority of member states agree there is a basic problem in the work of the SC which affects its credibility and weakens its ability to act – deadlock on Syria, Palestinian issue for example.
  • Appreciate the efforts being made to improve the methods of work, including French Initiative on the veto.
  • Call for serious consideration of all ACT proposals, including Code of Conduct, and increasing transparency in selection of SG.
  • Reform of SC is one of major tasks of international community as we celebrate 70th anniversary of UN.

  • Participation in this debate show interest in moving towards the goal of making SC more transparent and accountable. Hope that new elected members will help to further strengthen this dynamic.
  • Recognize work by ACT group to improve the way UN organs interact.
  • Welcome support of ACT members for French/Mexico initiative on the veto.
  • Hope that complimentary initiative of ACT members will also receive broad support from member states
  • Veto is responsibility not a privilege. If member blocks action to address mass atrocities, acting in violation of UN Charter.
  • SC could take better advantage of advisory role of PBC.
  • Increase interaction with TCCs and PCCs and hold timely consultations with regard to mandates.
  • Flow of information towards non-member states on UNSC work has improved. Thanks to Venezuela for sharing info with GRULAC group.
  • Holding wrap-up sessions has reflected divergence of positions on working methods. Those who hold these sessions strengthen transparency of Council.
  • Welcome resolution on revitalizing GA and process to select next SG. Call on presidents of SG and GA to work together to make sure this resolution is respected.
  • Precise and detailed calendar and holding sessions to get to know the candidates will be very useful and promote transparency.
  • Hope cooperation will prevail in work of revitalization of GA and hope this will be in the IGN as well.
  • Reform of structure of SC is possible, if all parties show political will and commitment to IGN process. Need more representative and transparent SC.

  • SC could improve its coordination with other UN organs.
  • One of the issues that has direct impact on work of SC is related to bringing peace to conflict areas and countries emerging from conflict. PBC and operational entities play a key role in this.
  • Review of PBA has stated that we need to have a better view of how integration will occur and how we can better cooperate.
  • Resolution pertaining to revitalization of work of GA. We played a very active role in this process. Resolution calls for greater transparency, more inclusiveness in elections and in process of electing next SG. We have talked about joint letter from presidents of GA and SC, holding Arria Formulas with candidates. This all means that the larger membership is becoming involved in the process. This is part of our overall goal.
  • Search for candidates for SG position, especially women candidates, is very important to my country. Electing a woman to this post would be an historic opportunity.

  • More transparency and inclusiveness and interaction with candidates should guide process of selection of next SG.
  • We are in favor of presenting women candidates for SG position.
  • Choosing a female as UNSG would constitute a significant step to achieving gender balance in UN system
  • Geographical distribution: in last 70 years the UN secretary general has never been appointed from candidates of the Eastern European group. Regional rotation should be taken into account by Council in its suggestion to GA.
  • Looking forward to joint letter as envisaged in GA resolution. Hope that cooperation between the bodies will set a good example for the future.
  • Comprehensive SC reform not limited to working methods. Look forward to resumption of IGN.
  • Increasing of transparency of Council activities serves not only SC membership, but wider UN membership.
  • Can achieve great improvements in even small adjustments.

    3 issues:
  • Use of veto: prevented this body from complying with Charter responsibilities. Use does not foster unity or collective interest. Convinced we must take concrete action so that SC can prevent and stop mass atrocities. Believe veto could be limited in these cases. Support Code of Conduct. Where SC has failed the most is in implementing its own decisions.
  • Concerned about increase in letters sent to President of the Security Council seeking to justify military action. Need to question whether these communications really fulfill obligation to report immediately as required by the Charter. These are usually sent ex post-facto and as a justification. Questionable legality. These comms do not exempt the Council from maintaining international peace and security.
  • Process of selection of next SG: adoption of GA resolution serves as an example that it is possible to make changes in anachronistic processes in the Organization and remedy past failures. We do regret that no agreement was reached on need for more than 1 candidate or on the term. These issues will be addressed by the Council, but it should be recalled that entire UN membership elects the SG.
  • Must critically examine the process to select the SG.

