Open debate on Implementation of Note 507: Working methods
Statement on behalf of the 10 Elected Members of the Security Council to be delivered by Ambassador Hernan Perez Loose, Permanent Representative of Ecuador
5 September 2023
Thank you Mr. President,
- I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the ten elected members of the Security Council. We commend Albania for organizing this debate and Ambassador Ferit Hoxha, for his briefing in his capacity as Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG). Under your leadership the IWG adopted last year its first annual programme of work, and its annual report facilitating activities in the execution of its mandate guided by the principles of openness, dialogue and inclusivity.
- The IWG also adopted the first set of selected indicators with the goal of enhancing the awareness and improving the implementation of existing working methods, a primary goal of the E10 to make the implementation of note 507 measurable.
- We commend the digitalization of Note 507, in the Interactive Handbook sponsored by Japan, and available online, which contributes increasing awareness of the working methods of the Council.
- Note 507 is a living document, and it requires continuous review. In this regard, drafting new notes by the President, as necessary, in response to contemporary needs, is crucial for the Council’s effectiveness. At the same time, it is equally important that the Council should review, update and streamline those which no longer accord with the current reality in the interest of more efficient and effective Council.
- As elected members, we take seriously our responsibilities and obligations entrusted to us through our election by the UN General Assembly.
- We aspire and are committed to a Council that lives up to its mandate under the Charter and that is able to tackle the complex and interconnected threats to peace and security that we collectively face.
- There is a wide-ranging recognition of the need to encourage a more meaningful and effective participation of elected members, in the drafting of outcome documents of the body. The legitimacy and effectiveness of the Council have much to gain from a more inclusive and transparent penholdership practice. The E10 have consistently shown the value-add they can bring as pen and co-penholders.
- Further improvement of the working methods is needed to ensure equal opportunity for all Council members and guarantee that all interested elected members act as pen and co-penholders, in line with the objective of ensuring inclusive, fair and timely drafting processes. To this end, the E-10 has put forward a proposal in the form of a note of the President of the Security Council that encourages a more equitable role for elected members and recognizes that value-adds may include, but shall not be limited to, expertise and contributions, regional perspectives chairing of relevant subsidiary bodies, and special interests. . We hope this proposal can be swiftly adopted as it represents a shared view and aspiration of the larger UN membership.
- We will also continue supporting efforts to improve best practices of penholders through the periodic reflections in the IWG on specific products issued by the Council and we will also continue supporting the negotiations and adoption of a note by the President aimed at enhancing these practices. We underscore that it is paramount to ensure that all Council members have adequate opportunities to participate, fully engage, discuss, contribute to the negotiations and influence the decisions by the Council. In this regard sufficient time should be provided and not less than 24 hours for consideration of products placed under silence procedure, and avoid, when possible, sending drafts over the weekend.
- Mr. President, we reaffirm PRST/2021/23 and reiterate that the Council should strengthen its engagement with the wider UN membership and, cooperation, and interaction with the General Assembly and other UN bodies, notably the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). That also means more opportunities for all Members States on behalf of whom the Security Council acts in accordance with article 24.1 of the UN Charter, to interact with the Council.
- The Council should actively seek the valuable advice the PBC can provide including on preventive diplomacy and cooperation with local actors, regional and sub-regional organizations, in country-specific, regional and thematic files. The PBC is uniquely placed to enrich the discussion of mandates and to provide valuable advice and cross-cutting perspectives. The working methods of the PBC should be enhanced and improved: we welcome the relevant recommendation made in the New Agenda for Peace.
- Similarly, Security Council missions to the field have proved to be a valuable tool for the Council to understand, assess and prevent escalation of particular conflicts or situations.
- We commit to and call on all Council presidencies to circulate and implement monthly working methods commitments. We underline the joint working methods commitments of the A3, as a reflection of how Elected members bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to improve the working methods of the Council. Furthermore, the E10 seek to promote interactive discussions during consultations and praise the effort of council members as Presidency of the month, as initiated by Japan, to revitalize the discussion at consultations. We also praise the UAE for the inclusion of International Sign Interpretation during its presidency in June.
- We also thank SCAD for the live list of speakers made available for open debates as requested by the E10 and we commend Mozambique for initiating the practice of circulating it.
- Mr. President the Council needs to strike a healthy balance between public and private meetings, to both enhance the transparency and visibility of the Council’s work and encourage more interactivity of discussions and consensus building. To this end, we support efforts to agree on elements to be communicated by the Presidency after closed consultations,
- We value Arria-formula meetings, as a means for Council members to engage informally with diverse actors and the broader membership. In that regard, in principle and in practice, their streaming on UNWeb TV should not face objections when requested by the organizers
- We also believe that transparency and accountability of the Council should be enhanced regarding the documentation addressed to it by UN Member States. The provision and accessibility of information and Council documentation, including from previous years, to elected members needs to improve.
