The Pros and Cons to the reform of the UN Security Council

By on June 3, 2011
Several countries are calling today for the changeover within the U.N Security Council (UNSC). These countries are considering the reform so urgent to “rectify the inequitable power relations within its body constituents”, has declared the South African Minister of International Relations, Ms Nkoana-Mashabane; whose country, South Africa, is a non-permanent member for a second term.

Several attempts to reform the UNSC have emerged in recent past years. After an initial proposal in 1997, former UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, had proposed to enlarge the Council to 24 members. Subsequently India, Brazil, Japan and Germany (G4) had unsuccessfully proposed the creation of 6 new permanent seats, composed of the G4 and two African countries without veto power and four new non-permanent members. Other countries disagreed with these proposals and called to expand only the category of non-permanent members; while all African countries had requested two permanent seats with veto power and two additional non-permanent seats for the continent. In summing the “Pros” and the “Cons”, we can easily notice how the ratio of the slope  is unstable and even slippery; rendering any draft reform of the Security Council, certainly imperative, but unfeasible. It is due to many factors as the conflicting interests between the   doves, favourable for the enlargement, against the foxes favourable for the “Status quo”, as well as other forms of lobbying that might lead the United Nations Organisation  to its own impotence like that of  the League of the Nations in the inter-war period. The reform of the Security Council (UNSC) requires the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UNSC, enjoying the veto right. This procedure is very demanding, and needs to define federating criteria that can garner the support of a vast majority of Member States.

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