  • SC must accord great importance to GA and learn from collective wisdom of member states.
  • Closer cooperation between GA, SC and ECOSOC. Should transform ECOSOC into Global Development Council as proposed during the GA High Level debate.
  • Greater number of open meetings increases cooperation. Must be true interaction between member states, not just reading prepared statements.
  • Newly elected members should be allowed to attend Council meetings and subsidiary bodies
  • Slate of candidates for next SG should be shared with GA
  • Rule of law should be abided by all Council members. We proposed a conference to reaffirm the basic principles of international law in 2016
  • Use of veto: need clear definition of guidelines.
  • Sanctions should only be imposed by Council with proper assessment of their impacts and not unilaterally.

  • Note 507 was issued under Japanese presidency in 2010, since then 10 more notes issued, but there has not been enough implementation.
  • Support proposal on participation of chair of PBC and CSC of the PBC, as well as proposals concerning the selection and appointment of SG.
  • Veto issue: initiatives by France and ACT Group on restraining its use in mass atrocities we support.
  • Most open debates I’ve attended (22 times) were just statement after statement with little follow-up. It is rare for members to receive feedback from the Council. Open debates not served their intended purpose.

  • Statement on behalf of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
  • Today’s challenges call for adapting working methods of the Council for effectiveness, inclusivity and transparency
  • Transparency: strengthening relationship between GA & SC, process to select next SG is of particular importance. Joint letter from GA and SC presidents should start the process.
  • Encourage SC to contribute to the transparency of this process through implementation of resolution, including open hearings or Arria Formula meetings with candidates
  • Inclusiveness: Including non-members and TCCs and PCCs would contribute to more effective mandates. Public horizon-scanning by SG would increase SC’s ability to act in preventative manner. High-level reviews require that all UN bodies come together in more coherent way. Better cooperation between SC and PBC would improve this. Would make peace operation mandates reflect a longer view towards sustainable peace.
  • Effectiveness: pressing need for SC to take action in cases of mass atrocities. SC has duty to use its powers to prevent these atrocities. Council impeded by use of veto. In cases of mass atrocities, use of veto inconsistent with purposes and principles of the UN. All current and future Council members should support and implement proposals of France/Mexico and ACT Group.
  • 70th anniversary of UN provides excellent opportunity to reform working methods of Council.
  • As aspiring UNSC member for 2017-18, we are committed to these principles.

  • Sanctions are important tools to maintain peace and security. Council should exercise utmost care in devising targeted sanctions and minimize unintended economic and social consequences. Should use statistical analysis to evaluate the effectiveness.
  • Application of clear criteria for listing and delisting those on sanctions list is important.
  • Annual report should include assessments and suggestions for improvement.
  • No greater threat to Council’s credibility than not being able to respond to mass atrocities. Council must be accountable. Proposal put forward by France & Mexico as well as ACT proposal are commendable. We support both.
  • Council must work with other organs of the UN. This is particularly important during 2016 with election of next SG. Support transparent & inclusive process as outlined in GA resolution.


  • Women, Peace and Security should feature more prominently on the SC agenda
  • SC could make use of informal meetings and briefings
  • Closer attention should be paid to wider security issues
  • Knowledge leads to prevention – information sharing is key
  • Italy is committed to providing additional support to Dept of Political Affairs
  • Framework of Analysis, Rights Up Front initiatives are valuable tools
  • We should not shy away from debating reform of SC in aim of making it a representative and accountable forum for debate
  • Italy has joined FRAMEX (France Mexico Proposal) and ACT Code of Conduct
  • Council should ensure effective follow-up to its referrals to the ICC. SC should have a forum where international criminal issues can be regularly discussed.

  • We firmly support engagement between SC and wider members of UN
  • Should enhance consultations between TCCs and PCCs with Council
  • Partnerships with regional and sub-regional orgs should be strengthened
  • Must improve cooperation between UNSC, GA and ECOSOC, PBC.
  • Most important joint task for SC and GA: appointment of new SG. Must be a transparent and merit-based process. GA resolution addresses some of imperfections of process. Must implement the resolution. Urges joint letter from GA & SC presidents.

