Intervention by H.E. Katalin Bogyay Permanent Representative of Hungary at the Inter-governmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation, increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters, on 22 February 2016.
I am happy to participate in this meeting that cannot be more Member State driven. I also see the advantages of the step-by-step approach. Collecting and cross referencing the latest opinions of the Member States gives the entire process new impetus. As I believe in the power of dialogue we are ready to unpack those proposals, revisit, clarify or modify ideas.
Turning to the size and working methods of the Council, the only enlargement of the Council took place in 1965. The reason for increase was to mirror the growth and changes in the membership, which then stood at 115, compared to the original 50 Member States. After fifty years the membership stands at 193. Enlargement is as warranted, as it was in 1965. The new political, and socio-economic changes should be reflected in the Security Council.
There is no clear guidance yet, with regard to how this goal can be achieved. In our view there are two interrelated questions that have bearings on the issues of size and working methods.
The first question is: In which categories do we enlarge the Council?There are three suggestions. One is to enlarge in both traditional categories. The other is to create a new interim category and also to enlarge the number of non-permanent members. These two options would result is a larger Council. The third option would be to enlarge in the non- permanent category only, resulting in a smaller Council. The size of the Security Council is therefore strongly influenced by the answer to the first question, which we will revisit in May.
With regards to the first two options, Hungary’s request is that enlargement in the traditional non-permanent category shall, at least, match the growth in the permanent or any other new category. Should this principle be agreeable, we will be a step closer to bridging ideas in May.
The second question is about the relationship between the size and effectiveness of the Council. To unpack this issue, we need to answer the following questions:
Is there, a negative correlation between size and effectiveness?
How can negative effects be mitigated?
Is there a “cut-off” number, beyond which there is no hope for a working Council? Why is that? What is that number?
Or can we say that size is of secondary importance; therefore, we should be able to examine all options on their merits? Our maneuvering room will depend on the agreements we reach on these questions.
Enlargement will necessarily mandate a complete overhaul of the Security Council’s working methods. There is again, more convergence than divergence of ideas in this field. Hungary supports all proposals that ensure that the new Council is fit for purpose, discharging its functions in a more effective, efficient, accountable, coherent and transparent manner. Besides better division of labor within the Council, and substantive involvement of non- permanent Members, Hungary supports proposals aimed at strong cooperation with the main organs of the UN, Member States and other stakeholders, including regional arrangements.
However, I again emphasize the need for sequencing and for clear division of labor:
The IGN must propose language to the General Assembly on issues that necessitate the amendment of the UN Charter, such as Articles 23., 27., 53.)
Further recommendations could also be put forward by the IGN to the General Assembly.
However, new Rules of Procedure, and other regulations will have to be adopted by the Security Council and by the entry into force of the Charter amendments. Therefore, prior agreement on the full package of working methods cannot be a precondition to the agreement on Security Council reform. Therefore, when consolidating the proposals on working methods, we also suggest to create three hypothetical baskets. One for Charter amendments, and one for recommendations that should be part of our final package on reform: The third one is for issues that could or should be left for later in the process, especially the elements that the new Council will have to decide on.
Thank you, Madam Chair !