Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council [item 121], Statement of G4, 16 November 2023

16.11.2023 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse.

Mr. President, thank you very much for convening this important debate and at the onset: Let me congratulate the newly reappointed Co-Chairs of the IGN process. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the “Group of Four” – Brazil, India, Japan and my own country, Germany.

The urgency of reform cannot be overstated. The current composition of the Security Council fails to reflect the contemporary geopolitical realities. It lacks the necessary representation, including permanent representation from Africa as well as Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, it does not provide the effectiveness to address the challenges we face. It is no surprise, that, time and again, we have witnessed the Security Council unable to live up to expectations in addressing some of the most serious threats to international peace and security in a timely and effective manner.

Everyone's awareness regarding this issue has grown significantly. During this year's General Debate of the General Assembly, over 80 high-level representatives underscored the immediate necessity of Security Council reform.

Many regions remain underrepresented and even unrepresented, including Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. They have called for a comprehensive reform of the Council, including the expansion in both permanent and non-permanent membership categories. This element is – as you know - also one of the main pillars of the G4 proposal for reform.

Regrettably, we have made no progress in advancing text-based negotiations in the past cycles of the Intergovernmental Negotiations.

We appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the current Co-Chairs to make the IGN more transparent and accountable, for example by establishing an online repository and ensuring webcasting of the IGN. They can facilitate, which is a step in the right direction, but they will not, by themselves, ensure substantive progress.

We therefore strongly urge all member states to engage seriously and constructively in the structured dialogue on the various models, as suggested by the Co-Chairs. This will deepen our understanding of each other’s positions and help to identify common ground or largest possible denominator, which we cannot know by simply repeating the well-known fixed position of each Member State. Our goal remains the start of text-based negotiations at the earliest opportunity.

The future of the United Nations hinges on our ability to adapt and remain relevant. That implies the ability of one decisive organ to reflect the world of today.

I wish to emphasize that the upcoming Summit of the Future is an opportunity to achieve – inter alia - concrete results on the issue of Security Council reform. Let us seize this opportunity and use the next cycle of the IGN to craft precise language for inclusion into the Pact of the Future.

These days, we are faced with a proliferation of crises that dramatically impact international peace and security. More than ever, we need a representative and well-functioning Security Council to fulfill its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. And to make progress towards that goal is our responsibility.

Mr. President, we have full confidence in your capable leadership and in the guidance of our experienced co-chairs. Together, we can make tangible progress towards a more representative Security Council.

I thank you for your attention.

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