The UK’s stance on UN Security Council (UNSC) reform was made clear this week when the Ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, reiterated comments made last year calling for meaningful change in the UN’s 70th anniversary year.
Ambassador Lyall Grant claimed that “the time has come to make the United Nations Security Council more reflective of the modern world”. In particular, the Ambassador called for permanent seats for Germany, Japan, India and Brazil, alongside permanent African representation.
Speaking in November 2014, Ambassador Lyall Grant suggested that the 70th anniversary of the UN represented an opportunity for “genuine action on reform” - a sentiment he echoed this week in stating that the anniversary provided an occasion to “sharpen our focus and genuinely move forward” on UNSC reform.
The comments on reform of the size and composition of the UNSC were delivered amid wider calls for general improvements to the working methods of the Council. The Ambassador previously made clear the UK’s disappointment at recent use of veto rights by the current permanent members, emphasising the UK’s position that the veto should not be extended to any new permanent Council members.
UNSC reform has been difficult to achieve in the past, but Ambassador Lyall Grant made clear his hope that, in the UN’s 70th year, the debate could at last be moved forward in order to “ensure the Council is representative and reflective of the modern world while living up to the ideals of the Charter”.
Photo: The UN Security Council considers the situation in South Sudan. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe