Statement by the Maldives on behalf of ACT
at the Security Open Debate on Maintaining International Peace and Security:
Reflect on History, Reaffirm the Strong Committment to the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations
The Maldives is a member of ACT, Accountability, Coherence and Transparency, a cross regional group comprised of twenty four regional Member States, and we are honored to speak on its behalf.
ACT congratulates China for holding this open debate. In light of the 70th anniversary of the UN, we have a unique opportunity to reflect and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It was 70 years ago that the UN was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Although this goal has been ambitious, the world would have been in a far worse state without the work of the United Nations.
Yet looking at the numerous crises all around the world and their dreadful impact on civilians on the ground – for instance in the Middle East, Ukraine, Somalia, Nigeria or South Sudan, and with the Syrian humanitarian catastrophe reaching proportions not seen since World War II – there is indeed no doubt that the United Nations has not yet come close to fulfilling its mission.
The 70th anniversary of the United Nations must be a time for action. Now is the time to take steps to enhance the efficiency of the working methods of the Council and ensure that the commitments taken by the international community are effectively implemented.
This call also was already made in the World Summit Outcome Document of 2005, in which the improvement of the working methods of the Security Council was recognized as a concern of the international community. The seventieth anniversary of the UN along with the tenth anniversary of the World Summit should remind us that, in spite of our achievements, greater work needs to be done. In fact, the overall discussion regarding the improvement of the Council’s working methods has now moved beyond the UN conference rooms and is also echoed by the media and the international civil society. The time has come to make this step and ensure enhancements.
ACT is convinced that more inclusiveness and accountability will contribute to a more efficient and effective Council. We commend all the efforts the Council has made so far, such as last year’s notable 7% increase of the proportion of public and private meetings as opposed to closed consultation.
We would also like to welcome Angola as the new chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation, and ACT looks forward to collaborating as a constructive partner with Angola and the IWGD on the issues of working methods.
I would also like here to remind the Security Council of the letter sent by ACT to the President of the Council on 28 January with concrete suggestions in order to contribute to the enhancement of the Council’s transparency and accountability. These recommendations are based on ACT reflections and also take into consideration statements delivered by the wider membership on the related issues. In addition to the ideas that will be developed further in this statement, let me also highlight some of the elements presented by our group in the letter: necessity for the Council to sharpen its preventive role by fully implementing resolution 2171 (2014), enhanced interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission which could assume a greater prevention role, greater collaboration between the Security Council and the TCCs/PCCs, more consideration of the membership’s recommendations delivered at open debates, more joint initiatives by Council members regarding penholdership, etc.
That said, today we would like to outline three ACT supported topics in regards to adapting working methods:
First, implementation: While the adoption of no less than six Presidential Notes in the last two years specifying better working methods is highly commendable, we note that oftentimes the implementation of the adopted measures has proven to be unsatisfactory or inconsistent. ACT encourages the Council to monitor and report consistently on the implementation of the measures, through the Informal Working Group on Documentation and in cooperation with the Secretariat.
Second, the appointment of the SG: In view of this approaching appointment of the Organization’s next Secretary-General, we invite a discussion on how to improve the appointment process.
ACT calls for greater transparency and involvement of the wider membership in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions. This should include the following points: A proper, formal, transparent nomination process; the official publication of all candidatures; the possibility of the General Assembly convening hearings with the candidates on a voluntary basis; and an invitation to the Security Council to consider including more than one name in its recommendation to the General Assembly.
Third, the use of veto: The ongoing crisis in Syria has demonstrated the consequences of a Council unable properly to fulfill its responsibilities. ACT invites all members of the Security Council – elected and permanent – to voluntarily commit to refraining from voting against Council action aimed at preventing or ending genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Our group has been pleased that France as a permanent member of the Council has taken up the advocacy of this idea and welcomes the broad and supportive discussion of the proposal. We also support the rapid finalization of a code of conduct – as suggested by France – and will be submitting our suggestions for such a code of conduct soon.
In closing, we believe that the propositions just made are not only legitimate but also relevant; they also are necessary to enhance the performance of the Security Council which today faces simultaneously an unprecedented number of serious conflicts and complex crises, amounting to immense human suffering.
Thank you for your attention.