Global Policy Forum

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at an Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on Security Council Reform

In this statements, Ambassador Rice highlights the need for Security Council reform to make the Council representative of a 21st century world, and expresses US support for expansion as long as it does not reduce the effectiveness or efficiency of the body. The US also sees Council reform as a separate issue from more general UN reform.

By Susan E. Rice

February 19, 2009

Mr. Chairman, thank you. The start of the next phase of the General Assembly’s work on the equitable expansion of the Security Council, through today’s informal plenary session, is indeed an important moment. We hope member states will approach these negotiations with patience and flexibility. While we know that genuine disagreements may surface during this process, we hope these talks will ultimately serve to bring the membership of the United Nations together.

Let me offer, Mr. Chairman, some sense of the principles that will guide the United States during this process. First, we start from a straightforward premise: The United States believes that the long-term legitimacy and viability of the United Nations Security Council depends on its reflecting the world of the 21st century. As such, we will make a serious, deliberate effort, working with partners and allies, to find a way forward that enhances the ability of the Security Council to carry out its mandate and effectively meet the challenges of the new century.

I would note that the United States is not linking Security Council reform to other aspects of UN reform. We view both as important and will pursue them in tandem. I would also note that we support expansion of the Security Council in a way that will not diminish its effectiveness or its efficiency. And finally, the United States will take into account the ability of countries to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, and the other purposes of the United Nations.

We look forward to seeing this process go forward, to holding these negotiations, in the words of General Assembly Decision 62/557, in “good faith, with mutual respect and in an open, inclusive and transparent manner.”

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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