Volkan Bozkir highlighted that in its 75th year, the UN is more crucial than ever, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that the @UN, including #UNSC, is fit for purpose & reflects the realities of the 21st century. The effectiveness of the UN and all its bodies is important not only to individual Member States but for the reputation of the UN as a whole. pic.twitter.com/GbpD3JnVT7
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) January 25, 2021
“That, of course, includes the work of the Security Council, a main organ of the UN, with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, a central mission of the United Nations,” he said.
“It is more crucial than ever that our efforts are efficient and effective and that the United Nations, including the Security Council, is fit for purpose, so we can best deliver for those we serve,” Mr. Bozkir noted, adding that it is also vital for the Organization’s reputation.
Mr. Bozkir was speaking at an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly on intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform. Due to COVID-19 mitigation measures, only a limited number of delegates attended the meeting in person at the General Assembly Hall. Others joined via video links.
‘21st century realities’
In his remarks, the President of the General Assembly also said that it is crucial that any reforms to the Security Council reflect the realities of the 21st century.
“The implementation of the Council’s decisions, and its very legitimacy, could be enhanced if the Council was reformed to be more representative, effective, efficient, accountable and transparent,” he said.
“Discussions among Member States on how to take into account the principles of democracy and representation in pursuing the objective of a more democratic Security Council are essential,” Mr. Bozkir added.
He also recalled the five clusters identified in the General Assembly decision 62/557 regarding reforms. The clusters include: categories of membership; the question of the veto; regional representation; size of an enlarged Security Council and its working methods; and relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council.
The Security Council is comprised of 15 members: five permanent, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and ten non-permanent, elected for two-year terms. The five permanent members wield the “veto power”, the ability to block the passing of a Security Council resolution, even if a majority of the members support its adoption.
‘Most appropriate platform’
Noting also that the framework of the intergovernmental negotiations offered the most appropriate platform to pursue reform, he urged all delegations to engage constructively.
“The success of these negotiations and of any reforms of course depends on you, Member States. It is your contributions, through negotiations and other discussions, that ultimately can lead the way towards meaningful reform of the Council,” he added.
“I ask all delegations to utilize the opportunity, that this [intergovernmental negotiations] session provides to engage constructively. We must give this process a chance,” Mr. Bozkir said.