The Security Council is the implementing arm of the United Nations to manage global crises. It has the ability to impose sanctions, as it did against Iran for its nuclear program, or order a military intervention, as was the case in Libya in 2011. Since 2014 it has only deployed two peace missions, in Haiti and the Central African Republic.
The 15 members of the Security Council meet regularly to assess threats to international security, including civil wars, natural disasters, weapons proliferation, Pandemics and terrorism.
The war in Ukraine has made the inefficiency of the Security Council more evident
Most of the experts from various countries consulted by the think tank The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace believes that the Council’s efficiency and legitimacy have declined, particularly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has vetoed the two resolutions on the matter. Hence the growing desire to reform the organization or the appearance of voices calling for its expulsion from Moscow.
What are the chances of a reform?
The chances of substantial reform are considered remote, notes the think tank Council of Foreign Relations, and requires the approval of two-thirds of the UN member states. Until now, efforts to expand the number of permanent members of the Council and include other powers, whether India, Brazil, Japan or Germany, democracies born after 1945, have been held back.
For every country that competes for a seat, its rivals seek to block it because they see their own influence threatened. China, for example, opposes granting permanent seats to India and Japan.
What position does the US take on the reform?
At the UN Assembly last year, US President Joe Biden assured that reforming the Security Council should be an important objective. In his 2022 speech to the United Nations, Biden urged P5 countries to refrain from abusing the veto and called for expanding the Security Council, particularly by adding more members from Africa and Latin America.
Experts consider it still premature to evaluate Washington’s position. “It is tempting to dismiss Biden’s proposal as an act of political theater to generate goodwill among undecided nations in a context of a looming Cold War, with the United States certain that reform will never happen,” notes the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. International. For now, the result is that China and Russia have gone on the defensive.