Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on “Working Methods of the Security Council” —
Let me congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council and thank you for dedicating this debate to a very important issue, working methods. These are at the very heart of the increasing demand to strengthen the institutions on which the international system is based today. A more transparent and legitimate Security Council is absolutely needed, if we want to foster the trust of public opinion in this Organization and achieve the common goal of strengthening multilateralism.
I also wish to commend your endeavor, Mr. President, as Chair of the Informal Working Group on documentation and other procedural questions, together with the work done before you by Ambassador of Japan Koro Bessho. This work is very important to improve the working methods of the Security Council and to update and implement the Revised Presidential Note 507.
Also, I thank the briefers for their insightful presentations.
Italy aligns with the statement delivered today by New Zealand on behalf of a number of recent Council elected members from all regional groups, and would like to make some additional remarks in its national capacity.
The Revised Note 507 responds to the demand for enhanced transparency, inclusiveness and interaction of the Council with the rest of the UN membership, but additional measures are needed. Among these, it is paramount to ensure a fair burden-sharing and equal distribution of penholdership and chairmanship of subsidiary bodies among permanent and elected members. The Council is a collective body, made up of a number of members that should act together on an equal footing as much as possible. We believe that such fair and equal distribution of duties, for example through the practice of “co-penholdership”, is consistent with a more transparent, representative, accountable, democratic and efficient Security Council.
We firmly believe that the E10 play a crucial role in the full implementation of the Revised Note 507 and in ensuring better working methods. During our term on the Security Council, in 2017, we experienced how coordination among elected members, as well as E10 concerted action, can be a useful tool to overcome stalemates in the Council; to foster participation of civil society, especially women; and to shine a spotlight on crosscutting issues related to peace and security. Moreover, our split term with the Netherlands proved that coordination between outgoing and incoming members is key to ensure a smooth transition, in particular in the work of subsidiary organs, allowing newly elected members “to hit the ground running”
We encourage the Council to make use of all tools at its disposal, and wish to stress the following:
First, we believe in closer cooperation between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission and we are looking forward to seeing the Council regularly request, deliberate and draw upon the PBC specific, strategic and targeted advice;
Second, in reviewing mandates of peacekeeping operations, due consideration should be given to the views of Troop and Police Contributing Countries, whose men and women are actually risking their lives on the ground. A more inclusive involvement of TCCs and PCCs when renewing mandates is key to nurturing trust between these Countries and Council members;
Third, Italy is in favor of inviting to Council meetings briefers from civil society, in particular women, women participation and greater gender inclusivity and equality to allow Council members to hear different voices and point of view before deliberating.
Fourth, Council members should promote more regular horizon scanning meetings, in order to respond to crises before they erupt.
The improvement of the working methods aims at a more transparent, accountable, efficient Council. As such, it is inevitably intertwined with a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, including its structure and composition. We must strive for a modern Council, which enjoys greater authority and legitimacy, which is also more inclusive and democratic. We should then earnestly debate if and how an increased number of veto powers would make the Council more responsive to international crises, or more efficient, democratic, accountable and transparent.
In this respect, Mr. President, Italy is ready to engage with the rest of the membership in a constructive dialogue leading to a reform, through which elected members can make a bigger contribution to the Council’s work, also by acting as a bridge towards non-Council members and their concerns.
I thank you.