UAE discusses ways to improve functions of UN Security Council in light of COVID-19

During an open debate of the UN Security Council on strengthening working methods of the body, the UAE discussed how the functioning of the Security Council can be improved during both the current extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as in its normal proceedings.

"The coronavirus has thrown a curveball at the Security Council. The UN’s founders could not have imagined the Council functioning virtually," the UAE said in its written submission – the method by which non-Council members may participate in open debates under current circumstances. "But in fact, the adjustments by the Security Council to the new circumstances have allowed for fulfilling its primary functions. Let us use this opportunity to demonstrate to the world the ability of the Security Council to be nimble and flexible to fulfill its primary function while at the same time adhering to the principles of efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency."

The UAE further stressed that the Security Council will require agility and flexibility to operate virtually in the ‘new normal’ of a post-COVID-19 world. The UAE also urged the Council to share with the broader membership its assessment of how the body has adjusted to virtual work so that this assessment can be used in case of similar future emergencies when in-person meetings cannot take place.

Speaking to the broader working methods of the Security Council, the UAE encouraged a more balanced division of labour amongst members of the Council. The UAE also called for improved interaction between the Council and countries contributing troops and police to UN peacekeeping missions to ensure a more inclusive and effective Council.

Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN has served as Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform for the past three years. In this role, the UAE is working with the wider UN membership on proposals to strengthen the Security Council’s working methods.

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