Statement H.E. Ambassador Karel van Oosterom on issue of Security Council Reform
Statement to the General Assembly by H.E. Ambassador Karel van Oosterom Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the issue of “Security Council Reform – The Question of the Veto”
New York, 19 March 2014
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
We thank you for convening this meeting. Our debate today on the question of the veto is closely linked to Thursday’s debate on categories of membership.
That debate focused on how an enlarged Council may better reflect today’s geopolitical realities. In our view, an increase in the number of members eligible to cast a veto wouldn’t necessarily make for a more effective Council. In our view, use of the veto by the P5 should be limited. At times, an overly contentious use of the veto hampers the Council’s ability to act in the interest of peace and stability. Extending the number of veto-wielding members could only add to the frequency of such instances.
The question of the veto is not simply a question of who. It is equally a question of when. We sincerely believe that situations in which mass atrocity crimes occur or are imminent, should remain beyond the realm of the veto. In this regard, we laud and support fully the French initiative for the P5 to abstain from using the veto voluntarily in such situations.
We hope that all veto-wielding members of the Council can agree upon a proper modus operandi for this initiative. We would like to stress at this point, Mr. Chairman, that the question of when can and should also be addressed, regardless of progress or lack thereof on the question of who.
Let me assure you once more: Belgium and The Netherlands continue to stand ready to contribute constructively to the discussions and to support your effort. In order to spur progress we are willing to consider any proposal that might facilitate reaching a consensus on making the Security Council more representative, more transparent and more inclusive.
I thank you.