Statement by Turkey on Security Council Reform

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 13.02.2020
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Thank you for convening this debate and congratulations on the assumption of your duties during this session.

Turkey aligns with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Italy on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group. I would like express the following in my national capacity.

Turkey strongly believes in the value of multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations as the main multilateral platform.

In the 75th anniversary of our organization, it is of absolute importance to enhance the effectiveness of the UN. We can only fully achieve this by reaffirming our commitment to multilateralism. Among others, this means increasing transparency, accountability and representativeness of the Security Council.

Only a negotiation process based on these principles can have a chance to succeed.

Turkey strongly believes in the virtue of the Inter-governmental Negotiations (IGN) as the most appropriate setting to work towards a common understanding on these key principles.

This platform takes into account the voices of all member states. As such, it serves as a mechanism that is conducive to reaching the widest possible agreement.

Searching for consensus is not only at the heart of multilateralism but also a sine qua non condition to amend the UN Charter. Therefore, we should all be cognizant that the IGN process is not like any other process. Any search for procedural shortcuts risks being counter-productive and hindering further progress.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

As we move forward at this session, we encourage all member states to continue identifying our convergences and building on them.

We continue to believe that the existence of permanent membership with the right of veto has been the cardinal reason for the necessity to reform the Council in the first place.

We have to set the record straight: The frustration with the Security Council is largely due to the use and the threat of the use of veto in the Security Council on instances of grave violations of the UN Charter. The UN system has failed on so many occasions to provide prompt and adequate responses to crises, just because the needed course of action did not serve the national interests of some permanent members of the Security Council.

Within the IGN process, we need to be in search of solutions for the current dysfunctionalities of the Council. We should not go in directions that could simply amplify those problems.

We should reinforce the legitimacy and the accountability of the Security Council. Let us make no mistake: The Council carries out its responsibility of the maintenance of international peace and security on behalf of all of us. Seeking additional privileges for more Council members would hamper both its legitimacy and accountability.

Increasing the number of elected seats and expanding the possibility for any member to serve in the Council still remains the most meaningful approach to move forward. This approach enjoyed consensus in the past, and it sure does now. If we would like to make concrete progress, this is where we should all focus on now.

An improvement of the ratio of the non-permanent members to the permanent members would bring the most needed improvement to the decision-making processes and working methods of the Council.

This way, the Council would also become more accountable to the General Assembly.


The Security Council reform is a matter of global importance and therefore should go beyond the short term national interests of individual countries.

Insistence on permanent membership and veto would mean making the same mistake twice.

We cannot possibly say that all UN members are equal but some members are more equal than others, once again.

Turkey is looking forward to working constructively with all member states across various groups, in order to achieve the widest possible agreement.

We invite all member states to put forth the vision and flexibility to facilitate the reform process.

Thank you.