Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on Membership



One More Seat at the Table (December 6, 2003)

The New York Times argues that the US should endorse a reform of the Security Council, as it could help it in pursuing its "goals of democratization and counterterrorism." Through a re-evaluation of the Council's composition, the Council could gain more democracy by including permanent seats for regional organizations such as the European Union, the League of Arab States, and the African Union.

Security Council Reform: How and When? (October 8, 2003)

This article argues that reform of the Security Council must involve "enlarging the circle of permanent members" to include representatives from the developing world. Supporting the idea of regional representation, the author suggests that each continent should hold a permanent seat, with countries on the continent occupying that seat on a rotational basis. (In the National Interest)

UN Reform When? (September 26, 2003)

The presidents of Brazil and Malaysia sharply criticize the inactivity of the UN and call for the inclusion of developing countries in the Security Council. Leaders from other countries, however, point out that an expanded Security Council still requires new decision-making tools. (Inter Press Service)

Annan Seeks Expanded UN Security Council (September 23, 2003)

The issue of Security Council reform has languished for more than a decade. Secretary General Kofi Annan told the General Assembly, "If you want the Council's decisions to command greater respect . . . you need to address the issue of its composition with greater urgency." (Associated Press)

Fixing the Security Council (June 16, 2003)

The UN Human Rights Commission has no minimal criteria for membership and therefore exemplifies the flaws of open membership. Defining membership criteria and the responsibilities it entails raises delicate but necessary questions in the issue of future Security Council reform. (UN Wire)

Straw Plan to Boost UN Security Council (June 11, 2003)

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will propose to expand the Security Council to 24 members. Critics of the proposal argue that if Britain truly wants reform, it should cede its permanent veto. (Guardian)

UN's Elite Club a Closed Shop (May 3, 2003)

Arguing that the Security Council's composition no longer reflects the current reality of international power and influence, several states seek permanent membership. Japan and Australia have proposed reforms that acknowledge greater political and economic weight outside Europe and North America. (Asia Times)

Australia Moots Shakeup of UN Security Council Adding Indonesia (April 30, 2003)

Australian Prime Minister John Howard plans to meet with Secretary General Kofi Annan to suggest reforms of the Security Council including making it a three-tiered body. The reform includes a permanent seat in the second-tier with no rights to veto for Indonesia, India, Japan, Germany and Brazil. (Agence France-Presse)

Solana Considers One EU Seat in UN Solution to Divisions (March 24, 2003)

EU high representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, wants the EU to have one seat in the Security Council to prevent future crises, such as the one on Iraq, from dividing its members. (


Who's In, Who's Out: UN Security Council Mulls Reform (October 16, 2002)

As the five permanent members of the UN Security Council negotiate a resolution on Iraq, the Christian Science Monitor discusses the question of Security Council reform. After nine years of discussion, nations cannot find agreement on expending the size of the Council adding new Permanent Members, or other changes, though all agree that reform is needed.


India Defends Claim to Permanent Seat on UN Security Council (November 1, 2001)

India believes it should hold a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council as the country is the world's largest democracy, a rapidly growing economic power and a major contributor to the peacekeeping operations. (PTI Indian News Agency)

Statment by Italian Ambassador Sergio Vento on Security Council Reform (October 31, 2001)

Ambassador Vento restates Italy's position opposing additional permanent members of the Security Council. He also advocates increasing the Council's transparency and accountability. (Italian Mission to the UN)

Statement by UK Embassador Jeremy Greenstock on UN Security Council Reform. (October 30, 2001)

Ambassador Greenstock reaffirms the UK's commitment to implementing a comprehensive reform of the Security Council . (UK Mission to the UN)

Mori Calls for UN Security Council Reform in Meeting with Annan (January 23, 2001)

Japan complains in a meeting with the Secretary General that even though it shoulders nearly 20 percent of the UN budget, it does not have a reward reflecting its contributions - a permanent seat on the Security Council. (Associated Press)


Rather than "promiscuous expansion" or addressing the problem of the veto and representation on the Council, John Bolton's suggestion for reform is joining any EU seats (ie UK and France) to perhaps allow Japan to join the privileged few. (Earth Times)
Compiled by Namibian Foreign Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab, who will chair the summit, the draft says that UN leaders will call for "the speedy reform and enlargement of the Security Council". If adopted, it will be the first time an official UN document has stipulated speedy reform and enlargement of the council, says this article from the Kyodo News Service.

South Africa Working on Revamp of UN Council (July 25, 2000)

South Africa is not competing with Egypt for the permanent seat in the UN Security Council, says the South African Foreign Affairs Director General. Yet he believes Africa's demand for two permanent seats in the Council is not "unreasonable."(Business Day (South Africa))

Foreign Minister Expresses Russia's Attitude to UN Security Council Reform (July 24, 2000)

Although the Russian Foreign Minister expressed readiness in expanding the UN Security Council permanent membership, he is in no rush.(Interfax Russian News)
A general discussion of proposals for Security Council reform, and the interest of the permanent 5 members in keeping the status quo. (UN & Conflict Monitor)
Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN says that the Council's seats are "not for sale". He doubts that the US, Britain and France would support India's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. (Karachi Dawn)
As Japan and Germany flex their economic muscles to obtain a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, Italy expressed that endorsing a seat in the Security Council should not be based on financial contributions to the UN. (Agence France Presse )

US Ready for Much Larger Security Council (April 3, 2000)

The world's most powerful country finally ends its resistance to an enlargement of the main body of the UN. (New York Times)


GA Concludes Consideration of Security Council Reform (December 20, 1999)

Efforts in the UN General Assembly to improve equitable representation in the Security Council by increasing membership of the Security Council don't get very far!

UN Press Release on Security Council Reform (December 20, 1999)

The General Assembly debate on Security Council reform focuses on changing veto and permanent membership.
A Reuters summary of a business briefing by the former NATO secretary general on that day calling for an eventual seat for the European Union on the Security Council and for the EU to get its army in shape.

Nigerian Minister Says Africa Needs Security Council Seats (October 24, 1999)

Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dubem Onyia says a permanent seat on the Security Council is necessary to ensure that conflicts in Africa get properly addressed. (Panafrican News Agency)


Key Delegates Differ on Reforming UN Council (July/August 1998)

An interview with the Ambassadors of Germany, Tono Eitel, and Italy, Paolo Fulci.


UNA's Security Council Reform Paper (August 27, 1997)

The United Nations Association of the United States of America examines the stances on Security Council reform, both in favor of and opposing enlargement of the Security Council from a US interests point of view.

Declaration on Security Council Reform by the Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (April 8, 1997)

Statement from ministerial meeting in New Delhi which is seen as a setback to the Razali proposal.

New Security Council Enlargement Plan Unveiled (March 20, 1997)

The UN General Assembly President unveiled a two-step plan calling for the Security Council's enlargment from 15 to 24 members, but without a veto for five new permanent members. The proposal, outlined before a working group of the 185-member Assembly by Ambassador Ismail Razali of Malaysia, aim to break the deadlock on Security Council reform after more than three years of discussions failed to produce agreement on the number of new members and on the veto issue. (Agence France Presse)

Germany-Japan Initiative on Council Reform (February 1997)

James Paul details the push for permanent seats by Germany and Japan. Includes details of the "Butler Group." A related interview with Amb. Razali published in Japan hints that a deal on Security Council reform may be pushed by the General Assembly President.

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