Norway’s position on Security Council reform is well known. As stated in our plenary meeting a year ago, on 12 July 2005, our main priorities have been to ensure that the Council operates coherently and efficiently, and that the composition of the council reflects the current configuration of the United Nations membership. Consequently, we support an expansion.
There are several reasons why Norway believes that expansion of the membership of the Council is necessary. Over the last sixty years the overall membership of the United Nations has almost quadrupled. The Security Council should reflect this growth in order to ensure the Councils legitimacy and efficiency. Norway is also an advocate for the interests of small countries in the rotation for non-permanent seats, as well as for the representation of African and Latin-American/Caribbean countries, which in our view have been under-represented in the Council.
This means that Norway supports a balanced enlargement of the Security Council; an enlargement of both permanent and non-permanent members, where small countries and developing countries are duly represented.
We cannot discuss Security Council expansion without addressing the question of veto rights. We have consistently encouraged permanent members to refrain from exercising their veto power. In order to ensure an efficient Council, the Norwegian view has been that veto power should not be extended to the new permanent members of an enlarged Council. We thus welcome earlier statements made by the G-4 that it is their intention not to exercise the right to veto.
Reform of the Security Council is more than a question of expansion. Equally important is the improvement of the Council’s working methods. The draft resolution proposed by Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland aims at improving the dialogue between the General Assembly and the Security Council. While the resolution fully respects the Security Council’s competencies, it positively points to areas where cooperation should be deepened. It is Norway’s view that an enhanced and structured dialogue between the GA and the Council would lead to a strengthening of both.