There is a broad consensus upon the need for reform to the composition of the United Nations Security Council, largely driven by perceptions of its unrepresentative nature and domination by a small group of permanent members whose status stems from the geopolitical realities which existed in 1945. However, there is little agreement upon the exact form which such reform should take, evidenced by the numerous reform proposals advanced over several decades without any resulting change. This paper considers some options for enhancing diversity and representation within the Council and suggests that the principal reason for failure to advance these objectives lies in the very diversity of the international community. Thus, Security Council reform is likely to remain a problem that can never be resolved with any lasting success to the satisfaction of the international community at large. It is suggested that efforts to enhance perceptions of the Council’s legitimacy instead focus upon more realistic means of effecting change to its working methods and broadening opportunities for more states to contribute to its decision-making processes through alternative mechanisms.
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Wilson, G. Enhancing diversity and representation within the United Nations Security Council: the dilemmas of reform. Int Polit 56, 495–513 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-018-0148-y
- Security Council reform
- Permanent membership