Turkey urges bigger, reformed UN Security Council

By Betul Yuruk

NEW YORK (AA) – Turkey on Tuesday urged reforms to the UN Security Council, calling for an expansion of its membership ranks.

"The council will be more representative and responsive if reforms increase the number of elected seats and gives the possibility of all member states serving," Feridun Sinirlioglu, Turkey’s UN ambassador, said during an UN General Assembly debate on reform plans.

Sinirlioglu said that the veto right of the Security Council’s permanent members "serves nothing other than the national interests of those who have the privilege."

He said this veto is the reason why the Security Council has often been unable to fulfill its duties and has failed to intervene in time to avert crises.

"It renders the Security Council dysfunctional, unaccountable, and undemocratic, eroding trust in the UN and multilateralism,” he added.

He stressed that the outcome of the reform process should not create "an unchanging, non-progressive UN body," stating that a comprehensive and inclusive approach is necessary to prevent this.

Underlining that the outcome of the reform should be accepted by all member states, Sinirlioglu said that this is "the only way for the Security Council to be more representative, more democratic, more responsible, and more effective."

Sinirlioglu blamed lack of progress in the reform process on the drive to increase the number of permanent — not elected — members on the council, saying that efforts to add permanent members with the right to veto have eroded the reform debates.

If the performance of the member states is subjected to periodic elections, the Security Council will be more accountable, he said, adding that a good mix of temporary and permanent members will make the council more effective by improving the decision-making process.

Sinirlioglu stressed that the UN Security Council should fulfill its mission as the main UN body responsible for the protection of international peace and security, calling on all member states to work together in the reform process.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long advocated reforming the structure of the Security Council, using the motto: "The world is bigger than five."

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