Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council open debate on working methods
Thank you for convening this meeting. I can’t help but note the emblematic side of the fact: the first session of the Council Ukraine takes part in since its election as one of this body’s non-permanent members for the next two years is devoted to the topic of improving Council’s working methods – the very hallmark of Ukraine’s electoral campaign. Looking ahead, this important issue will be one of the major priorities of Ukraine’s non-permanent membership in the Council in 2016-2017.
Ukraine has always been a staunch supporter of increasing transparency of the Council’s activities and enhancing its interaction with the UN wider membership and the Organization’s bodies. In this respect we praise the Spanish Presidency of the Security Council for inviting the President of the General Assembly to address – for the first time in eight years – the Council at its annual debate on working methods.
In our electoral campaign we have made a strong case for transforming the Council into open and fully accessible to all states body, as well as promoting, as a matter of principle, a wide and constructive cooperation with each and every UN member state. UN membership can rest assured that we will deliver on this pledge in the next two years.
It is through the permanent dialogue, consultations and accessibility to all interested delegations that Ukraine will maintain its close contacts with other states, taking into account their legitimate interests in the day-to-day work of the Council.
Next year an important cluster of the Council’s working methods will come under scrutiny of the world community, as the UN family will elect a new Secretary General. As an incoming non-permanent member of the Council Ukraine is fully cognizant of its responsibility to contribute to proper implementation of the resolution of the General Assembly 69/321, which calls that “the process of selection of the Secretary-General shall be guided by the principles of transparency and inclusiveness”.
Bearing in mind the Council’s chief responsibility for maintaining interventional peace and security the issue of conflict prevention has to feature more prominently in the Council’s work. It is of particular importance for countries not represented on the Council but facing clear and imminent threats to their security. Thus, preventive diplomacy has to become one of staple signs of the Council’s work.
Interaction with troop- and police-contributing countries is of particular interest for Ukraine as one of the active participant of UN peacekeeping efforts. Noting some positive changes in this area, we believe that holding more regular and timely consultations with such countries both during elaboration of UN peace missions’ mandates and throughout their entire life cycles is crucially important for the ultimate success of those missions. We strongly support the idea that the contributing countries have to have a stronger voice in the overall decision-making process in the Council.
External aggression against Ukraine made my and many other countries take a deeper look at the Council working methods. What became even more crystal clear is the direct linkage between ensuring effective functioning of the Council and genuine commitment of each and every of its members – permanent ones in the first place – to the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter.
In this light an area of a particular concern for us is the use of veto in the Security Council. In our opinion, this instrument has long outlived its utility and now has a detrimental impact on the Council’s performance. Thus, we welcome and support the French-Mexican proposal on suspending of the use of veto in cases of mass atrocities and the Code of Conduct put forward by the ACT group. We encourage all Security Council members to give due consideration to these initiatives.
Further steps towards eventual elimination of veto could be taken in the direction of non-use of veto when considering cases of aggression against a UN Member State. Blocking the Council’s action under such circumstances would run contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
However, being realists we realize that the veto will remain with us for at least foreseeable future. In this regard, we propose that if the veto is used, the permanent member resorting to it has to explain the reason for this action, in particular with regard to its consistency with the UN Charter.
We also believe that there is an urgent need to ensure proper implementation of Article 27.3 of the UN Charter, which obliges a party to a dispute to abstain from voting.
In making our contribution towards achieving one the Presidency’s goals of reducing the overall length of the debate, I will conclude with a final remark that in its future work at the UN Security Council Ukraine will strive to enhance openness and transparency of the Council with the goal of improving its efficiency and restoring its credibility, which has been severely undermined recently.