New Zealand thanks the Permanent Representatives of Tunisia and Romania for co-Chairing the IGN on Security Council reform and we wish them well in this important task.

During our recent term as an Elected Member of the Security Council, we were acutely aware of the challenges which too often result in poor performance by the Council. Some of the key challenges flow directly from the framework set out for the Council in 1945, and in particular the status and role of Permanent Members.

New Zealand is a long-standing opponent of the veto.  Our time on the Council reaffirmed to us that the veto plays a central role in poor decision-making outcomes.

We need a Security Council that is capable of acting to prevent and resolve the kinds of crises facing the world in 2017 and beyond. The veto is a key stumbling block preventing that action.

As we have noted previously, we do not support the extension of the veto to new Permanent Members.

However, efforts to reform the Council need to also look beyond the veto and the Council’s composition and focus on how the Council discharges its responsibilities.

New Zealand worked with others on the Council to make a number of changes in the way the Council conducts its business. The aim was to make the Council more effective, results-driven, transparent and inclusive.

  • We pushed to enhance the quality of informal discussions in the Council, with the aim of improving the capacity to respond collectively to conflict and emerging crises.
  • We drove reform of the process for appointing Chairs of the Council’s subsidiary bodies, taking this important role out of the exclusive control of the P5.
  • We worked with the Secretariat and Council members to establish monthly situational awareness briefings to give Council members higher quality information from across the UN system on evolving and potential crises.
  • We hosted informal “triangular” TCC consultations on specific Peacekeeping Operations, to ensure more effective, thorough and respectful consultation between the Council, the Secretariat and Troop Contributing Countries.
  • We strongly advocated for better Council efforts to prevent conflict, including greater engagement with affected countries and country visits.  We welcome the Council’s visit in the past week to the Lake Chad Basin.

The steps we took in the Council were small but we believe they have the potential over the long term to improve the Council’s decision making and performance. We welcome the support of Elected Members who continue to take these ideas forward. 

Outside the Security Council we continue to be committed to Council reform.

We believe that the General Assembly can do more to put pressure on the Security Council to change. 

The IGN process has an important role to play.  We join others today in calling for the commencement of text-based negotiations. 

We see this as the best way to harness the progress achieved in the IGN process so far and to move the process forward.

I thank you.