  • Member of ACT Group, aligns with Swiss statement.
  • My statement will address selection of SG, and is endorsed by ACT.
  • We believe in the positive impact of having a SC that favours open and inclusive processes
  • We’ve seen many resolutions passed and not implemented on this process. First step is a joint letter from GA & SC presidents. Hope to receive this letter in the coming weeks.
  • PGA has received strong mandate from GA resolution. Look to Council to do its part. Pleased to hear about informal discussion under New Zealand presidency in July.
  • Should be concrete criteria for selection of SG. Would like to make sure that all member states and international community have opportunity to hear from candidates and interact with them
  • After 70 years of UN, we are of opinion that preference should be given to equally-qualified female candidate for next SG and there should be discussion on the option of a single non-renewable term


  • Article 24 of the Charter makes clear that SC members must act on behalf of whole UN
  • Atrocity Prevention: proposals calling for restraint on veto and negative votes in situations of mass atrocities are fundamental working method reforms which should be supported
  • Conflict prevention: The Council should do better. SC should draw more regularly on PBC advice and make better use of early warning mechanisms. The SG must be able to bring attention to threats
  • Procedural decisions – where consensus cannot be reached, the SC should not be prevented from acting
  • Onus is on Council to issue joint letter with PGA to start process for selection of SG.


  • There should be more meaningful conversation between SC states and non-Council members
  • The council should give more focus to chapters 6 and 8 of the Charter
  • There should be strengthened mechanisms for consulting regional and sub regional orgs
  • We must realize a democratic and effective Council which reflects the plurality of all peoples
  • Great importance on GA resolution on GA revitalization, especially on closer collaboration between SC and GA on selection of next Secretary-General.
  • Too often Council has failed to take action on mass atrocity situations. We are for abolishing the veto. Given realities, we welcome any steps to restrict use of veto. Must ensure veto will not impede cause of humanity and justice.


  • We are a member of ACT – we align with Swiss statement.
  • People of the world expect this Council to protect them from genocide, crimes against humanity. Too often SC has failed to live up to these expectations. For this reason that ACT has come together to agree an code of conduct.
  • By committing to code, states pledge that while serving on SC they will support action to end atrocity crimes and not to vote against a credible draft resolution to that end
  • 83 states from all regions have already signed on including 7 members of the current council
  • The code of conduct will be launched 23rd October. Urge all states that have not done so to join in the next few days.
  • Code of Conduct is an important commitment which represents a minimum standard we expect any Council member to live up to.

Holy See
  • Need for genuine equity in influence of Member States in SC
  • There must be greater interactivity. There must be real open debates to take into account views of wider actors. Such views can bring greater legitimacy to the council
  • The GA and SC must maintain a transparent relationship
  • Double standards are underlying causes of feelings of victimisation that turn into hatred and violence
  • We must discern a clear and effective criteria of R2P
  • The R2P all peoples from mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing is widely recognised and yet it is not easy to carry out because of prevailing geopolitical interests, as well as continued principle of non-interference
  • We strongly support any step toward achieving a more concrete and effective application of R2P


  • We speak on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM)
  • Transparency, openness and consistency should be observed at all times
  • There is a reluctance in convening open debates of the SC
  • There is discrimination between members and non-members of the SC
  • The “provisional rules” of the SC that have been in place for 70 years should be formalized
  • The number of public meetings should be increased under articles 31 and 32 of the UN charter
  • There should be real opportunities to take account of views of wider members of the UN, specifically the non-Security Council members
  • Closed meetings of the SC should be kept to a minimum and should be seen as an exception, not the rule, as they were meant to be
  • There should be an establishment of subsidiary organs of the SC done in the spirit of the UN charter
  • NAM rejects the use of the SC to pursue national and political interests and agendas. This only serves to aggravate situations.
  • SC must remain strictly within confines accorded to it by the Charter
  • In certain situations the SC has been too quick to act, and too slow in others
  • There has been too much use of chapter 7 to situations which don't necessarily pose threat to international peace and security
  • Instead of excessive and quick use of chapter 7 actions, more attention should be paid to chapter 6 and chapter 8 means. Chapter 7 must be last resort. Article 41 should only be used when other options have been exhausted
  • NAM expresses support for efforts for strengthening role of GA in SG election


  • We align ourselves with the statement by Iran
  • Effectiveness of the SC – to improve accountability, we must address the elephant in the room: too often in past the veto has been used to avoid action to counter genocide, atrocity crimes
  • States must refrain from using right to veto to block council action aimed at preventing crimes against humanity, genocide etc.
  • If they HAVE to veto, the state must at least EXPLAIN why they cannot support an action aimed at ending mass atrocities
  • We support ACT Code of Conduct
  • We also support France/Mexican proposal for permanent members to refrain from veto use in mass atrocity situations
  • Accountability – SC has been operating on provisional rules of procedure for decades; given the importance of SC this is not ideal
  • It is time the Security Council adapts its rules of procedure in order to enhance its credibility with the wider membership of the UN
  • Inclusiveness – the SC should engage member states in a virtuous cycle of dialogue and effective decision making

