The Reform of the UN Security Council

This paper aims to review the proposals for reform of the UN Security Council (SC) put forward since the 1950s and evaluate the most recent ones in order to see whether reform is desirable and/or feasible. The author analyses key issues at the centre of the current debate on SC reform (size of an enlarged Council, categories of membership and regional representation, the veto, SC’s working methods, relations with the General Assembly). He also examines the future role of the European Union in the SC, and such issues as closer coordination among EU members and the Lisbon Treaty's safeguards for the rights of permanent members, including the veto. The paper was prepared for the second meeting of Working Group I on “The Reform of the UN Security Council: What Role for the EU?”, held in Rome on 14 May 2010, in the framework of the IAI-University of Kiel project on “The European Union and the Reform of the United Nations” (Effective Multilateralism).

Paper prepared for the seminar on "The Reform of the UN Security Council: What Role for the EU?", Rome, 14 May 2010. Revised version: "The Reform of the UN Security Council", in Joachim Krause and Natalino Ronzitti (eds.), The EU, the UN and collective security. Making multilateralism effective, London and New York, Routledge, 2012, p. 73-93.

Roma, Istituto affari internazionali, July 2010, 20 p.
Publication date: 

1. Introduction
2. UN membership
3. The amendment of the UN Charter
4. The increase in the number of SC members in 1963
5. SC decision-making and the right of veto
6. Cold War SC
7. Reasons for reforming SC
8. Attempts to SC reform
9. The content of the proposals
    9.1. Size of an enlarged SC
    9.2. Membership categories and regional representation
    9.2.1. Membership categories
    9.2.2. Regional representation
    9.3. Veto
    9.4. The SC’s working methods
    9.5. Relations between the SC and the General Assembly
10. What role for the EU in the SC?
11. Is a reform of the SC really necessary and/or feasible?
12. Is there any alternative to SC reform?
13. Conclusion

Research area