Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to thank the Security Council President, Ambassador Lyall Grant, for his introduction of the Security Council’s annual report to the General Assembly, as required under UN Charter Articles 15 and 24, and Ambassador Ogwu and the Nigerian delegation for their preparation of the annual report during their Presidency of the Security Council in July.
The annual report provides non-Council members with a transparent and comprehensive review of the intensive work of the Security Council. We hope the report does indeed facilitate the exchange of information and enhance the cooperation between these two co-equal principal organs of the United Nations.
The United States takes seriously the importance of making sure that all member states are informed of and appropriately involved in the Council’s work. The Council has made a distinct effort to ensure that more of its meetings are open and we welcome all member states to participate in Council proceedings during such sessions. During our Presidency of the Council next month, the United States will be continuing the practice of providing a briefing to non-members on the Council’s program of work.
Mr. President, turning to our other topic today, we welcomed your reappointment of Ambassador Tanin to chair the sixth round of intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform. We again pledge our full support to Ambassador Tanin’s efforts to shepherd these negotiations forward and we hope member states will approach this next round with pragmatism and flexibility. While we know that genuine disagreements remain on certain aspects of this issue, we hope these talks lead to reform that is member-state driven and enjoys broad consensus.
As we stated during the first five rounds of these negotiations and will continue to elaborate in more detail in the current round, the United States believes that the long-term viability of the Security Council depends on its reflecting the world of the 21st century. We support expansion of the Council in a way that will neither diminish its effectiveness nor its efficiency.
Let me briefly summarize key elements of my government’s position:
The United States is open in principle to a modest expansion of both permanent and non-permanent members. The United States strongly believes that any consideration of an expansion of permanent members must be country-specific in nature.
In assessing which countries merit permanent membership, the United States will take into account the ability of countries to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security and other purposes of the United Nations. As we set out in our National Security Strategy earlier this year, my government is committed to engaging emerging powers into the international architecture.
The United States supports a Security Council membership that upholds human rights and the rule of law at home and abroad, and makes significant contributions to the implementation of Security Council decisions, especially through their enforcement, as well as financial, personnel, and political support.
As we have previously stated, the United States is not open to an enlargement of the Security Council that changes the current veto structure.
We remain committed to a serious, deliberate effort, working with other member states, to find a way forward that both adapts the Security Council to current global realities and enhances the ability of the Security Council to carry out its mandate and effectively meet the challenges of the new century.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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