  • Endorse ACT statement, Liechtenstein on Code of Conduct, and Estonia on selection of next SG.
  • Peacekeeping operations are a fundamental tool for maintenance of peace and security.
  • We are invested in success and implementation of all high-level review processes.
  • Issue of consultations with TCCs and PCCs continues to be one of priority importance. Early consultations in creation of mandates is necessary.
  • We don’t need new instruments, just to implement the ones we already have. There are resolutions and PRSTs on early consultations and exchange of information. Room to improve these tools – early access for TCC/PCCs to SG reports, for example.
  • The working group on peacekeeping operations is fundamental element to improve interaction between SC and TCCs and Secretariat.

Sierra Leone
  • We must establish rules of procedure for the Council.
  • Changes to working methods won’t change fundamental need for expansion of the Council in both permanent and non-permanent membership. Africa and other regions are under and un-represented in both categories.
  • SC and GA must work better together as was intended. The relationship between SC and GA remains one of paramount importance
  • SC has underscored the linkage between peace & security and development – must remain focused on this.
  • Maintaining the balance between SC and GA is highly necessary for the UN to meet future and existing threats and for implementation of Agenda 2030
  • The role of the GA needs to be enhanced and strengthened in order for it to fulfill its role as the most representative organ of the UN
  • Sustained cooperation between the SC and regional organisations will yield immense benefits – commend cooperation between AU PSC and SC.
  • We are concerned at the inconsistency of SC decisions by demonstrated selectivity in addressing issues that are of concern to regional organizations.
  • Committed to working with others to achieve comprehensive reform, but as a package, not as separate silos.

  • We are an ACT group member, associate ourselves with statement of Switzerland.
  • Open SC debates such as this can be useful to listen to views of wider members of the UN
  • We have to make open debates more efficient. We should be able to do it in a single morning session.
  • PBC and ECOSOC can bring a complementary perspective to the SC
  • Glad to see UK will convene discussion on peace/development link in November. Encourage Council to include ECOSOC as briefers where appropriate.
  • Conflict prevention – we propose that the SC thinks about how to better use subsidiary bodies to this end, including existing workings groups – such as those on overall development agenda

  • Only be increasing number of elected members can the issues really be addressed.
  • Use of the veto is one of the most pressing issues to address. We welcome the French/Mexican initiative and ACT Group aiming at limiting use of negative vote in cases of mass atrocities.
  • We support both initiatives, but we think the Code of Conduct will not be meaningful unless the permanent members embrace it
  • Interaction of SC and GA also critical, especially concerning the selection process for the next SG. We are witnessing a thorough discussion including Member States and civil society. Recent GA resolution includes landmark decisions, but not deadline and multiple candidates so it still falls short.


  • We have long advocated that the SC should be more transparent
  • Any country that is under examination by the SC should be invited to the discussion pertaining to their country
  • SC should spend more time on prevention – we welcome greater emphasis on politics and preventive diplomacy
  • We welcome France/Mexican proposal on the veto.
  • ACT Code of Conduct can be seen as a constructive contribution – should not lie just with permanent members
  • There should be greater emphasis in the Code of Conduct that military use is an act of last resort
  • Many civil society actors interested in the selection of the next Secretary –General: 1 for 7 billion campaign, the Elders. There must be more transparency in election of next SG
  • There must be a more active role of GA in nominating SG
  • ESOSOC and PBC should be more involved in SC discussions, when PBC can formally meet SC members
  • P5, given their years of experience in the SC, have a significant edge in mastering the legal intricacies of the SC
  • There are examples of non-permanent SC members taking the lead; this should be encouraged and happen more often
  • For example Resolution 2139 on humanitarian access in Syria was conducted by non-permanent members
  • Also Resolution 1325 was originally an initiative from Namibia, a non-permanent member

  • We should hold more open meetings of the Council. Currently open meetings are the exception and not the rule, which prevents non-member states from having any meaningful effect on Council
  • Participation of non-permanent members should be on an equal footing with permanent members
  • Annual report of Council should include suggestions and analysis, not just facts and statistics.
  • Express our firm desire for selection of next SG should be transparent and inclusive where GA and SC act in coordinated manner.
  • Council has incorporated suggestions of non-member states in the past. We ask that the conclusions of this debate should be taken up by the members of the SC.

