Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Portugal, Ambassador Álvaro Mendonça e Moura, at the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Working methods”

New York, 19 July 2016

I thank Japan presidency for organizing this debate on the implementation of note 507.

The inclusion of this debate in the Programme of Work signals Japan’s commitment to this issue and the efforts put by the Japanese delegation in improving SC working methods.

I wish to express also our recognition for the work undertaken recently by members of the Council to move this agenda forward, in particular Angola as previous Chair of the Working Group and Spain which organized a productive debate on the implementation of note 507, last October.

Indeed when the time comes to start the discussions to update note 507 we must acknowledge that positive developments have occurred since its adoption in 2010, prompted by an active commitment of Council members and the contribution and support of the wider membership, including those of ACT of which we are part. SC Working methods proves indeed to be a subject of interest to us all and we appreciate the SC efforts to continue to push it forward.

Very recently we had an example of such effort, through the adoption of Note by the President under your tenure with concrete measures to facilitate the preparation by newly elected members of their mandates and the appointment of the new Chairs of the subsidiary bodies, aiming at improving transparency efficiency and inclusiveness in the Council.

In this vein and responding to your invitation, Mr. President, to make practical suggestions on implementation of Note 507, I would submit two concrete ones, both in view of increasing transparency:

  • The first has to do with making available to non-members of the Council draft resolutions and presidential statements as soon as they are introduced within informal consultations, or earlier. We think that this is an important element of transparency, already reflected in paragraph 44 of note 507, but where some further efforts concerning its implementation should be exerted as a matter of regular practice.

 

  • The second is the suggestion that members of the Council at the briefings express publicly their views following the briefers’ public statements. That would allow for members of the Council to put on record their views on the subject under consideration, which, otherwise, may only be expressed in informal consultations. This, of course, notwithstanding the possibility of Council members convening subsequently in informal consultations on the same subject, whenever appropriate and if still necessary.

 

These are two concrete suggestions in view of the future updating of Note 507. Let me conclude by expressing our full support for this initiative and to thank you for your commitment to improve the Security Council working methods.

Thank you.

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