Three ways to reform the UN Security Council

Three ways to reform the UN Security Council

"The Unied States are disappointed that Russia and, to some extent, China used their veto right in the Security Council to neutralize the international efforts aimed at reducing the level of violence in Syria," the press-secretary of the White House Josh Ernest said. In this connection, he mentioned the proposed reform of the UN, which expands the Security Council, but he refused to say what exactly will the United States do. 

It is interesting that both Moscow and Washington believe that the UN and its Security Council are far from ideal. "This reform is needed, right now the UN is not an effective organization. We see how the UN Charter is violated over and over again, including by the United States, and the UN is unable to either prevent it or make sure that this conflict (in Syria) will be resolved in accordance with the international agreements," the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev says.

Russia's position on this matter was explained by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov: "We believe that there should be a reform of the Security Council, but reformation should adequately reflect those processes that have occurred in the international arena recently. Some regions are still under-represented, and the number of Security Council members must be increased in order to make the situation fair for these regions."

There are two ways to expand the Security Council.

The first is proposed by a group of countries that are in favor of the expansion in the category of permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council. Those are Brazil, Germany, Japan, India. They want a permanent membership in the Security Council and expand the category of non-permanent members.

The second is proposed by another group of influential countries, which says that the Security Council should be expanded only in the category of non-permanent members. 

Both groups constantly argue about this. There is a working group of the General Assembly, which regularly discusses these issues for 15 years. 

As for Russia's position, according to Gatilov, it is in favor of option that will be supported by the majority. "Formally, two-thirds should vote for it at the General Assembly to make this decision. The decision will be considered adopted, but one-third of the countries will not be satisfied with this decision, and this will cause some difficulties in the UN's work. Italy, Pakistan and Argentina are among those countries. They are large and influential states, which make a significant contribution to the work of the organization. So in order to ensure that the decision is fair, it must be supported by at least two-thirds of the countries, because this issue is fundamentally important not only for the entire organization, but also for the international relations in general," he stressed.

According to him, there is also a third option: "It's an option of semi-permanent members, under which countries would be elected for the period of not two years, as it is right now, but two years, then for two more, then another two years, up to eight years. This way, there will be a category of semi-permanent members. But this option is also not broadly supported. That is why this issue is still unresolved, it is discussed, each country that chairs over the General Assembly tries to discuss it again, appoints special coordinators of this process, but so far there is no real movement, because each of the groups continues to stand on its position firmly."