Remarks at the 35th Plenary Meeting on Agenda Item 123: Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council

T.H. Mr. Tom Carnahan
U.S. Representative to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly
New York, New York
November 16, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. The United States continues to believe that the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) remain the most appropriate forum to discuss any changes to UN Security Council permanent membership. We remain open to any form of negotiation within the IGN framework as long as the format allows for broad consensus. Wide agreement across the IGN is the only way reform will ultimately succeed.

As we have previously stated, the United States remains open, in principle, to an expansion of the Security Council for both permanent and non-permanent members. We believe this must be pursued in a way that will not diminish the Security Council’s effectiveness or its efficiency, and that will not alter or expand the veto.

We recommend carefully considering the ability and willingness of any potential Council member to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security. A member state’s capacity to shoulder the considerable responsibility that comes with sitting on the Security Council should be taken into account.

The Security Council is, is an important tool to address some of today’s most pressing threats to international peace and security, but it occasionally falls short. A well-executed expansion of the Council could help modernize the body to better reflect 21st century global realities and increase its effectiveness.

Thank you.