Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Statement by Ambassador Karel J.G. van Oosterom on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom

Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium

on the issue of “Security Council Reform”

New York, 7 November 2013


Mr. President,

I have the pleasure to speak on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thank you for the timely convening of this annual debate of the General Assembly on Security Council Reform.

I would also like to thank you for your letters of 22 October and 6 November and for putting this issue back on the agenda. We commend your decision to reappoint Ambassador Tanin. We believe he deserves praise for his constructive and energetic role as Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations process over the past few years and we are convinced that he will continue the good work.

The intergovernmental process indeed needed an early resumption. We support your idea to produce a basis for the start of the intergovernmental negotiations and in this regard we welcome the establishment of an Advisory Group. We hope that your determination can create a new momentum, because the ultimate goal of our endeavor remains as important as ever before: a more effective, transparent and representative Security Council, which reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st century and contributes to a more credible United Nations and a reinforced international system.

Mr. President,

The main ideas about Security Council reform of the different groups in these intergovernmental negotiations are well known. Some are shared by a vast majority of member states, including Belgium and the Netherlands. For instance: we believe that there should be an expansion of the Council in both categories of membership; permanent and non-permanent.

Other ideas and proposals are more recent but deserve our careful attention. In particular support of the French proposal of a code of conduct for the voluntary limitation of the use of the veto right in case of mass atrocities comes to mind. It is both ambitious and heartening. We encourage the other permanent members of the Council to consider it with an open mind.

Whatever the proposals on the table, Belgium and the Netherlands would like to stress that all member states should be genuinely willing to engage in a process of give and take. Compromises will be required of all of us. There is no alternative, should we indeed want to make progress. We have said it many times before: We need to take action to change the status quo.

Mr. President,

After the conclusion of this general debate, we will be looking forward to the first meeting of the intergovernmental negotiations. It will allow us to go into more detail. We hope it will set the stage for concrete and conclusive negotiations.

Belgium and the Netherlands assure you, as well as the able Chair of our working group, of our full support to any genuine effort that can lead to real progress.

I thank you.