Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement by H.E. the Permanent Representative of Portugal, Ambassador Francisco Duarte Lopes, at the Security Council Open Debate on Working Methods

New York, 6 February 2018

Mr. President,

Thank you for organizing this open debate. We welcome every effort from the Security Council to push this agenda forward. I also thank Mr. Ian Martin for his briefing.

In recent years, there were some steps to increase the transparency, the inclusiveness, the interaction and efficiency of the work of the Security Council. In this regard, we commend the recent work by the members of the Council, under the leadership of Japan, in updating the presidential note S/2010/507. The challenge now lies in its implementation.

As yet another member of the ACT (Accountability, Coherence and Transparency) Group we associate ourselves with the statement delivered earlier by the Permanent Representative of Switzerland and I would like now to briefly touch upon four aspects suggesting some concrete improvements.

The first aspect concerns open debates, which turned to be regular features of the Council’s monthly programme of work. We welcome these debates as an expression of the commitment to greater transparency and openness to non-council members.  But also as a way to enable Member States to better understand the measures adopted by the Council and to enhance their commitment towards its full implementation. In this vein, we believe that whenever an open debate is expected to have an outcome, the Council should preferentially decide at a later stage, to allow for the outcome to reflect the input of non-Council members, as deemed relevant by the Council.

As to the second aspect, we note with appreciation that an increasing number of Council members are expressing their views publicly at briefings. We welcome and encourage this good practice as it contributes to increase transparency and allows members of the Council to have their views on record, without prejudice to informal consultations whenever the Council´s members deem it appropriate.

Thirdly, we believe that the Security Council’s consultation with the Peacebuilding Commission and the Economic and Social Council potentiates synergies and strengthens a more coordinated UN response in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The importance of such interactions has already been recognized by the Security Council. What is now required is to bring it into full practice. We, therefore, encourage the Security Council to regularly invite the Chairs of the PBC and of its configurations, as well as the President of the ECOSOC, as briefers or participants in informal dialogues, as necessary.

Fourthly, we encourage the Council to better use its subsidiary bodies, such as the Sanction Committees and the Working Groups, to ensure that it captures early signs of emerging threats to peace and security, including those closely linked to the larger development agenda, to climate change, pandemics, illegal trafficking or organized crime.

Mr. President, during the coming months, under your able guidance as Chair of the IWG, we trust that the Council will agree on further progresses related to its working methods, without overburdening the Council’s workload.

I thank you.