Share This Article:

An Enduring Concept for Security Council Reform

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:153KB) PP. 97-110
DOI: 10.4236/blr.2011.22010    4,814 Downloads   11,940 Views   Citations


UN Security Council reform has been lingering over the years, since it was first seriously considered in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This paper argues that enlarging the Security Council by adding new permanent and non-permanent members, while many of the Charter provisions vital for the maintenance of international peace and security and disarmament are not in effect, would be counterproductive. Instead, the composition of the Council should be reshuffled and expanded by giving a seat to a prominent member of the Global South, i.e. India, and replacing the seats of France and Britain with a single European representation. While there would be no increase or change in the number of permanent and non-permanent members, the result will be a dramatic increase in the numbers of people represented by the Permanent Five, which then will, in effect, comprise half of the world’s population projected for 2012. The underlying logic is that increasing the number of permanent members (P5) would make the Security Council not only less effective, but also prevent the realization of a fundamental purpose of the United Nations, i.e. the transition from an armed to an unarmed peace. By maintaining the number 5, the effective operation of the consensus principle required for the maintenance of international peace and security during the transition is ensured. It is maintained that the changes proposed in this paper may be regarded as “purely procedural” under Article 27 paragraph 2 of the Charter. It will be seen, however, that to trigger the process of the transition, UN Member states (other than the P5, who bear responsibility under the Charter to guarantee safe passage during the transition) must begin, one by one, to delegate “Security Sovereignty” to the Council.

Cite this paper

K. Schlichtmann, "An Enduring Concept for Security Council Reform," Beijing Law Review, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 97-110. doi: 10.4236/blr.2011.22010.


