The Philippines continues to engage with delegations on Security Council reform, with particular focus on the categories of membership and the question of the veto
Categories of membership are linked to regional representation, as we consider an enlarged Security Council which may be increased up to 27 members based on consensually agreed criteria. Nevertheless, it is important that total size ensures a balance between the representativeness and effectiveness of an enlarged Council.
We note that in last year’s Co-Chairs’ Paper, as in the previous year, the question of whether the creation of longer-term non-permanent seats, or possible permanent members without veto would classify as the creation of a new category or not, remains to be explored.
In this regard, it has been said time and again that in order to move forward on this issue, we need to find a means or method to define categories of membership. After agreeing on the categories, the next hurdle is how to package the options put forth and agree on it. There have been a number of options laid out, but until now, we are unable to determine how options could be firmed up and packaged and how decision points will be made.
On the question of the veto, we note that the only commonality observed at the IGN session of 2019, which also appears in the 2021 Co-Chairs’ Paper is that “the question of the veto and the modalities of its exercise is a key element of Security Council reform.” In addition, in 2021, there had been a growing number of Member States who expressed support to setting limitations to the exercise of the veto. However, on many respects, we still have to thresh out a number of issues and on these points, we submit the following:
First, the Philippines reiterates its view that the veto power has no place in a 21st century Security Council, especially more so now given recent events. No Member State should be granted the special privilege to exercise the veto power as this is in direct contravention of the principle of sovereign equality of all UN Member States as enshrined in the Charter.
Second, while the abolition of the veto remains to be our aspiration, we are also prepared to consider small steps that will hopefully bring us closer to our goal. Thus, reform in the Security Council must specify conditions wherein the use of veto power by permanent members would be curtailed. This would also include rationalizing the use of the veto by the permanent members. A number of actions and initiatives have been made in the recent past, and we should consider them more fully.
This issue should also be taken in conjunction with the ongoing efforts to revitalize the General Assembly especially with respect to enhancing the role of the assembly in terms of decision making on matters affecting international peace and security.
Thank you, Co-Chairs.
 The current Co-Chairs of the IGN are PR Alya Ahmed Said Al-Thani (QATAR) and PR Martin Hermann (DENMARK).