Dictate

Statement on the Working methods of the Security Council

Joint statement on behalf of the 10 Elected Members of the Security Council delivered by Permanent Representative of Mozambique Pedro Comissário Afonso

Thank you, Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the ten elected members of the Security Council. We thank the briefers for their valuable inputs on improving the working methods of the Security Council.

We congratulate Japan for assuming the chairmanship of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions for the year 2024 and we wish you every success in your endeavours in this capacity.

We elected members are committed to a Council that demonstrates both the determination and capability to take action. The Council must fulfil its mandate effectively, especially in these demanding and difficult times. We, as E10, are dedicated to collaborating towards a more transparent, inclusive and representative Council. This effort is crucial not only in advancing international peace and security but also in demonstrating the relevance and efficacity of the Council in today’s global landscape and restoring its confidence and credibility.

We, therefore, commend and thank Japan for the initiative to update Note 507 and we hope that this can be done collectively in a practical manner. We reiterate that this living document requires continuous review to make it fit for purpose. In this regard, drafting new Notes by the President in response to contemporary needs remains crucial for the Council’s effectiveness. At the same time, it is equally important that the Council should continue to update and streamline those that no longer accord with the current reality, focusing on the efficient implementation of the existing rules and practices.

As reported by the IWG Chair, we have seen some progress in the working methods in recent years. In particular, the adoption of the Note of the President on penholdership (S/2023/945) initiated by the E-10, demonstrated the will of the Council Members to ensure the meaningful and effective participation of elected members, in the drafting of outcome documents of the body.  The Note encourages shared responsibility and fair burden sharing, and recognizes the value added by elected members. We welcome incorporating this Note into an updated Note 507 and stress its implementation.

We reaffirm PRST/2021/23 and reiterate that the Council should strengthen its engagement with the wider UN membership, as well as cooperation and interaction with the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Human Rights Council and other UN bodies, notably the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), as noted in paragraph 93 to 95 of Note 507. That also means more opportunities for all Member States, on behalf of whom the Security Council acts in accordance with article 24.1 of the Charter, to interact with the Council.

The Council should actively seek the valuable advice that the PBC can provide including on preventive diplomacy and cooperation with local actors, regional and sub-regional organizations, in country-specific, regional, and thematic files. The PBC is uniquely placed to enrich the discussion on mandates and to provide valuable advice and cross-cutting perspectives. Some good practices are worth being codified in relevant paragraphs. This may include the practice where a Security Council member serves concurrently in the Commission as an informal coordinator, and engages with Council Presidencies on how the Commission can best support the Council’s work, including by improving and utilizing the PBC’s advice to the Council.  It also may include the potential for cooperation on field missions.

Security Council missions to the field are a valuable tool for the Council to understand, assess, and prevent the escalation of particular conflicts or situations, as stipulated in paragraph 119 of Note 507.

We commit to and call on all Council Presidencies to circulate and implement monthly working methods commitments, as stipulated in the Presidential Note (S/2021/647). We welcome the continuation of this practice and for this Note to be incorporated into the updated Note 507 to ensure its implementation.

Following a good practice of introducing the live list of speakers for open debates as requested by the E10 and initiated by Mozambique as then President, the E10 encourages the consideration of utilizing a live list of co-sponsorship with an increased visibility to enhance transparency. Both tools should be easily accessible.

The Council needs to strike a healthy balance between public and private meetings, to both enhance the transparency and visibility of the Council’s work and encourage candid exchange and interactivity of discussions with a view to consensus building. To this end, we support efforts to agree on elements to be communicated by the Presidency after closed consultations, as encouraged in paragraph 54 of the Note 507, as well as any proposal to facilitate more interactive discussion in a closed format.

We value Arria-formula meetings, as a means for building trust by engaging informally with diverse actors, including civil society representatives and the broader membership as noted in paragraph 98 of the Note 507. In principle and in practice, their livestreaming on UNWeb TV should not face objections when requested by the organizers.

We also believe that the transparency and accountability of the Council should be enhanced regarding the documentation addressed to it by UN Member States. The provision and accessibility of information and Council documentation, including from previous years, to elected members needs to improve.

The full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in the work of this Council remains a priority. We insist on the need for integrating gender perspectives across the working methods. The shared WPS commitments supported by a majority of its members demonstrate important progress, and we encourage sustained efforts to implement them. We also encourage UN briefers to consistently integrate WPS issues and gender analysis into their briefings when reporting to the Council. All efforts should be undertaken to increase gender-inclusivity. In this regard, we note that current realities aren’t always reflected in the Council’s basic documents.