Costa Rica
  • Agree on need of increasing communication between Council and other bodies, including ICC and ICJ, as well as regional and sub-regional organizations.
  • Importance of the role of the SG: good offices, Rights Up Front. Election of next SG is golden opportunity to increase equality and transparency of this process and strengthen relationship between GA and SC. Decision is one for entire UN. Should take advantage of momentum around adoption of GA resolution on revitalization. Should begin process for SG selection as soon as possible. Urgent that this begin with dispatch of joint letter from Presidents of GA and SC. We hope that it will be a woman.
  • Glad that for the first time in history we will have opportunity to know the names of the candidates and interact with them. We will work to ensure that there is more than 1 name presented to GA.
  • Why are the rules of procedure for the SC still provisional?
  • UNSC at critical junction for working methods in general. Can choose to renew collaborative energy and consolidate for new challenges or close ranks around its own prerogatives.


  • Transparency and ethics should be indisputable guidelines for all bodies of UN without exception
  • Since ’46 world has been subject to diverse changes, dynamics of this organization have no necessarily responded to demands by international agenda
  • Process of reforming UNSC for 97.4% of this community
  • Not just geopolitical needs that should be represented, today’s UN especially UNSC must respond to historic moments and current membership to sustain and encourage debate and to make itself a decision body representative of 193 member states
  • Essential functions of UNSC: maintenance of international security still current but it’s beyond doubt that UNSC must be more representative, effective, transparent, and accountable to international community
  • Stresses importance of various initiatives like those on the veto, expressed previously Liechtenstein and ACT group with Code of Conduct should be a more democratic council; also support France/Mex initiative

Czech Republic

  • Open debates with outcome pre-agreed beforehand do not add insight to interactive nature of such debates nor does it give member states outside UNSC feeling that their views matter, these deficiencies should be remedied
  • Considers question of SG to be one of most important parts of process, currently outdated. Fully supports more transparent form of election as expressed in GA resolution– notes this goes in the right direction. Especially welcomes idea that candidates should introduce and present themselves at GA.
  • Appreciates efforts to improve/intensify UNSC with other UN bodies with Peace Building Commission and especially Economic Social Council (ECOSOC)


  • Embraces Switzerland’s statement, ACT group
  • Urgent need to reform working methods of UNSC with aim of increasing legitimacy, transparency, multilateral relations, and the efficiency and effectiveness of its work
  • 3 ideas by some speakers show meeting of minds:
  • 1) transparency: hold more public meetings which are substantive and held at the appropriate time. Also programming open debates for nonmembers to express opinions
  • 2) democratization of UNSC: my country has always called for elimination of right to veto (support all efforts to restrict it) – without genuine reform to working methods as they pertain to veto – important that R2P may be diluted. Supports France/Mexico initiative, and calls upon other permanent members of UNSC to support initiative, in framework of ACT’s Code of Conduct
  • 3) to promote greater participation fundamental to consolidate UNSC consultations with troop contributing countries and PKO the growing complexity of their mandates and challenges requires ever greater coordination and exchange of info. TCC’s need to be taken into account when mandates renewed or designed.
  • Importance of moving from conflict management to conflict prevention approach – early warning system can prevent conflicts and fully meet primary objective of organization which is to protect future generations


  • Transparency and inclusivity important, nonmembers have high stakes in UNSC decisions. Open dialogue important for improvements
  • Ways to find more robust partnerships between contributing countries, GA, and SG
  • TCC’s must be consulted before PKO formulated (command, control, coordination) – consultations will help adapt PKO to on-the-ground realities
  • More public briefings, substantive reports by UNSC, more meaningful interaction between UNSC and GA are all needed
  • Taking up proposals by PGA a good beginning
  • Appointment of SG – opaqueness of approach is not good for UN as whole nor UNSC
  • Inextricable link between nature of membership of UNSC and need to make it more open/transparent translates to accountability


