Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement by H.E. the Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal, Mr. Nuno Mathias, at the 73rd Session of the General Assembly

Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council

New York, 20 November 2018

Madam President

At the outset, let me start by thanking you for your engagement in promoting a constructive follow-up debate on the reform of the Security Council.

I also express gratitude to my colleagues the Permanent Representatives of Georgia and of the United Arab Emirates for their role as co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations during the 72nd Session and welcome the appointment of this year’s Co-chairs, the Permanent Representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Luxembourg, to whom I convey the best wishes and support for the challenging work ahead.

Portugal considers that this process must be inclusive, transparent and comprehensive, generating solutions that will be worthy of a wide consensus among Member States, well beyond the required 2/3 majority of the General Assembly.

In this regard, we believe that consideration should be given to extending the number of both permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council.

This reinforcement of the inclusiveness of the Council should not compromise its efficiency. The right to veto should thus not be extended to potential new permanent members.

In the same spirit of preserving the effectiveness of the decision-making process, we must refrain from creating additional categories, other than the existing two: permanent and non-permanent.

Madam President

The process of reform of the Security Council must also include the continuous improvement of its working methods. Portugal has been consistently defending this principle, especially when, as an elected member of the SC, we had the honor to chair the “Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Matters”, as well as in the framework of our participation in the ACT - Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group.

The Security Council has enormous responsibilities in preserving the world’s peace and security. It must live up to the high expectations we all have of its work and duly reflect the circumstances of today’s world. In this regard, allow me to quote my President, who, in his speech at the last General Debate, declared that: “not reforming the Security Council with a broad-based consensus is to ignore the geopolitics of the 21st century”. A more representative SC requires, at the very least, the presence of the African continent, Brazil and India. A proper implementation of the principle of geographic balance must also be translated in enhanced opportunities for small and medium-size countries.

Madam President

We sincerely hope that the ensuing Intergovernmental Negotiations will allow us to make progress and to broaden the scope of the elements of consensus already agreed upon. Portugal is ready to continue supporting this process and to encourage your leadership in this framework.

I thank you.