|Picture Credit: wikipedia.org/Bernd Untiedt
The Security Council's membership and working methods reflect a bygone era. Though geopolitics have changed drastically, the Council has changed relatively little since 1945, when wartime victors crafted a Charter in their interest and awarded "permanent" veto-wielding Council seats for themselves.
Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has hotly debated Council reform but has not been able to reach agreement. A handful of states aspire to "permanent" status for themselves, while many other countries reject such claims. This site posts information and documents about the reform process, including analysis of the state-of-play and statements by nations and negotiating blocs. In the background section, we have posted GPF's own policy paper on the problems, dynamics and options for truly Democratic Reform of the Security Council in additional to more general information about Security Council reform.
To enrich the current information, we offer a large archive on reform discussions in previous years. These materials are divided into four sections. The Membership section looks at the addition of both permanent members and elected members. Such changes require amendments to the UN Charter, a lengthy and onerous process. The section on Working Methods considers the procedures of the Council and the way it conducts its work. Unlike membership changes, these reforms do not require Charter change and the Council itself can implement them. The section on the Veto looks closely at this key issue and whether it could (and should) be eliminated or curtailed. The Regional Representation section examines the arguments for and against supranational organizations, like the EU, as potential candidates for Council membership.
There are many general documents, articles and statements throughout the respective pages. Documents produced by the UN can be found on the UN Documents page and include the documents, reports, draft resolutions and official statements from the Council reform process.
The reform of the Council is part of the broader issue of UN Reform, to build a more effective and democratic global institution. This includes the reform of other bodies like the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as improvement in the organization's management and finance.