Statement by the Federal Republic of Germany on the Open Debate on “Security Council Working Methods”

05.09.2023 - Speech

Statement delivered by Michael Geisler, Political Coordinator.

Mister President, distinguished co-chairs,

Germany welcomes Albania’s initiative to discuss the working methods of the Security Council.

Mister President,

The transparency, efficiency and accountability of the Security Council`s working methods are not a question of style, they are a question of substance.

We have always believed that the Security Council must undergo a profound reform to fulfill its mandate in a rapidly changing world: this entails the Council´s composition as well as how the council is conducting business. The reform of the Security Council has become even more urgent since the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which is not only a blatant breach of the UN Charter, but also a refusal of a permanent member to fulfil its obligations to ensure the effective functioning of the Council.

Simply put, the question is whether the Security Council can fulfil its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. We need a Security Council that facilitates constructive debate, and is able to take the necessary and bold decisions to address the issues we are currently facing.

Please allow me to make four points in this regard:

First: Time and again, non-members of the Council are directly affected by situations that are discussed in this Council. These member states have a legitimate interest in making their voice heard. Therefore, Security Council Presidencies should – to the greatest extent possible – give these countries the possibility to participate in discussions in accordance with rule 37 of the SC’s Council’s provisional rules of procedure.

Second: The Council has increasingly coordinated with and sought the advice of other UN organs. We welcome the increase in written advices of the Peacebuilding Commission as well as briefings by its Chair to the Council. We see a major improvement in quality and relevance of the advice provided under the guidance of Kenia and now Brazil. We should foster an even stronger focus of the PBC´s advice on matters pertaining to conflict prevention as well as transition planning during or in the immediate aftermath of UN Peacekeeping Missions.

Third: We continue to be very supportive of having civil society briefers in the council as they contribute most valuable insight. But it is also our task to protect them. Pressure and intimidation of civil society representatives who brief this council are inexcusable and simply unacceptable.

We urge the Council and its members to actively promote the meaningful participation of civil society briefers to the Council, women civil society briefers in particular, and, at the same time, their active protection.

​​​​​​​Fourth: Germany supports all initiatives to limit the use of the veto.

I thank you.

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