Thank you, Mr. Chair. First of all, I join others in congratulating Ambassador Alexander Marschik of Austria on his appointment as IGN Co-Chair.
The Philippines is pleased to continue its engagement with delegations on Security Council reform, with particular focus on the question of the veto.
Maintenance of international peace and security as the first and main responsibility of the Council is under threat. Recent geopolitical developments underscore that the current system has constrained the Council from discharging its mandate in preventing catastrophic international conflicts.
The most notable commonality of IGN sessions is that the question of the veto and the modalities of its exercise is a key element of Security Council reform. Last year, a growing number of Member States expressed support to setting limitations to the scope and use 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, we wish to reiterate the impact of the exercise the veto on the work and effectiveness of an enlarged council. We support an enlarged Council to improve representation, but an enlarged Security Council must also be able to act swiftly and decisively, with the highest standards of accountability, coherence, transparency and fidelity to the trust accorded to it by the greater UN membership. However, with the exercise of the veto power not being curtailed, effectiveness and efficiency of the Council is under threat. Exercise of veto power will inevitably be part of an enlarged Council's working methods. While it will be a challenge to remove the veto privileges of the permanent members, then we should consider the need to curtail its exercise or use. We reiterate our support to the Code of Conduct proposed by the ACT group and the French-Mexican initiative that spell out exceptions to the use of the veto power.
Security Council reform 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.
The exercise of veto is an exceptional responsibility and must be judiciously exercised. To achieve genuine equality and level the field, we need to find more concrete ways and means to limit its use.
Thank you. END