[1] Boutros Boutros-Ghali, “Preface,” In: M. Bedjaoui, “The New World Order and the Security Council, Testing the Legality of Its Acts,” Martimus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1994, p. xvii.
[2] B. Fassbender, “On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The Project of a Reform of the UN Security Council after the 2005 World Summit,” International Organizations Law Review, Vol. 2, No. 12, 2005, pp. 391-402. doi:10.1163/157237405775093708
[3] The United Nations General Assembly, “The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace,” Approved by General Assembly Resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984.
[4] “The Luarca Declaration: A Legal Response, Guaranteeing the Right to Peace through the United Nations System”.
[5] “The Declaration of Santiago de Compostela.” Adopted on 10 December 2010.
[6] A. de Zayas, “Peace as a Human Right. The jus cogens Prohibition of Aggression,” In: C. V. Duran, Ed., Contribuciones Regionales Para un Derecho Universal del Derecho Humano a la Paz, Asociacion Espa?ola para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, Luarca, 2010, pp. 157-174.
[7] E. Childers and B. Urquhart, “Reviewing the United Nations System,” Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Uppsala, 1994, p. 123.
[8] Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, “Second Report—The Transitional Period,” International Conciliation, No. 379, April 1942.
[9] A. Martin, “Collective Security. A Progress Report,” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1952, p. 36.
[10] F. P. Walters, “A History of the League of Nations,” Oxford University Press, London, 1960, p. 228.
[11] F. P. Walters, “Legal Aspects of Disarmament,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, No. 7 (Supplement), 1963, pp. 1-133.
[12] K. Schlichtmann, “Article 9 in Context—Limitations of National Sovereignty and the Abolition of War in Constitutional Law,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 23-6-09, 8 June 2009.
[13] A. H. Fried, “The Restauration of Europe,” MacMillan, New York, 1916, pp. 15-16.
[14] A. H. Fried, “Die Grundlagen des Revolution?ren Pazifismus,” The Foundations of Revolutionary Pacifism, Tübingen, 1908.
[15] D. Senghaas, “On Perpetual Peace: A Timely Assessment,” Berghahn Books, New York, 2007, p. 35.
[16] Q. Wright. “Political Conditions of the Period of Transition,” Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, International Conciliation, No. 379, 1942, pp. 265-266.
[17] H. G. Wells, “After Democracy: Addresses and Papers on the Present World Situation,” Watts & Co., London, 1931, p. 194.
[18] M. Bedjaoui, “Towards a New International Order,” Holmes & Meier, New York, 1979, p. 119.
[19] J. Rotblat, “Remember Your Humanity,” Speech on the Occasion of Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, 1995.
[20] B. Urquhart, “After the Cold War: Learning from the Gulf,” Toward Collective Security, p. 13.
[21] E. Reves, “The Anatomy of Peace,” Cassell, London, 1950, p. 213.
[22] Extracts Relating to Article 106 of the Charter of the United Nations, “Repertory of the United Nations Organs,” Repertory of Practice (1945-1954), Vol. 5, p. 381.
[23] D. Davies, “The Problem of the Twenty-First Century, A Study in International Relationships,” Ernest Benn, London, 1930.
[24] M. Bedjaoui, “The New World Order and the Security Council, Testing the Legality of Its Acts,” Martimus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1994, p. 1
[25] B. Urquhart and R. McNamara, “Toward Collective Security: Two Views,” The Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute of International Studies, Brown University, Occasional Papers Number 5 (March 1991).
[26] T. M. Cooperstein, “Article 106 of the United Nations Charter,” Texas Review of Law & Politics, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2007, pp. 353-374.
[27] R. Dore, “Japan, Internationalism and the UN,” Routledge, London, 1997, pp. 99-91.
[28] G. Bush, “The UN: World Parliament of Peace,” Address before the United Nations General Assembly, US Department of State Dispatch, New York, 1 October 1990.
[29] “US and Soviets as Allies. First Time since 1945,”.The headline in the New York Times, Vol. 7, August 1990.
[30] T. Daley, “Can the UN Stretch to Fit the Future?” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 48, No. 3, 1992, pp. 38-42.
[31] P. Zaylor, “France Might Share Its Bomb,” Japan Times, 15 January 1992.
[32] H. P. Langille, “Conflict Prevention: Options for Rapid Deployment and UN Standing Forces,” In: O. Ramsbotham and T. Woodhouse, Eds., Warlords, Hawks and Doves: Peacekeeping as Conflict Resolution, Frank Cass Publishing, London, 2000, Note 11.
[33] L. M. Goodrich, E. Hambro and A. P. Simons, “Charter of the United Nations, Commentary and Documents,” 3rd Revised Edition, Columbia University Press, New York, 1969.
[34] B. Fassbender, “Review Essay—Quis Judicabit? The Security Council, Its Powers and Its Legal Control,” International Journal of Innovation and Learning, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2000, p. 231.
[35] Carnegie Commission, “Preventing Deadly Conflict, Final Report,” Carnegie Corporation, New York, December 1997, p. 142.
[36] A. Rapoport, “Foreword,” In: E. Fawcett and H. Newcombe, Eds., United Nations Reform—Looking Ahead after Fifty Years, Science for Peace, Toronto, 1995, p. xi.
[37] S. Radhakrishnan, “Towards a New World,” Orient Paperbacks, New Delhi, 1980, pp. 14, 45, 52, 135.
[38] Statement of the Pakistani delegate Mr. Ahmed E. H. Jaffer, XLIst Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Compte Rendu de la XLIe Conférence tenue a Berne du 26 ao?t au 2 septembre 1952, Bureau Interparlementaire, Geneva, 1952, pp. 777-779.
[39] J. Logue, “Introduction,” In: M. J. Adler, Ed., How to Think about War and Peace, Fordham University Press, New York, 1995, pp. xxvi-xxvii.
[40] “China: The Land Out of the Limelight,” In: H. G. Wells, Ed., A year of prophesying, MacMillan, New York, 1925, p. 221.
[41] War and Peace Aims, Extracts from Statements of United Nations Leaders: Special Supplement No. 2 to the United Nations Review, December 1, 1943, United Nations Information Office,New York, p. 76.
[42] Paul F. Power, Gandhi on World Affairs, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1961, p. 31.
