United Nations Security Council- Need for a Reform


Before we push the article further on learning the issues of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of being less representative or illegitimate, let us first understand the basic meaning and structure of the UNSC. There are six main organs under the UN Charter one of which is UNSC. UNSC has 15 members and every member has one vote. The fundamental responsibility of the council is to maintain peace internationally and provide the world with the basic important security. Primarily, it is supposed to solve disputes between two or more parties (or countries) by peaceful negotiations. It saves us from the threat of facing another war. Other than maintaining international friendship, it is also responsible for the new admissions of members to the United Nations and also helps the General Assembly in electing judges to the International Court of Justice.

The five permanent UNSC members, China, UK, US, Russia and France are the power bags of the council. Debates on the need for reform of the UNSC have been going on since 1993 but no positive developments are noticeable. The VETO power, the FUNCTIONING METHODS, the LACK OF MEMBERSHIP, the LACK OF WORKING CLARITY are the core problems of UNSC. Why would you or I or anyone want to diminish the power we are holding? This way, the five permanent members of the council do not want to face curtailing levels of power due to which the reform issues are being debated and dragged from almost two decades now.

Different countries come together and put forward their suggestions but little or no importance has been given to them. For example, the African Union suggested the Council to expand and place Latin American and African countries in the Council because there is no place for representation at all by both Africa and Latin America. This could have lead to the provisions of Veto in the hands of these two new members, making the council a bit more transparent and legitimate.

The factor which is very precise and noticeable is that Europe is over-represented while the economically rising nations, for example India or Germany are missing. On another side, the power of Veto gives each member the right to decline the drafts or proposals, which are adding negative value to them. This is one of the greatest malfunctions of the UNSC.

However, the most significant excuse of the UN for not reforming the UNSC lies in the UN Charter. They say that if the current system is evolved, major changes will have to be installed in the UN Charter for which the support of two-third of the General Assembly (including the five permanent members of UNSC) would be required and therefore this complication does not seem to be resolved since the past two decades.

For grabbing the permanent member seat in the UNSC, the international relations between a country willing to become a permanent member with the five already existing permanent members needs to be perfect but the relations come out to be constrained with at least one of those five permanent members. For example, the issue between Japan and China over the Diayou/Senkaku Islands becomes a major hindrance for Japan to enter into the permanent member club of UNSC.

The UNSC is representing an outdated structure with no permanent space for the countries which are rising economically in today’s world. It seems to be working, away from the current realities of the world and is in a way still representing the systems and structures which prevailed somewhere after World War II.