  • Support statement made by Iran on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement
  • General reform of UNSC to make it a transparent organ in sync with developments experienced by UN and international relations is an outstanding issue
  • Changes to UNSC working methods essential, changes up until now merely informal and don’t guarantee genuine participation
  • Fundamental agreements on sensitive/highly relevant issues continue to be taken only by permanent members by UNSC and on occasion not even all of them, others have limited influence and majority face dilemma of accepting/not final product presented to them without possibility to participate with interests. Public debate ideal channel to do so.
  • Need immediate action, remove secrecy from UNSC and exclusion of great majority of UN in its decisions/work

  • Important that countries not on SC have access and a say
  • Preventative diplomacy must be staple in UNSC work
  • Positive changes: holding more regular/timely meetings throughout life cycle for success of missions, contributing countries must have stronger voice in decision making
  • Direct linkage between ensuring efficiency and commitment of members – purposes and principles of Charter.
  • Area of concern for us is use of veto: instrument has long outlived its utility, detrimental on UNSC performance. Welcomes French/Mexican initiative and Code of Conduct by ACT, encourages all UNSC give due consideration to these. Further steps to restrain of veto in cases of aggression against UNSC member. Being realist, veto will remain with us for foreseeable future – proposes that veto must be explained in particular with consistency to UN Charter, urgent need to ensure article 27 of UN Charter which obliges party to abstain from voting.
  • Reducing length of debate: in future, Ukraine as a UNSC member will strive to enhance openness and transparency to ensure efficiency and credibility of the SC, which has been undermined recently


  • Working methods: put great importance on following debates:1) due process in sanctions committees – listing/delisting individuals – 2) referrals made by UNSC to ICC. Council regularly receives reports from prosecutor of ICC with regards to its own resolutions but doesn’t take action – both issues affect credibility of Council if not dealt with
  • Can’t fail to mention 2017 fundamentally important for election of SG – calls upon all delegations to work together to make genuine election –welcomes 11th Sept 2015 resolution to strengthen transparency of process/step forward
  • Calls upon UNSC for more than one candidate to be recommended to the GA for its consideration--with at least one that’s a woman. Election must begin with joint note by UNSC and GA Presidents.


  • Private consultations should be kept to a minimum
  • Cooperation between sub regional and regional organizations is crucial
  • States under mediation/office cooperation given ample opportunity to interact with UNSC
  • Article 99: SG importance means at hand, inclusiveness benefit international community. Preventative policies imperative
  • Recommendations of GA relating to international peace and security should be taken in by UNSC
  • ECOSOC issues should not be shifted to UNSC
  • Enhanced cooperation of UNSC/GA reports needed, more analytic detailed and more profound
  • Working methods of UNSC – integral part of reform process and affirm African Common Position in consensus

South Africa

  • Pleased on concept note on Spanish delegation to overhaul length of debates
  • A/Res/69/321 calls on UNSC to coordinate closer with president of GA and start process for selection of SG ASAP, accompanied by list of criteria by states for management positions in UN
  • Membership should be given updates in developments in names of candidates, states should be able to formally engage with candidates in debates in GA
  • Fully supports call for more than 1 name for appointment given, also next SG to be for just 1 term of 7 years
  • African Union Peace Council Resolution 2033 of 2012 calls on council to elaborate further more effective consultative meetings/consolations/collaborate on missions as appropriate
  • South Sudan: some members of UNSC were ready to impose sanctions despite AU being in control, appreciate those members who heeded the AU
  • Restriction of veto – agrees to discussion on use of veto, fundamental question remains composition and reform of UNSC, reiterates that improving working methods small step in making more effective, only way to improve efficiency substantive reform to make it rep of geopolitical realities of centuries, 70th year still excludes vast geographical areas in its composition.
  • Wants 2 permanent, 5 non-permanent UNSC African seats.
  • Like 2/3 of membership, call for abolition of veto however if this doesn’t happen new permanent members should not be at disadvantage and should have all/rights including veto


  • Time for UN to take a leaf out of Nepal’s constitution (newest) on gender balance-- either speaker or deputy speaker of lower house of parliament and chair/vice chair in upper house must be women – president and vice president cannot be of the same gender
  • Convinced UNSC must rise to challenge with accountability, to emerge from opacity to credibility and transparency


