Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

230403 - Intergovernmental Negotiations on Categories of Membership and Status of the IGN Documents


3 April 2023

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

Thank you to the co-chairs, Ambassador Tareq Albanai of Kuwait and Ambassador Alexander Marschik of Austria for the opportunity to speak to Australia’s position on categories of membership as part of broader reform across the Security Council.

Australia’s long-established position is that we want a Security Council that is fit-for-purpose, geographically relevant, transparent, and accountable. Key to this is greater permanent representation for Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

As we have said before, 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 and, as the most populous region in the world, is currently underrepresented.

Our long-standing support for expansion of Security Council membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories acknowledges that a Security Council that truly reflects current geopolitical realities improves Council credibility and better informs decision making.

However, expansion of any kind should take place within limits, and must be accompanied by improvements in the Council’s working methods, particularly on transparency, and with no expansion of the veto.

I want to finish by welcoming the proposals put forward by a range of Member States, including the Uniting for Consensus Group and the Africa Union. It is this level of detail and engagement that will propel change and it is why we continue to advocate for a move to text based negotiations. Only then can these reforms be realised.