A New Wave for the Reform of the Security Council of the United Nations: Great Expectations but Little Results

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Rodriguez, Roberto M.
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
The reform of the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) has been an elusive issue at the United Nations (UN). While practically all Member States agree on the need to change the structure of the most powerful body of the world organization, so far there has been no agreement about what elements of that reform or about the substance of the reform itself. In 2008, after more than 15 years of discussions in the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) with little progress, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) requested the OEWG to start intergovernmental negotiations on February 19, 2009. The general idea was that it should be easier for the Member States to agree on those issues where agreement existed, and to leave the most difficult issues for later. This approach termed interim, intermediary or transitional included the proviso of a mandatory review in the future at a time to be decided by the UN membership. This dissertation discusses and analyzes the attempts at UNSC reform, with emphasis on the intergovernmental negotiations launched in 2009. It argues that little substantial agreement so far has come from such intergovernmental negotiations. Research findings indicate that insurmountable obstacles still lie ahead and that it is unlikely that the august body will be reformed any time soon. None of the proposals so far has obtained the necessary support for approval by the UNGA and serious disagreements continue to exist. All UN members recognize the need to make the UNSC more representative of the realities of the modern world, and that this means to expand the Council to offer participation to more members, but continue to disagree on how to do it.