Ambassador Paul Seger of Switzerland Explains Key Goals and Strategies of the ACT Group

"Rather than start a complete renovation, we want to fix the plumbing..."
An Interview with Lydia Swart
11 June 2015

The ACT Group was launched in May 2013 by 21 countries aiming to reform the working methods of the Security Council. Focusing on the current Council, ACT’s efforts take place outside the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform, where the complex expansion debate dominates the discourse. The Center talked to ACT - Accountability, Coherence, and Transparency - on two of its priorities for this year: improving the appointment process of the UN Secretary General and veto restraint. Similar efforts are promoted by the Elders and the “1 for 7 Billion” campaign, among others.

The Chair Advances Security Council Reform, but Substantial and Procedural Complexities Persist

By Lydia Swart
29 May 2015

On 13 May 2015, an update of the Populated Framework Document was distributed to Member States, immediately followed by two days of surprisingly interactive meetings on 14 and 15 May. Pointed questions were raised about groupings and positions, and some - but far from all - were immediately addressed. The framework document indicates that with a few exceptions, stated positions have not significantly changed during the last few years. In most of the submissions, support for specific expansion models remains qualified in ways that cannot easily be reconciled. The notion of a comprehensive framework resolution emerging and succeeding anytime soon seems quite unrealistic.

'Populated Framework Document' on Security Council Reform

11 May 2015

A new text of 22 pages was distributed on 5 May 2015 and benefited from the input of around 115 countries. The exact number is unclear because the membership of L69 overlaps with that of Africa, CARICOM and the G4. There are no significant shifts in stated positions from Africa or the G4 since the 2005 World Summit. The Arab Group, UfC, China, Russian Federation and the USA communicated with the chair without using the one-page framework document as a template and their substantive positions are not reflected in the new text. Their communications also raised procedural issues, as did an earlier letter of UfC, to which the Chair responded. Meetings on the populated framework document are scheduled for 14 and 15 May 2015.

Chair Presents Framework Document on Security Council Reform

26 March 2015

Member States have been asked to provide their input by 16 April 2015 in order to create a new negotiation text. Some Member States have queried the timeline and would like more information on how the Chair, Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray, intends to arrange and merge submitted positions during phase 3. During similar efforts from 2009 to 2010, Member States ended up disagreeing about two different revisions of the text and on ways to streamline it from 30 pages into a shorter and more operational text. The Chair believes he has the "executive authority" to create a concise text.