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Third Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Size of an enlarged Council and working methods, and relationship of the General Assembly and the Security Council

Wednesday, 16 March 2022
Diane Shayne D. Lipana, First Committee Expert, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
UN General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York


Thank you for giving me the floor, Mr. Co-Chair.

Distinguished Mr. Co-Chair,

Size of an enlarged Council

The Philippines supports the expansion in the number of members of the Security Council in view of the need to make it more broadly representative of present-day realities. The Philippines is open to discussions on enlargement of membership in both permanent and non- permanent categories.

As to the exact size of an enlarged Council, the Philippines favors an increase in the total number of Council members of up to 27 with due regard to equitable and balanced geographical distribution. We believe that a larger and broader membership would reflect 21st century geopolitical realities. It needs to be responsive to challenges ranging from rapid technological advancement to unprecedented security, economic and health challenges, including COVID-19, and faithful to the pursuit of maintaining international peace and security.

Working Methods

We recognize that reaching agreement on enlargement poses challenges, not to mention amending the UN Charter, but this does not have to be the case if we devote close attention to the reform and improvement of the working methods of the Council. The working methods must be undertaken to facilitate a more efficient and effective functioning of the Council, all the more in an enlarged Council. The reform of the working methods should enhance accountability, predictability, coherence, and transparency in the Council’s work.

We believe that the improvement of the Council’s working methods, particularly with respect to greater transparency of, and participation in its decision-making processes by the wider membership, must be part of an overall agreement on Security Council reform, and are not to be decided by the Council alone. Specific measures or procedures should be identified for implementation. While the Security Council remains the master of its procedures, these measures need to be more predictable, transparent, especially with respect to the Council’s decision-making processes, inasmuch as the Security Council only has provisional rules of procedure. The wider membership must be able to take part in these processes, not just in a token or perfunctory manner, but meaningfully. 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.

Relationship between the SC and the GA

On the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly, the Philippines supports the respective roles of the General Assembly and the Security Council on international peace and security, and “reaffirms the role and authority of the General Assembly, including on questions relating to international peace and security, in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 and 35 of the Charter of the United Nations.

As the question of veto in the Council remains a difficult issue, a way to move forward is by strengthening the role and authority of the General Assembly. Through the revitalization of the of the General Assembly, we make its work more focused, efficient and relevant. In this regard, we emphasis support to GA Resolution 75/325 particularly on encouraging regular interaction and continued coordination between the Presidents of the GA, the Council and ECOSOC and exploring possible steps to improve future processes, including collaboration between the Assembly and the Council. The resolution supports the mutually reinforcing and complementary relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council, among the other principal organs of the United Nations. This would necessitate agreeing on a regular and transparent institutional arrangement between the General Assembly and the Security Council, similar to the GA and ECOSOC for example, to rationalize their respective agendas in order to avoid duplication of work.

We are pleased that Member States have a common appreciation of the four points cited in the Co-Chairs’ Elements of Commonality in 2019 and reiterated in  Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper  in 2021, particularly on the enhanced relationship between the Presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, submission by the Security Council to the General Assembly of reports of a more analytical nature, and improved access of the General Assembly/Member States to the Security Council with a view to enhancing transparency and accountability through various measures.

With the events of the recent past, more than ever, what is most important now is to agree on measures so these four points can be implemented with regularity and consistency.

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.