Allow me first to congratulate you on a successful presidency during the month of August. Today, I would like to touch upon two issues: North Korea and revision of the Presidential Note 507.
First, regarding North Korea, the Security Council adopted resolution 2371 on 5 August in response to the two ballistic missile launches with intercontinental range in July.
All members of the United Nations must demonstrate renewed commitment to rigorously and thoroughly implementing the existing Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2371.
In addition, just yesterday, the Security Council adopted Presidential Statement, strongly condemning the most recent launch by North Korea, which flew over Japan.
This Statement demonstrates the unity of the Security Council and sends a strong and clear message that North Korea should immediately cease such provocative actions.
We urge North Korea to abide by this international call.
(Revision of Note 507)
Secondly, on Revision of the Presidential Note 507.
As the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Council has just agreed on the revision of presidential note 507 by consensus.
The Security Council held an open debate on the working methods of the Council in July last year during Japan’s presidency, and listened closely to the voices of not only Council members but also the wider UN membership to identify areas that would benefit from adjustments.
Having collected some useful ideas and proposals from the debate, I explored them in the Working Group in the process of reviewing and updating note 507 over the subsequent months.
As I said earlier, a few hours ago, the Council agreed on the revised note 507, after undertaking a series of textual negotiations starting in May. Thanks to the contributions of the members of the Working Group, I believe that the agreed revision represents a comprehensive and balanced text, which can serve as a useful “handbook” on the agreed measures or best practices on working methods of the Council.
Let me highlight a few points on the main revisions in some detail, if you will excuse us, in order to address the interests of the wider membership.
In terms of the overall structure and content, the revised note consolidated, streamlined and restructured note 507 of 2010 and all 13 additional stand-alone presidential notes, including the most recent note S/2016/619 concerning preparations of newly elected members as well as the selection process and preparations of Chair of subsidiary bodies. In addition, the revised note contains the following new elements, among others:
- First, on the monthly programme of work, incoming presidencies are encouraged to discuss the programme with other Council members well in advance of their respective presidencies.
- On informal consultations, the note refers to additional measures, such as encouraging briefers to be succinct and direct, making more effective use of “Other matters” to raise issues of concern by signaling the intention at least one day in advance, and encouraging presidencies to suggest elements to the press at the end of consultations.
- On the drafting process of outcome documents of the Council, the note refers to co-penholdership, taking into account the expertise and/or contributions of Council members on the subject, encouraging at least one round of face-to-face discussions with all members of the Council in an inclusive manner, providing sufficient time for consideration before the silence procedure, and making the document focused, succinct and action-oriented.
- On dialogue with non-Council members and bodies, the note refers for the first time to the importance of annual joint consultative meetings and informal dialogues with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, as well as consideration of joint missions of the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to address conflict situations in Africa. The note also refers to the Council members’ intention to regularly request, deliberate and draw upon specific, strategic and targeted advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.
- On Security Council missions, the note refers to additional elements concerning their value, as well as aspects related to preparation, itineraries, and follow-up.
I believe that the product is full of very useful ideas for enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency, inclusivity and transparency of the Council, if implemented appropriately, especially during our respective presidencies.
While codification of best practices is a useful exercise, codification is not an end in itself. What is most important is the implementation and actual practice of the Council. It is my hope that this revised note will be utilized as an important basis for continuing to make further improvements in the working methods through the daily work of the Council.
I thank you, Mr. President.