Small States at the United Nations

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Psaila, Stephanie
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
The proliferation of small states in the past few decades has brought small and larger states on the same playing field. Their increase in number triggered a wave of studies, raised concern by „realists‟ and some powerful states, and an affirmation that at the United Nations, all states are equal, regardless of size. The dissertation looks into the role small states have played – and continue to play – within the United Nations. It looks at definitions, characteristics and small states‟ behaviour within the General Assembly, and with regards to the Security Council. It also looks into some of the proposals initiated by small states which have eventually lead to the establishment of legally-binding norms, international agreements and initiatives, co-operation models, and some of today‟s well-known institutions. Finally, it highlights the lessons learnt from the role small states have played within the United Nations, which serve as potential strategies states – in particular, but not exclusively, small states – can continue to adopt.