UN Security Council Reform

On Thursday a panel of 16 international figures will publish recommendations on how to reform the United Nations to face such 21st-century challenges as terror, failed states, nuclear proliferation, poverty, environmental decay and mass violence and genocide. The NYT (in U.N. tackles issue of imbalance of power) provides a preview of the most significant and popular reform, that of the Security Council.

According to diplomats who have seen it, the report recommends expanding the panel to 24 members with 6 each from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe under 2 alternative formulas. The present makeup is 5 permanent veto-bearing members and 10 other countries, elected in annual blocks of 5, which serve two- year terms.

One of the two suggested options would create a new tier of eight semi-permanent members with renewable four-year terms and one additional conventional two-year term member. The other would expand the number of permanent members to 11 from 5 and the number of those elected to two-year terms by 3.

Neither option, however, extends granting veto power beyond the existing five countries - a point that is sure to sharpen the debate in the General Assembly, which seems certain to continue into next summer.

Posted by Paul in United Nations Politics at November 29, 2004 08:17 PM