We strongly believe that the perspectives of Civil Society, including women civil society briefers, bring added value to Council deliberations, while fully respecting the intergovernmental nature of the Council. For the safety of civil society briefers, all efforts should be made to prevent and respond to threats and reprisals in coordination with OHCHR and other relevant UN and civil society partners. To that end, the E10 encourages further discussion including on how to promote best practices on the promotion of a zero-tolerance approach.

Targeted sanctions by the Council are an important tool to address threats to international peace and security. They are therefore critical to the execution of the mandate of this Council. We underscore the importance of accountability and transparency in the work of subsidiary organs. These working methods should align with international due process standards and should be continually improved.

We strongly believe in the need to strengthen the fairness and clarity of UN sanctions procedures, thus increasing the effectiveness of UN sanctions regimes. Listing and delisting individuals and entities under UN sanctions regimes should be objective and evidence-based.   We acknowledge the contribution of the Office of the Ombudsperson in providing an independent review mechanism for delisting requests in the 1267 Da’esh and Al-Qaida sanctions regime, and stress the need to continue efforts to improve its work. The E10 would like to reiterate its belief that the establishment and improvement of independent review mechanisms would strengthen the rule of law in UN sanctions regimes, taking into account the unique context of sanctions.

Panels of Experts can provide valuable reporting on the implementation, evasion, and circumvention of UN Sanctions. The Council should work to make sure that Panel of Experts have full and safe access for their important investigations and are not restricted in the achievement of their mandate.

As conflicts evolve, so too should our collective responses. The Council should take into account the efficacy of sanctions through these evolving phases of conflicts and adjust them accordingly. It should also emphasize that sanctions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for civilian populations nor adversely affect humanitarian activities carried out by humanitarian organizations. In this regard, we recall the adoption of Resolution 2664 (2022) which introduced cross cutting humanitarian exemptions for United Nations sanctions regimes, and underline the need for its implementation at the national level and the importance of its continued application to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regime.

We further note the importance of the role of sanctions committees in the effective implementation of resolution 2664 in assisting Member States in their understanding of the resolution and in monitoring implementation.

On the appointment by the Secretary General of his special representatives, we stress the need for more transparent consultations with each E-10 member on an individual basis to allow enough time for our due consideration. We also encourage a stronger commitment to ensure gender parity in appointments for these positions.

The E10 members underscore the critical and urgent need for comprehensive Security Council reform so that the Council can better reflect equitable geographical representation and contemporary realities. While the Council needs to be more effective, representative, legitimate, transparent, accountable, and democratic, it continues to lack a truly representative composition.

E10 underlines the continued need to foster interaction between the Security Council and the General Assembly, in accordance with their respective mandates, and the necessity for greater access by Member States to practical information and institutional memory. Improving the working methods of the Council is a prerequisite for a more effective Council. Working methods are also one of the clusters of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Security Council Reform (IGN). Taking note that the IWG handles the working methods of the current Council and the IGN discusses the working methods of a reformed Council, we welcome increased communication between the IGN Co-Chairs and the Chair of the IWG. We also welcome the General Assembly’s recommendations to the Council including on issues related to its working methods, notably those recommendations contained in the Resolutions on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly.

Mr. President, we remain concerned over the frequent use of the veto. The Council has in the past months failed to adopt important resolutions due to the use of the veto.  The use, or threat of use of the veto, may prevent the Council from acting on vital topics, even regarding measures that have already been decided upon by the Council itself in the past. We underline that such behaviour saps the confidence in the institution and should be avoided. The use of veto should also be adequately reflected in the annual report. The E10 reiterates its call for restraint on the use of the veto, especially on actions aimed at preventing or ending mass atrocities, as outlined by the ACT Code of Conduct and the French-Mexican Initiative.

The E10 also calls for restraint on other forms of veto in the Subsidiary bodies of the Council and urges openness to compromise, particularly in cases where unfounded objections may impede the work of the organs or of the Panels or Groups of experts and related process.

To conclude, we the elected members, speak with one voice to reaffirm our commitment to the serious responsibilities and obligations entrusted to us through our election by the UN General Assembly. In this regard, we aspire and are committed to a Council that lives up to its mandate under the UN Charter, tackling the complex and interconnected threats to peace and security we collectively face. We will keep working together towards a more transparent, inclusive, representative, and effective Council for all, thereby contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security.

I thank you, Mr. President!

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