Let me begin by thanking you for organising this debate at an early stage of the 64th session of the General Assembly. We reiterate our deep appreciation for the skillful way in which you have presided the process so far, and for your important contribution to move forward the negotiation during the previous session. We encourage you to continue to be bold and impartial in moving the process forward along the lines you have elaborated in your letter of November 16. We need to build on the momentum that exists.
We are encouraged by the broad agreement among all member states that we 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 the same time we must ensure that the Council remains an effective forum for decision-making. The reform of the Council therefore has an important link to the efficiency of the Council’s work.
As mentioned many times before, Norway is open to enlarging the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories. We do not however, support extending the right of veto to new permanent members. It is also important to guarantee that smaller states have the opportunity to serve as members of the Security Council. Small states form the majority of the membership of our organization and make valuable contributions in the field of peace and security.
In order to achieve early progress, we remain ready to assess interim solutions based on a clear review-clause, in case there is a convergence of views around such options. We also support, as an important part of the comprehensive reform of the SC, the reform of its working methods and procedures. While improved working methods cannot replace an enlargement of the Council, the proposals of the “S5” have value in their own right.
The task for us now is not to question the need and purpose of reform but to act and deliver on the unanimous commitment in the form of concrete solutions at the earliest possible time. We have heard different countries and groups reiterate their positions countless times during the intergovernmental negotiations. The positions of all member states have become much more clearly defined now after three rounds of negotiations in the last session.
The urgent task in the current session is to begin substantive negotitations and to seek achieve tangible results. If a written paper can assist in facilitating such a process in narrowing down the differences as much as possible, we will support that.
We are determined to engage constructively in the substantive negotitations to attain a concrete outcome during the current session under your able leadership. You can rest assured that Norway will support you in your efforts to move urgently towards this goal.