Statement by Turkey at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 16.02.2021
Distinguished Co-chairs,

I align myself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Zappia of Italy on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group. I would like to make the following remarks in my national capacity.

First, I would like to recall that “reform” is a forward-looking concept. lt aims to improve by advancing the current form or condition.

ln order to be described as “reform”,
any amendment must address shortcomings rather than consolidating already existing ones.

Turkey’s vision for the reform of the Security Council is based on this understanding. We would like to see a more representative, transparent, accountable and effective Council. We do not want to solidify existing problems. Therefore, the question of veto must be at the heart of the reform discussions.

Madam Chair,

On many occasions, veto has been used based on narrowly defined national interest, blocking most needed Council action on issues under its purview. The inevitable outcome is persistent inaction by the Council, which results in the loss of credibility for the UN as a whole.

Turkey supports initiatives limiting the use of veto to certain conditions, such as mass atrocities, as well as those that aim to enhance the role and authority of the General Assembly in the face of Council inaction due to veto.

In this framework, I would like to point out that it is the permanent membership, combined with the power of veto that has caused much of the setbacks in the Council. It is not possible to conceive a reform that would reinforce this defect in the system.

Permanent membership is against the very fundamentals of accountable, sustainable and efficient governing principles. Increasing the number of permanent members in the Council does not provide any improvement on these principles and therefore it is not compatible with the concept of a genuine reform.

The UfC proposal, on the other hand, focusing on the expansion of the Council only through elected members is both rational and attainable.

We need to make the Council more representative by expanding it and by providing Member States with increased possibility to be in the Council according to a fair system of rotation.

Madam Chair,

We should aim at making the Council more accountable by guaranteeing periodic reviews of Council members’ contribution to its mandate of maintaining international peace and security.

We should make the Council more effective by allowing a better ratio of the elected members to the non-elected ones.

Madam Chair,

The assertion that some countries are entitled to more rights runs against the very principle of sovereign equality of states.

If there is a sincere desire to make the much needed progress in the reform process, we invite Member States to focus on the existing commonalities within the membership.

We suggest Co-facilitators to work on real convergences so as to have a concrete and viable outcome of IGN.

Thank you.