Global Policy Forum

"A European Seat in the UN Security Council?" Conference in Brussels May 23-25, 2011 - Background Material

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This page provides the background material for "A European Sat in the UN Security Council?" Conference in Brussels (May 23-25, 2011).

General | Protagonists | European Union | Africa | Other


Opening Remarks by the President of the General Assembly at the Conference on Global Governance and Security Council Reform (May 16, 2011)

In the opening remarks at the conference on Global Governance and Security Council Reform, President of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss stresses the importance of Security Council reform. He encourages the community to find a solution that would be satisfactory to the greatest number of member-states.

Update on Security Council Reform (April 5, 2011)

This article gives an update on the current state of Security Council Reform discussions in the General Assembly, including summaries of the discussions from October 2010 to March 2011. (Center for UN Reform Education)

The Reform of the UN Security Council (July 2010)

This report from Istituto Affari Internazionali discusses the current proposals for Security Council Reform.  While there is a general consensus that the Council must be reformed to reflect the current world order, there is no agreement on the scope of reform and how best to implement it. The report looks at the role that regional organizations play and presents arguments for regional representation as a possible means of reforming the Council. (Istituto Affari Internazionali)

Towards a Democratic Reform of the UN Security Council (July 13, 2005)

James Paul and Céline Nahory argue that adding more permanent members to the Security Council would enlarge a discredited oligarchy rather than build for a democratic future. They also oppose the addition of elected members, arguing that an expanded Council would be too large to function effectively and not substantially more representative. Instead, they propose a process of stronger regional representation as a future-oriented approach that can develop in stages and without the headache of Charter change. (Global Policy Forum)

A Hitch Could Still Stall the Momentum in Favor of a P-11 UN Security Council (April 18, 2005)

In this letter to the Financial Times, Dutch Ambassador Peter van Walsum argues that adding more permanent members to the Security Council will eventually lead to the paralysis and obsolence of the executive body. According to van Walsum, a more representative and more effective Security Council is an oxymoron.

The Hidden Veto (May 2004)

GPF's Céline Nahory argues that the decline in number of vetoes in recent years is deceptive. Permanent members continue to pressure the Security Council through the "hidden veto" - the quiet threat that they may use their veto power. (Global Policy Forum)


Text of the Draft Framework Resolution from the G4 (Spring 2011)

This very short text is the basis for the G4's renewed efforts in 2011 for seats on the UN Security Council.

Keynote Speech by Guido Westerwelle, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the German Council on Foreign Relations (October 21, 2010)

This speech by the German Minister of Foreign Affairs indicates a reaffirmation that, while Germany is seeking a permanent seat on the Security Council, its "long-term goal remains a permanent seat for the European Union." (German Federal Foreign Office)

Statement by H.E. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti on Regional Representation at the Fifth Round of Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform (June 28, 2010)

Statement by the Ambassador of Brazil aruging for the G4 position and a permanent seat for Brazil.

Tabled G-4 Draft Resolution on Security Council Reform (July 6, 2005)

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan have tabled their draft "framework" resolution calling for Security Council enlargement to 25 members, including six additional permanent seats. In an attempt to secure permanent membership, the Group of Four (G-4) had accepted to forego their right of veto for at least 15 years.  Also see previous versions of June 8 and May 13 .

Wikileaks: UNSC Reform: German-led Group Tables Proposal in Order to Spark Negotiations (March 2007)

This Wikileaks document provides a behind the scenes look at the German-led push to table a resolution on UN Security Council reform. The document gives a summary of the negative US opinions on Council reform. (Wikileaks)

UK/French Position on Reform of the United Nations Security Council (March 1, 2010)

This position paper was written in response to Ambassador Zahir Tanin’s request for member-states’ positions on the issue of Security Council Reform for the Open Ended Working Group. The position paper mainly discusses membership issues and the possibility of intermediate solutions. (Permanent Mission of France to the UN)

Small Five Tabled Resolution on Security Council Working Methods (April 2011)

The Small Five (S5) introduced a new resolution aimed at reforming Security Council working methods. It is an updated version of the draft resolution from 2005. (Permanenet Mission of Switzerland to the UN)

Tabled African Union Draft Resolution on Security Council Reform (July 14, 2005)

Also responding to the G-4 resolution, the African Union has tabled its proposal calling for 11 additional members on the Security Council, with Africa gaining two permanent seats and five non-permanent seats. The AU also calls for that new permanent members gain all existing privileges - including veto power.

Uniting for Consensus Proposal on Security Council Reform (April 2009)

This is the updated Uniting for Consensus (UfC) proposal that is an extension of the 2005 UfC tabled draft resolution. UfC is the principal bloc opposing the G4. (Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations)

Italy's Regional Model (April 2005)

Opposing new permanent members - and Germany in particular - Italy proposes to add 10 permanent regional seats that each group would manage independently with its own principles and mechanisms to ensure regional representation rather than a national occupation of their seats.

European Union

MEPs Split Over Possible UN Security Council Seat (May 16, 2011)

After a vote in the European Parliament indicating “overwhelming” support for a European Seat on the UN Security Council, opposing MEPs have voiced their concerns about what repercussions a European seat could have. The most vocally opposed were British members of the European Parliament, who saw any possibility of the EU seeking a Security Council seat as a direct threat to the UK and France’s seats on the Council.  (The Parliament)

European Parliament Resolution on the Role of the EU as a Global Actor (May 11, 2011)

The European Union and the Reform of the UN Security Council: Toward a New Regionalism? (May 2011)

Drawing on the recent papers that both authors have written, this paper further elaborates on the thinking of the writers on the possibility of a European seat on the UN Security Council. (Istituto Affari Internazionali)

Participation of the European Union in the Work of the United Nations (May 2011)

This resolution, passed in May 2011, gave the European Union full observer status in the General Assembly of the UN.

European Parliament Draft Report on the EU as a Global Actor: Its Role in Multilateral Organizations (March 11, 2011)

Towards a More Effective UN Security Council? The EU’s Role in the Post-Lisbon Era (March 2011)

Nicoletta Pirozzi of the Istituto Affari Internazionali discusses the European Union’s relationship with the United Nations. Her paper highlights some dimensions, both benefits and potential challenges, of the EU being represented as a single actor within the UN system.

Upgrading the EU's Role as a Global Actor (January 25, 2011)

Following the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, the EU needs to sort out its foreign policy to beocme a leader on the international level. (Center for European Policy Studies)

The EU's Contribution to the Effectiveness of the UN Security Council: Representation, Coordination and Outreach (July 2010)

This report from the Istituto Affari Internazional highlights the role that the EU is already playing in the Security Council. It further highlights the benefits that would come if the EU was more formally accepted as a member of the UN and possibly the Security Council. (Istituto Affari Internazionali)


Working Together for Peace and Security in Africa: The Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council (May 10, 2011)

This recent report that examines the relationship between the UN Security Council and the African Union sets out in great detail the variety of ways in which the two institutions work together.  (Security Council Report)


Proposal from Panel 4

This power point presentation was presented at the conference during Panel 4.

World Population Data

This file contains data on the world population by region for 2010 and the projections for 2025 and 2050.

Additional material can be found on the GPF website under Security Council Reform.

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