Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator

Thank you, Ambassador, for giving me the floor and for convening us on the important topic of penholdership.

As we have seen countless times, the Council is more effective, its decisions are more impactful, when it speaks with one voice, and in this regard the role of the penholders in seeking consensus is critical, as is the constructive engagement of all Council members. I take this opportunity to thank all penholders and co-penholders for their tireless efforts as we assess how we can make improvements to this important aspect of our work.

First, we should further enhance the working methods guidelines on penholdership. I would like to highlight the work of Kuwait, as Chair of the Informal Working Group in 2018 and 2019, in striving to adopt a Presidential Note on co-penholdership. In particular, we commend Kuwait’s efforts to acknowledge the important role of the chairs of sanctions committees and promotion of the principles of shared responsibility and fairness. These efforts continued under the chairpersonship of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  This work remains unfinished. Indeed, the chairs of sanctions committees should be consulted by penholders as mentioned by many today, and are usually well-placed to co-pen on their relevant files. This should become a practice and codified accordingly. We will continue to engage constructively in the IWG to make further progress on penholdership under Albania’s chairmanship.

My second point is on implementation: As we strive to adopt additional provisions in this area, we must, at the same time, implement what the Security Council has already agreed to, including:

  • full participation and inclusion of all members in the preparation of Council documents;
  • early consultation with Council members as well as with parties concerned and affected, including with relevant countries and regional organizations;
  • ensuring reasonable time for consideration of draft documents; and
  • importantly, ensuring that outcome documents are “focused, succinct and action-oriented”. The UAE strongly believes that interpretation and implementation of Council mandates would improve with shorter and clearer resolutions that also take into account the wide spectrum of capacity of States which must implement them.

Admittedly, our scoresheet on implementation is varied, which brings me to my third point: that the Security Council acts on behalf of the entire United Nations membership and must take the wider membership’s views into account as we pursue responsible penholdership. We listened carefully to positions expressed at the Open Debate in June, including from members whose situations are on the Council’s agenda. There were concerns voiced about the need for enhanced transparency, inclusivity, flexibility and, overall, the need to restructure this informal system. We propose giving due regard to these calls and embarking on an enhanced and responsible approach to penholdership.

Finally, and in conclusion, within the Council, we need to be true to the text of Note 507 and ensure that any member can hold the pen. Taking the pen should not be a divisive issue and we should strive to support fellow Council members’ attempts to contribute to international peace and security through the drafting of Council products. The United Arab Emirates will play its part in promoting fair burden sharing in the Security Council, including on the issue of penholdership. Fair burden-sharing makes for a more effective Council.

Chair, these are our ideas on penholdership, in a nutshell. We hope that this Arria formula meeting will result in pragmatic recommendations for improvement on this critical issue.

Thank you.