The core issues of this Open Debate are at the very heart of the increasing demand to reform and strengthen the whole set of multilateral institutions on which the international system is based today. The discussion on how to reform multilateral institutions is urgent and needs to be an inclusive one involving all member states in the appropriate negotiating fora.
We strongly believe in a rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core, to ensure peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.
As stated in the 2030 Agenda, there can be no peace without sustainable development, no sustainable development without peace or without human rights. It is therefore essential that the New Agenda for Peace be anchored in these principles. In order to do so, it is necessary to strengthen global cooperation among all regions and member states, giving priority to the needs of the most vulnerable countries and regions and to the means to address the specific challenges they face.
The UN Secretary General has already offered his vision for a reformed multilateralism as presented in his “Our Common Agenda” Report. Member States should actively consider the key proposals of the Report, which deserve our full attention, in order to build a more effective, efficient, inclusive and networked multilateralism across all the three pillars of the United Nations.
With the ultimate goal to strengthen multilateralism, Italy shares the urgency and importance of a reform of the Security Council. Italy and the Uniting for Consensus’ partners have a very clear vision on how to achieve this goal and our position in this respect is well known. It has been made clear in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN), which remains the only credible platform for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council and, let me stress, the only natural forum where the reform is to be discussed among Member States.
That said, I wish to reiterate here that in our view a satisfactory reform of the Security Council is one that leads it to be more representative, democratic, efficient, transparent and accountable and ultimately more fit to face new global challenges and today’s reality.
A more transparent Council means that decisions are taken not by an exclusive few who hold an ultimate power, but by all the SC members in a fully inclusive way;
A more representative Council means going beyond a simple increase in the number of SC members; it means increasing the opportunities for all Member States and, therefore, increasing the role and voice of those today underrepresented, and, in particular, Africa and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
A more accountable Council means that every member should answer to the whole UN Membership. The vetoes cast in the Council over the last months in relation with the Russian aggression on Ukraine provided further confirmation of the paralyzing effect of the veto on the Council’s ability to act. This is why we support initiatives aimed at self-restraining the exercise of the veto.
More democratic simply means that every new member of a reformed SC must be elected: democracy, as we know it, is based on regular elections.
More effective means a Council that can act expeditiously; one that enjoys more credibility in the eyes of all Member States and the decisions of which are fully observed and implemented, thus delivering better on its mandate.
A reformed Security Council is well within our reach. It is not the absence of a text that is hampering progress towards a more effective Security Council. Unfortunately, to this day, the debate is often distracted by insistence on process and procedural matters instead of the substance and finding true convergences on the important issues at hand, such as regional representation within the Council.
Italy will continue to engage in the new session of the IGN starting next January in a constructive and committed manner and we hope that the rest of the membership will do the same, with a view to reaching further areas of convergence and moving the reform process forward.
Furthermore, we believe we ought to improve the Council’s working methods. For this to happen, we don’t even need to go through the process of amending the UN Charter. This can be done here and now.
The serious international crises underway have indeed highlighted even more dramatically the need for an effective multilateral system. Italy will continue to do its share to contribute to advancing towards such reformed, effective, accountable and democratic multilateralism.
I thank you.