Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

230126 - Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform (First Meeting)


26 January 2023

Statement by H.E. The Hon Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Australian Mission to the United Nations

Let me begin by thanking the co-chairs of the IGN process for the 77th session, Ambassador Tareq Albanai of Kuwait, and Ambassador Michal Mlynár of Slovakia for organising today’s meeting and for chairing this important and difficult process.

The events of the past 12 months have shown just how challenging it can be for the Security Council to effectively perform its core function of the maintenance of international peace and security – when blocked by a veto-wielding Permanent Member.

Australia was pleased to support the consensus adoption of the veto initiative, a clear demonstration of the membership's appetite for reform.

But there are more urgent reforms required.

It is our hope that this urgency, coupled with recent momentum in support of a reformed UNSC, can be successfully harnessed this IGN session and translated into concrete progress.

Today we meet again to discuss the issue of regional representation on a reformed Security Council.

Once again, we gather to restate our collective aspiration to deliver a body that better reflects and represents the world of the 21st century, rather than the mid-20th century.

Like the majority of Member States in this Assembly, Australia sees significant value in a Security Council that can benefit from the views of a greater proportion of the world’s population and of its dynamic regions.

As I have stated before, Australia is a long-standing supporter of greater representation on the Security Council for Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Africa represents a quarter of the world’s states; is projected to comprise a quarter of the world’s population by 2050; and has much to contribute to address contemporary challenges including in security, climate change and green energy, and upholding the rules based international order.

Latin America is a growing and dynamic region with a deep history of engagement in the multilateral system.  Latin America has much to contribute to global discussions and actions to meet challenges including climate change, energy, food production and security.

Asia is part of the dynamic Indo-Pacific region of which Australia is also a part.

To this end, Australia has indicated its support for permanent representation on the Council for India and Japan in an effort to better reflect geopolitical realities in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia will continue to follow these important discussions with interest.  

And as we commence this process in 2023, I reiterate the call we made at the Plenary Meeting in November.  We need to move to text-based negotiations so that the aspirations of Member States for genuine reform can be realised.