- The full, equal and meaningful participation of women in the work of this Council remains a priority. We insist on the need for integrating gender perspectives across the working methods. The shared WPS commitments adopted by a majority of its members demonstrate important progress, and we encourage sustained efforts. We also encourage UN briefers to integrate WPS issues into their briefings.
We strongly believe that the perspectives of Civil Society, where relevant, bring an added-value to Council deliberations, which must be supported and sustained. We stress the importance of the Council striving for consensus when inviting civil society briefers. The Council as a whole should be responsible for their suitability and safety and must condemn all cases of reprisals. To that end, the E10 encourages further discussion including on how to promote best practices, including the possibility of discussing guidelines.
- Targeted sanctions by the Council are an important tool to address threats to international peace and security. They are therefore critical to the execution of the mandate of this Council. We underscore the importance of accountability and transparency in the work of subsidiary organs. These working methods should align with international due process standards and should be continually improved.
- We strongly believe in the need to strengthen fairness and clarity of UN sanctions procedures, thus increasing the effectiveness of UN sanctions regimes. Listing and delisting individuals and entities under UN sanctions regimes should be objective and evidence-based. We acknowledge the contribution of the Office of the Ombudsperson in providing an independent review mechanism for delisting requests in the 1267 Da’esh and Al-Qaida sanctions regime, and stress the need to continue efforts to improve its work. The E10 would like to reiterate its belief that the establishment and improvement of independent review mechanisms would strengthen the rule of law in UN sanctions regimes, taking into account the unique context of sanctions.
- Panels of Experts can provide valuable reporting on the implementation, evasion, and circumvention of UN Sanctions. The Council should work to make sure that Panel Experts have full access for their important investigations and are not restricted in the achievement of their mandate.
- As conflicts evolve, so too should our collective responses. The Council should take into account the efficacy of sanctions through these evolving phases of conflicts. It should also ensure that sanctions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for civilian populations nor adversely affect humanitarian activities carried out by humanitarian organizations. In this regard, we welcome the adoption of Resolution 2664 (2022) which introduced cross cutting humanitarian exemptions for United Nations sanctions regimes, and underline the need for its implementation at the national level. The provisions introduced by paragraph 1 of 2664 should continue to apply to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regime.
- We further note the importance of the role of sanctions committees in the effective implementation of resolution 2664 in assisting Member States in their understanding of the resolution and in monitoring implementation.
- On the appointment by the SG of his special representatives, we stress the need for more transparent consultations with each E-10 member on an individual basis to allow enough time for our due consideration.
- The E10 members underscore the critical and urgent need for comprehensive Security Council reform so that the Council reflects contemporary realities. While the Council needs to be more effective, representative, legitimate, transparent, accountable and democratic, it continues to lack a truly representative composition.
- Improving the working method of the Council is a prerequisite for a more effective Council. Working methods are also one of the clusters of the intergovernmental Negotiations on the Security Council Reform. We welcome the letters addressed this year by the Co-Chairs of that process to the Chair of the IWG. We also welcome the General Assembly’s recommendations to the Council including on issues related to its working methods, notably those recommendations contained in the Resolutions on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly.
- Mr. President, since the last working methods debate, the Council failed to adopt four resolutions due to the use of the veto. The use, or threat of use of the veto, may prevent the Council from acting on vital topics. The E10 calls for restraint on the use of the veto, especially on actions aimed to prevent mass atrocities.
- The E10 also calls for restraint on other forms of veto in the Subsidiary bodies, of the Council and urges openness to compromise, particularly in cases where needless objections may impede the work of the organs or of the Panels or Groups of experts and related process
- It is highly encouraging that the IWG recently adopted two Notes of the President on minute of silence and on the distribution of Chairs and Vice-Chairs of subsidiary bodies. The contingency measure of the latter should never be interpreted as if we have time until the end of January without reaching an agreement. We must make every effort to agree provisionally on the appointment of the Chairs of subsidiary bodies for the following year no later than October 1st. We deeply regret that the absence of Chairs’ appointments significantly delays the work of subsidiary bodies. Prolonged negotiation creates unnecessary difficulties for incoming Council members who need to prepare for any responsibilities they assume.
- Importantly, we believe there should be due respect for any consensus proposal by elected members. We stress the importance to complete the process in a timely manner. We highlight the E10 role in the distribution of Chairmanships for 2023.
- Furthermore, we reiterate the letter circulated by Ecuador on behalf of the E10 on 27 January 2023, as contained in document S/2023/68, unanimously supporting Japan as the Chair of the IWG in 2024.
- To conclude, we, the ten elected members of the Security Council, speak with one voice to reaffirm our commitment today to live up to the responsibility bestowed upon us through our election by the members of the United Nations, to work together towards a more transparent, inclusive, representative Council for all, and a more effective one, with a view to contributing to international peace and security.