Statement by Gerardo Peñalver Portal, first deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and permanent representative of Cuba to United Nations at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting for the presentation of the Security Council´s annual report.

New York, 30th June 2023.

Mr. President,

We appreciate the convening of this meeting to discuss the annual report of the Security Council to the General Assembly for the year 2022, contained in document A/77/2. We thank the United Arab Emirates for its presentation.

Recent discussions within the framework of the negotiations of the draft resolution on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly reaffirmed the importance that Member States attach to the exercise of timely presentation and discussion of the annual reports of the Security Council.

We reiterate our call for these documents to cease being descriptive, formal and uncritical. On this occasion, the report is again limited to the presentation of the list of meetings, activities and resolutions of the Security Council, despite the many long-standing requests of the majority of Member States that the reports of this body be exhaustive and analytical, facilitate the evaluation of the causes and implications of the decisions of the Security Council and contribute to a true exercise of accountability before the General Assembly.

For example, the analysis of Israel’s violations of the Council’s own resolutions, in particular resolution 2334 (2016), is once again omitted, while the Security Council remains unable to stop one of the greatest outrages committed against a people in the last century, and illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, punitive demolitions, the forced displacement of hundreds of civilians, the blockade of the Gaza Strip and threats of annexation of the territories of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem continue to expand with impunity.

Mr. President:

A comprehensive reform of the Security Council is needed, including its working methods, to make it a transparent, democratic and representative body.

It is imperative that the Security Council adopt its rules of procedure in order to put an end to the “provisional” status that its rules have had since its creation. This is essential for transparency and the necessary accountability to all United Nations Member States, on behalf of which the Council must act, in accordance with Article 24 of the Charter.

The transparency of informal consultations should also be guaranteed and minutes of the body’s informal consultations should be issued. Informal closed meetings should be the exception rather than the practice.

The number of public meetings of the Security Council has increased somewhat in recent years, including open debates and briefings by the presidencies on the program of work at the beginning and end of each month. However, we regret that the tendency persists for the Security Council to work in closed formats; to present each year to the rest of the membership only basic descriptive information on its work; to adopt decisions without addressing the concerns of non-members of the body; and to force action on draft resolutions when there are still considerable differences as to their content and scope.

General Assembly resolution 76/262 established a mechanism on the explanation of the veto. However, restrictive and selective approaches to the Charter, which would hinder the achievement of a thorough reform of the Security Council and its working methods, should not be applied. The lack of special reports of the Security Council to be submitted to the General Assembly on measures to maintain international peace and security, as requested by Articles 15 and 24 of the UN Charter, is another shortcoming to be overcome.

We call, once again, for the Security Council to adhere to its mandate and stop usurping the responsibilities of other United Nations bodies. The Council must stop expanding the scope of the definition of international peace and security, to the detriment of the roles and responsibilities of the General Assembly.

In addition, it is necessary to put an end to the selective manipulation of the methods and practices of the Security Council as a tool for exerting pressure against sovereign States, in accordance with political agendas and domination. Such strategies undermine the role of this body in the preservation of international peace and security and contribute to exacerbating conflicts and divisions.

The Security Council must represent the interests of all United Nations Member States in order to preserve multilateralism and the credibility of the Organization.

Thank you