Belgium assembles elected members of the UN Security Council in Brussels
|Today, Philippe Goffin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence, opens the “E10 Dialogue” in Brussels. This two-day meeting brings together the ten current elected members of the UN Security Council and the five incoming elected members. The aim of the meeting is to increase cooperation between the elected members and to contribute as such to the efficient functioning of the Security Council. Our country is organizing the meeting together with Kuwait, which will complete its two-year mandate on 31 December, and Tunisia, which will join on 1 January 2020. This is only the second time that a similar initiative has been taken.
Coordination between the ten elected members is crucial for the functioning of the main body for maintaining international peace and security. Unlike the five permanent members, the administrations of these countries do not have access to an institutional memory. In the current context of uncertainty and struggles between superpowers, the efforts of elected members to work in a consensual manner are only becoming more important. Minister Goffin refers to Resolution 2165 as an example of increased cooperation. This text – crucial for humanitarian assistance to millions of Syrians – was drafted at the initiative of the elected members in 2014. Also the debate on working methods is driven by non-permanent members. Finally, the Minister underlines what it means to be “elected”. “This means that we have received a mandate from the countries that voted for us. This involves the responsibility – first of all to listen and then to ensure that the Council takes decisions and is able to properly fulfil the role of guardian of international peace and security.”
Strengthening knowledge transfer, exchanging experiences
With the organization of the E10 consultations, our country contributes to the increasing cooperation between the elected members of the UNSC and tries to strengthen the transfer of knowledge and to exchange experiences. The aim is to develop a “common memory” and to shorten the learning curve for an elected member.
Belgium was elected to the United Nations Security Council in 2018 for a two-year term. Belgium chairs the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and the Somalia Sanctions Committee for example. As “penholder”, we seek consensus among the members of the Security Council on humanitarian issues relating to the Syrian conflict, as well as for the UNOWAS (West Africa) mandate. In addition, our country is a facilitator for the resolution (2231) that ratifies the agreement with Iran. In February, Belgium will take over the presidency of the Council for one month. Our country wants to steer debates on pressing international issues in the right direction. In addition, we have set our own priorities with debates on “Children and Armed Conflict”, transitional justice and EU-UN cooperation.
The ten elected members of the Council are currently:
Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, South Africa
The incoming members are:
Estonia, Niger, Saint-Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Vietnam