[43] C. M. Overby, K. Masao and M. Kazuma, “A Call for Peace. The Implications of Japan’s War-Renouncing Constitution,” Kodansha International, Tokyo, 1997.
[44] T. McNelly, “General Douglas MacArthur and the Constitutional Disarmament of Japan,” The Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Third Series, Vol. 17, 1982, pp. 1-33.
[45] R. Forsberg, “Keep Peace by Pooling Armies,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1992, p. 41.
[46] F. Nietzsche, “Human, All too Human—A Book for Free Spirits,” trans. R. J. Hollingdale, “The Wanderer and his Shadow,” Vol. II, part two, 284, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 380-381.
[47] M. Bedjaoui, “The New World Order and the Security Council, Testing the Legality of Its Acts,” Martimus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1994, pp 17-18.
[48] “Der Parlamentarische Rat 1948-1949, Akten und Proto- kolle,” Bd.2—Der Verfassungskonvent auf Herrenchiemsee [Documents and protocols, Vol.2—The Constitutional Convention at Herrenchiemsee], Deutscher Bundestag und Bundesarchiv, Bonn, 1975/1981, p. 454.
[49] R. O. Keohane and L. L. Martin, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1995, p. 50. doi:10.2307/2539214
[50] R. O. Keohane, “Reciprocity in International Relations,” International Organisation, Vol. 40, No. 1, 1986, pp. 1-27. doi:10.1017/S0020818300004458
[51] K. Schlichtmann, “Japan in the World. Shidehara Kij?r?, Pacifism and the Abolition of War,” Lanham, Boulder, New York, 2009.
[52] Schlichtmann, “The Ethics of Peace: Shidehara Kij?r? and Article 9 of the Constitution,” Japan Forum, Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 43-67.
[53] Schlichtmann, “A Statesman for the Twenty-First Century? The Life and Diplomacy of Shidehara Kij?r? (1872-1951),” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Ser. 4, No. 10, 1995, pp. 33-67.
[54] Union Interparlementaire, “Compte rendu de la XXIIe Conférence tenue a Berne et Genève du 22 au 28 Ao?t 1924,” Lausanne, Genève, etc., Librairie Payot, 1925, pp. 666 and 422.
[55] Mirkine-Guetzevitch, “Le droit constitutionnel et l’organisation de la paix (droit con?stitutionnel de la paix),” Recueil des Cours, 3/45 (1933), p. 741.
[56] Mirkine-Guetzevitch, “La Renonciation à la Guerre dans le Droit Constitutionnel moderne,” Revue Héllenique de Droit International, Vol. 4, 1951, pp. 1-16.
[57] H. Wehberg, “The Outlawry of War,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C., 1931, p. 115.
[58] S. V. Anderson, “Article Twenty of Denmark’s New Constitution,” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 50, No. 3, 1956, pp. 654-659.
[59] Wilhelm R?hl, “Die japanische Verfassung [The Japanese Constitution], Metzner, Frankfurt and Berlin, 1963, p. 246.
[60] F. H. Hinsley, “Power and the Pursuit of Peace. Theory and Practice in the History of Relations between States,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1963, p. 142.
[61] XLIst Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Compte Rendu, pp. 652, 654 and 778.
[62] K. Schlichtmann, “A Draft on Security Council Reform,” Peace & Change, Vol. 24, No. 4, 1999, pp. 505-535. doi:10.1111/0149-0508.00135
[63] A. J. Zurcher, “The Struggle to Unite Europe, 1940- 1958,” New York University Press, New York, 1958, p. 24.
[64] Statement in the UNGA, 12 July 2005 US Mission to the UN Press Release No. 130(05), cited in Fassbender, “On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, p. 401.
[65] Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “China and the United Nations,” Manhattan Publishing, New York, 1959), pp. 76, 161.
[66] S. P. Cohen, “The United States, India, and Pakistan: Retrospect and Prospect,” Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists Occasional Paper, July 1997, p. 1.
[67] A. Sen, “On Interpreting India’s Past,” The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1996, p. 15.
[68] A. H. Cordesman and M. Kleiber, “Overview of Major Asian Powers. Working Draft for Review and Comment,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 26 June 2006. For a comment on the Indian Navy see:
[69] S. P. Cohen, “The United States, India, and Pakistan,” p. 10.
[70] Congressional Record, “Nuclear and Missile Proliferation,” Senate—16 May 1989, pp. S5437-S5449.
[71] “Pandit Nehru’s Discovery of America,” Foreword by Eleanor Roosevelt, The Indian Press Publications, Madras, p. 56.
[72] “World Federation,” in the Indian National Congress’s famous “Quit-India Resolution” of 8 August 1942, K. Schlichtmann, “Mahatma Gandhi and the Quest for an Effective United Nations Organization, The Stakes, 1917-1947,” Gandhi Marg, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2004, pp. 55-81.
[73] K. Schlichtmann, “Has Indian Negotiating Power, to Achieve an International Order Based on Justice and the Rule of Law, Increased since the 1998 Nuclear Tests?” In: A. D’Souza and C. D’Souza, Eds., World Constitutionalism, Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle, 2007, pp. 198-206.
[74] J. Singh, “India, Europe and Non-Proliferation: Pokhran II and after,” Strategic Analysis, Vol. 22, No. 8, 1998, p. 1112. doi:10.1080/09700169808458869
[75] Communiqué of International Court of Justice, “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion,” No. 96/23, 8 July 1966.
[76] K. Schlichtmann, “Perceptions on Japan and the ‘Versailles-Washington System’ (Berusaiyu-Washinton Taisei) with Comments on Japan among Imperialist Powers in Asia/Pacific and Her Experiment with the Universal Principle of Racial Equality,” Sophia International Review, Vol. 20, 1998, pp. 83-90.
[77] K. Schlichtmann, “Japan, Germany and Shidehara Diplomacy,” Journal of International Studies, Institute of International Relations,Vol. 41, 1998, pp. 1-19.
[78] M. Kumar, “Current Peace Research and India,” Gandhian Institute of Studies, Varanasi, 1968, p. 6.
[79] B. Urquhart, “After the Cold War: Learning from the Gulf,” Toward Collective Security, p. 15.
[80] A. H. Fried, “The Restauration of Europe,” MacMillan, New York, 1916, pp. 5, 78.
[81] Dominique Moisi, “The Geopolitics of Emotion. How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation and Hope are Reshaping the World,” The Bodley Head, London, 2009, pp. 154-155.
[82] R. S. McNamara, “The Post-Cold War World and Its Implications for Military Expenditures in Developing Countries,” World Book, Washington, D.C., 1991, p. 28.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.