Statement by Germany in the Debate of the UN General Assembly on Security Council Reform, November 17, 2022.

17.11.2022 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse

I fully align myself with the statement delivered by India on behalf of the “Group of Four.” Allow me to add a few words in my national capacity.

Since last year’s debate on the same issue, we have seen a number of pertinent developments:

In February, a permanent member of the Council started a war of aggression against a neighboring state, blatantly violating the UN Charter and subsequently vetoing Council resolutions on its own actions.

In April, the General Assembly unanimously gave itself a standing mandate to hold a debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council.

In September, high-ranking representatives of more than 70 member states – including permanent members of the Council – spoke out in favor of Security Council reform.

In our view, this shows two things: Firstly, reform of the Security Council is indeed more needed than ever. Secondly, general awareness of this fact has been on the rise.

Of course, this does not imply that all UN member states agree with this assessment. And by no means does it imply that there is broad agreement on how a Security Council reform should look like.

But that is not the issue. The point is that there is a body tasked with negotiating this topic, but that it has been unable to live up to its name Intergovernmental Negotiations – not the least because it is bound by rules that go beyond those of the General Assembly. The issue is that even the start of standard negotiations - as done on a daily basis in the GA – is constantly blocked. The issue is that we might need to reshape that mold – or, if that is impossible, break out of it. We must finally get ahead now. Because, at its core, the deteriorating credibility and legitimacy of the Council – and, as it represents a central pillar of the UN, of the UN at large – are at stake.

As our current world is in constant crisis mode, we need more than ever a well-functioning body acting on questions of peace and security at the core of the UN. A body that reflects in its representation and in its working methods the world of today. I would therefore call upon all reform-minded actors to reach across the lines on a common cause.

Mr. President,

We have full confidence that your able leadership and guidance by our highly capable and experienced co-facilitators will contribute towards tangible progress. And I thank the opportunity to thank the previous co-facilitators. I would like to assure you of Germany’s firm support.

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