from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Why Is No One Talking About UN Security Council Reform Anymore?

The UN Security Council chamber is seen from behind the council president's chair at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 18, 2015. Mike Segar/Reuters

The composition of the UN Security Council bears less and less resemblance to the distribution of international power, yet countries have fallen silent on the issue of reform. 

June 3, 2019

The UN Security Council chamber is seen from behind the council president's chair at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 18, 2015. Mike Segar/Reuters
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In my weekly column for World Politics Review, I examine UN Security Council reform and ask why this longstanding issue seems to have fallen off the global agenda. 

Among the mysteries of contemporary world politics is the lack of high-level debate over reforming the United Nations Security Council. UN membership has expanded dramatically since 1945, from 51 to 193 nations, and the global economy has experienced tectonic shifts, especially in the past 30 years. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the seven largest Western economies—three of which have permanent seats on the council—accounted for 51 percent of global economic output. Today they account for only 30 percent. A decade and a half ago, many voices insisted that the council must expand to retain its legitimacy and effectiveness. They have since fallen silent. 

More on:

Global Governance

United Nations

Diplomacy and International Institutions

International Organizations

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

More on:

Global Governance

United Nations

Diplomacy and International Institutions

International Organizations

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