We are encouraged by the broad agreement today on the need to enlarge the Security Council in order to make it more representative. A Council that better represents the entire Membership of the United Nations, will also be a more legitimate Council.
At our first exchange, we expressed our support for a balanced enlargement. The under-representation of African and Latin-American and Caribbean countries must be redressed. An enlargement should also take into account smaller states, who make up the majority of the membership of the United Nations. An enlargement should not be an exclusive invitation to regional powers to strengthen their position. Many smaller states make significant contributions to the United Nations, often out of proportion to their size.
To strengthen the legitimacy of the Council, we must ensure that it will be both more effective and more representative. Simply enlarging the Council without making it more efficient – “able and willing to take action when action is needed”* – will undermine the legitimacy of the Council.
Norway supports the concrete proposals put forward by the Group of Five Small States to improve the working methods of the Council: Better access for non-Members based on consultation, increased transparency in the workings of the Council, and accountability through substantive dialogue with the General Assembly. Even after a reform of the Council, a vast majority of the Members of the United Nations will not be Members of the Council. That is why these concrete proposals will have an immediate effect on the whole membership. While improved Working Methods cannot replace an enlargement of the Council, the proposals of the Group of Five Small States have value in their own right.
There is broad support for enlarging the Council, but in considering the size of an enlarged Council, we must carefully balance representation with efficiency. Improving the working methods of the Council will strengthen its legitimacy among all Member States.
* Kofi Annan: In Larger Freedom. § 168