Security Council of the 21st Century

4/11/2008 // "A comprehensive Security Council reform is an essential component of the overall United Nations reform, and progress is needed to strengthen the credibility and legitimacy of the whole organization," said Ambassador Ms. Kirsti Lintonen of Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries in the Open-ended Working Group meeting on Security Council reform.

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important meeting of the Open-ended Working Group. I have the honour to speak today on behalf of the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The Nordic countries remain firm supporters of a comprehensive Security Council reform. It is an essential component of the overall United Nations reform, and progress is needed to strengthen the credibility and legitimacy of the whole organization.

The Security Council needs to be reformed to better reflect the world community of the 21st century. We are open to the idea of an enlargement in both the permanent and non-permanent category. The right of veto, however, should not be extended to new members. It is also important to guarantee that smaller states have the opportunity to serve as members of the Security Council.

A more representative and therefore more legitimate council will also be more effective in carrying out its functions. We also support, as an important part of the comprehensive reform of the Security Council, the reform of its working methods and procedures. The Nordic countries consider this a constant process.

Mr. President,

We welcome the work you are doing to reach a solution to this important issue. We support the idea of progressing to intergovernmental negotiations. It is useless to debate what colour a house should be if there is no decision to start building it.

In order to move forward we are ready to assess interim solutions that would allow for the testing of various models as long as they contain a clear review-clause.

The Nordic countries are willing to take the next step and start discussing the different options in an open and constructive manner. It is important, however, that there is a possibility to bring in new ideas in later stages of the intergovernmental negotiation process. The process should be open, flexible and inclusive.

Our objective remains to find solutions that will bolster the legitimacy of the Council and enhance respect for and compliance with its decisions, while at the same time maintaining the Council as an effective forum for decision-making.

The Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – stand ready to take the next step towards this important goal under your able guidance.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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