This year`s interactive debates in the run-up to the UN Security Council elections proved again that non-permanent seats to the Council must be earned. Belgium and Germany from the Western European and others group as well as the Maldives and Indonesia from the Asia-pacific region presented their respective programs and were ready to respond to many questions from fellow Member States and representatives of the civil society. H.E. Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations asked candidates both on behalf of the 25 Member States of the Accountability Coherence and Transparency (ACT) Group, as well as in her national capacity, at the hearings organized by the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA).
The open hearings that enhance transparency and accountability of the election process slowly become a tradition. They provide a platform where Member States wishing to serve on the Security Council can show in practice how they can live up to the expectations of the wider membership even before getting elected. Ambassador Bogyay on behalf of the ACT group asked the Permanent Representatives of the Maldives and Indonesia to explain how they intend to increase transparency and interaction between the Council and the wider membership. Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to remaining available for information sharing with their colleagues outside the Council as well as to contribute to increased cooperation between the Council and the General Assembly. On the question of how to enhance participation of women in peace processes as well as in their respective Security Council teams, that Ambassador Bogyay posed in her national capacity, both countries underlined the need to include more women, not only in peacekeeping but also in prevention related activities with a view to sustaining peace. At the first session of the debates, from Belgium and Germany, the Hungarian Permanent Representative enquired about the cooperation between the General Assembly and the Council concerning non-traditional security challenges such as food-, and water scarcity or cyber/hybrid warfare. Both members-to-be confirmed that they are ready to include such issues on the Council`s agenda and work in close cooperation with the GA on them.