‘Security Council reform depends on political will’


The UN Security Council reform process depends on the political will of member states, the General Assembly president said.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Maria Fernanda Espinosa said a need for a reform at the Security Council has been an issue of debate for more than two decades.

The 193-member General Assembly, one of the highest policy-making bodies at the UN, has a woman presiding it for the fourth time in the organization’s history.

“We have an intergovernmental negotiation process ongoing for 10 years and the process continues. This is very much a member state-driven process,” she told Anadolu Agency.

The body has been criticized for failing to respond to global crises, as each Security Council member has veto power and can veto important resolutions.

The council, which is primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and security, has 15 members including five permanent members — China, France, Britain, the U.S. and Russia — with veto power over any resolution .

Espinosa said she will soon appoint two co-facilitators to lead the negotiations forward.

“I will be fostering dialogue and pushing the agenda but it very much depends on the political will and rhythm and that member states want to lead the process,” she said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long advocated reforming the structure of the Security Council, saying: “The world is bigger than five.”

In his recent address at the closing session of the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, Erdogan said the Security Council should have representation from countries on all the world’s continents.

Among others, Africa demands two permanent seats on the council, saying many issues discussed in the UN are related to it but the continent is not sufficiently represented.

Espinosa pledged to exercise her role as president and went on to say: “But you cannot force member states to change positions. It is a very contentious and divisive issue.”

“As the president of General Assembly, I have to bring all voices together, to foster dialogue,” she said.

Also, Japan and Germany declared they wanted permanent seats on the body with the veto power of the five current permanent members.

Reporting by Betul Yuruk:Writing by Servet Gunerigok