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Effectiveness and Ineffectiveness of the UN Security Council in the Last Twenty Years: A US Perspective


Is the Security Council a concert of great powers, unrepresentative of the international community, or a more inclusive body that derives its legitimacy from being representative of the UN membership as a whole? The United States in particular continues to take seriously its "custodial" role for the international system, which explains its willingness to stand alone on some unpopular issues. Elsewhere in the world, there is little sympathy for this attitude. Most countries around the world would deny that the great powers, and least of all the United States, play or should play anything like a custodial role in the international system.

Paper presented at the first meeting of the Working Group I "The EU and the reform of the UN Security Council", organised in Rome on 12-13 November 2009 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the framework of the project "The European Union and the Reform of the United Nations" (The EU as a global actor in the UN reform process). Subsequest version: "Effectiveness and Ineffectiveness of the UN Security Council in the last 20 Years: a US Perspective", in Joachim Krause and Natalino Ronzitti (eds.), The EU, the UN and Collective Security. Making Multilateralism Effective, London/New York, Routledge, 2012, p. 53-69.

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