Australia wants a fit-for-purpose Security Council

Mitch Fifield, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations, said, “I am thanking the co-facilitators of this year’s round of informal consultations, Ambassador Tareq Albanai of Kuwait and Ambassador Alexander Marschik of Austria.

Multilateralism is not always easy. It can occasionally appear impossible to achieve a shared goal and secure agreement among nations from various regions, each with its own development stage and set of competing national interests. Yet we are aware that there are universal solutions to common problems.

The IGN process is crucial because of this. Even if the IGN often seems to go slowly, it allows Member States the chance to respectfully consider necessary next steps for Security Council reform. To see how far we have come, all you do is look at the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper on Convergences and Divergences.

Australia appreciates your initiative on this issue.

What we need right now is a path forward, and Australia has been quite clear about where it stands.

Australia desires an effective Security Council.

When the UN was founded, the world was considerably different from how it is today. It is important to consider how a small number of voices created the majority of the laws and organizations that influence the system.

We require the participation of all parties as we address the challenges of the future. To reflect current geopolitical realities and relevance, it is time to examine and advance potential solutions for greater representation for Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Australia desires an accountable and open Council.

There has never been important time for Security Council, yet recent events have demonstrated exactly how difficult it can be for the Security Council to successfully carry out its fundamental duties when obstructed by a Permanent Member who wields a veto.

The upkeep of international peace and security is primarily the duty of the Security Council, but the Charter does not forbid the General Assembly from engaging in discussion and deliberation when the Council is unable to act for entire membership.

We should keep looking for chances to strengthen the bond between the General Assembly and the Council.

Australia favors reforming the UNSC without increasing the veto power.

All Member States must have faith in the Council’s ability to address threats to and violations of global peace and security.

But far too frequently, including by the very nations to which the veto was delegated, we see the veto deployed to facilitate the uncontrolled abuse of the Charter.

We will continue to demand stricter guidelines for its application, such as the ACT Code of Conduct and the French-Mexican plan to suspend veto rights in the event of mass atrocities.

These requests for change are not only directed at the IGN. A multilateral system that is just, inclusive, effective, and efficient has widespread political support, as evidenced by the UN75 Declaration and the Our Common Agenda report that followed.

As member states, it is our duty to build on this political will and think about how we might create a Security Council that reflects the UN we require for the challenges of the present and the future.

However, until we go from verbal discussions to text-based talks, no change will be possible. These reforms, which so many Member States clearly and urgently seek, can only be realized at that point.

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