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29th Plenary Meeting Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council – Item 127

Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Ambassador Kira Christianne D. Azucena Deputy Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
UN General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York



Mr. President.


I wish to express my appreciation to the Ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates and Poland for convening the 1st and 2nd sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. In view of the pandemic, unfortunately, the work of the IGN had to be rolled over to the 75th session.


Despite the passage of over 7 decades since the UN’s establishment, and the corresponding significant geopolitical developments, the Security Council remains an institution which has not adequately responded to the changes in the world’s political map in terms of its representativeness and working methods.


Whether by Charter amendment or a suitable and effective alternative, it is incumbent upon Member States to continue pursuing with vigor the reform of the Security Council, which will help enhance the credibility and authority of its decisions, as well as help ensure more active participation by Member States in implementing its decisions.


The Philippines has supported an enlarged Council through an increase in the number of members up to 27, making it more representative of 21st century geopolitical realities, including fair representation for the Asia and the Pacific region.


The Philippines has also long supported proposals to rationalize the use of the veto, including limiting the issues to which it may be applied. It is important not to lose sight of this important issue.


Mr. President,


As the Security Council takes into account the question of equitable representation on and increase in membership, equal if not more attention must be given to the improvement of its working methods, i.e. the other matters related to the Council, to make its decision-making processes more transparent and open to wider participation for the non-members. Such participation should neither be token nor perfunctory, but meaningful and effective. This is in line with Article 24 (1) of the UN Charter, which states that the Security Council acts on behalf of the wider membership in carrying out its duties.


Moreover, though the Council is the master of its procedures, given the key role it has in maintaining international peace and security, its procedures for decision-making should be more transparent and participatory. This requires taking fully into account the views of the wider membership on issues under its consideration.


On the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly, the Philippine position is in line with GA Resolution 71/323, with emphasis on the complementary relationship between the two principal organs of the UN.  Effective institutional arrangements should therefore be adopted to strengthen the mutual relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council, including transparent mechanisms for the two organs to consult on key issues affecting international peace and security. For example, periodical meetings between the PGA and the Security Council Chairmen might be held. Meetings between subsidiary GA bodies and the Security Council on specific issues could also be held.


Mr. President,


The Philippines remains committed to the IGN process and we look forward to its upcoming sessions and achieving concrete results. I would like to stress that we need a Council that is not only capable of responding to dynamic and fast changing events, but does so in a manner which fully represents and takes into account the views and concerns of the wider membership of the UN.


Thank you, Mr. President.