  • Peace building in ECOSOC partners of UNSC should actively participate in meetings, today’s debate opportunity on how to improve working methods to reflect current world’s reality
  • Improvements: 2005 world summit in efficiency – hope that council will make tangible progress S/2014/268, reform would allow council members affected by conflict would allow them to share their thoughts
  • Selection of SG should reflect inclusiveness transparency, welcomes notion by consensus 69/321 revitalization of GA – full implementation supported
  • Presidents of GA/UNSC and conduct of dialogues with meetings for position of SG are worth mentioning
  • Use of veto – Rwanda believes need to reform right as proposed by ACT but also France/Mexico. Failure in past, permanent members should refrain from veto in cases of mass atrocity and genocide. Calls on P5 that decisions be guided by sustainable solutions over geopolitical interests
  • Regional/sub regional orgs – added value if Council keeps communication with these especially with countries on agenda on council especially with peacebuilding
  • Should strive for the UNSC to go from a culture of daily management of crisis à culture of daily prevention of conflict
  • Hope that UNSC would consider annual report by introducing part on its own effectiveness /better, faster while maintaining int’l peace and security itself
  • Working methods focus on inclusiveness fairness transparency

  • Working methods is one of most important reforms of UNSC
  • Accelerating challenges experienced by international community boosts need for UNSC to be more capable and effective in climate which is more representative, neutral
  • Minimize closed meetings. Informal consultations should be the exception rather than rule
  • Decisions/statements of UNSC and consultations on questions of concern article 31, Arab group calls on subsidiary organs of UN to report adequately on activities to UNSC, underscores need to limit itself under its mandate
  • Sees importance of reforming UNSC from comprehensive perspective


  • Appreciates work of some states to take over presidency to organize briefing to which all member states are invited and all matters on monthly agenda reviewed in transparent and objectivity
  • Briefings: despite increase in open/public meetings, majority of council meetings are closed consultations inclusive of its members only, transparency and objectivity necessitate them to be more open
  • Looking forward to outcomes and recommendations of Group in accordance with annual report presented by UNSC to GA so that all states able to participate in recommendations
  • On invocation of Chapter 7 of Charter– quotes soundbite: “A very sharp instrument entrusted to UNSC by UN and chapter 7 of charter, UNSC must be careful that this instrument not blunted, “. This is still a valid statement and more relevant today


  • Formal consultations closed door should be the exception, not normal status quo
  • Crucial to improve dialogue between UN bodies like GA and UNSC, will enhance both entities and avoid overlap. On other hand, adoption of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development = new impetus for ECOSOC/UNSC
  • Support ACT initiative
  • Support intergovernmental negotiations on UNSC reform

Republic of Korea
  • Improving working methods important issue for membership as a whole. During our time on UNSC, have undertaken utmost effort to promote transparency within wide UN membership
  • Maintain involvement in issues in maintenance of international peace and security through various formats made available – informal interactive dialogues, open briefings by special representatives/advisers, urges UNSC to make such occasions available as much as possible
  • UNSC cooperation and interaction with other UN bodies very much desired, especially GA and PBC
  • Committed to implementing High Level Independent Panel on Peace Ops, call for UNSC in early engagement in conflict situations and more in-depth dialogue with Secretariat and troop contributors
  • Will host series of conferences on ways to implement ways in Seoul
  • Issue of selection of SG – welcomes GA resolution on revitalization of work of GA adopted Sept 11 2015 – of the view that selection process of SG should be more participatory /transparent (paragraph 29+30) important topic for general membership has begun hopefully will lead to convergence of views improve way we select one of most prominent positions
  • Long supported that working methods of UNSC must be improved with view to enhance transparency, accountability, legitimacy, and efficiency -- view this important matter within broader context of UNSC reform – appreciates all efforts made thus far by various delegations and stands ready to walk with others to formulate solutions that can garner support/understanding of wider membership

Abbreviation Guide:

  • ACT = Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (group)
  • AOB = Any Other Business
  • AU = African Union
  • CSCs = Country-specific Configurations
  • ECOSOC = Economic and Social Council
  • GA = General Assembly
  • HIPPO = High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations
  • ICC = International Criminal Court
  • ICJ = International Court of Justice
  • NAM = Non-Aligned Movement
  • PBA = Peacebuilding Architecture
  • PBC = Peacebuilding Commission
  • PCCs = Police Contributing Countries
  • PGA = President of the General Assembly
  • PKO = Peacekeeping Operations
  • SC = Security Council
  • SDGs = Sustainable Development Goals
  • SG = Secretary General
  • TCCs = Troop Contributing Countries
  • UNSC = United Nations Security Council