Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Thank you for convening this important meeting. New Zealand aligns itself with the statement delivered by Portugal on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group.
Each year, this debate provides a key opportunity to reflect both on the institutional relationship between these two organs, and work of the Security Council. We are pleased to be able to do this in person.
This is also a timely month, coinciding with the Security Council’s annual open debate on working methods. We thank Niger for leading the timely adoption of the 2020 Annual report of the UN Security Council, and congratulate Council members on adhering to the deadline for the report’s adoption.
On the substance of the report, it is clear that COVID-19 deeply impacted the work of Council, but the pandemic did not stop the Council’s workload or its obligations under the Charter to deliver on its mandate.
The report highlights that 2020 was also a year marked by turbulence and instability compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability for the Council to act in some of these most critical areas threatening peace and security, including due to threat of the veto, remains a deep concern for us. We regret that on the Council’s working methods, it was unable during this time to agree on a number of interim measures, including virtual, real-time voting.
New Zealand wishes to amplify ACT’s comment that it would be helpful in the introduction of the report to highlight the impact of the pandemic on international peace and security and the Council’s work and tools. This would provide a better snapshot of how the work of the Council was impacted and what lessons could be learned.
We don’t want to see the Council continue to move toward a worrying trend where differences, resulting in inaction, are more common than agreement. The work of the Security Council in maintaining peace and security is a critical part of the UN, but it cannot be achieved in isolation. This is why the General Assembly has a role to push for a more transparent, accountable and coherent Council. This report and the debate we are having today serves as a step toward achieving this.