The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the sole body granted the power to mandate legitimate military actions, which was founded in 1945 after the Second World War in an attempt to maintain peace and security in the world. It largely displays the United Nations (UN) collective security system, based on belief that a representative council with a limited membership will result in democracy and efficiency. However, in the recent years, actions taken by the Council (in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.) are far from satisfactory (Kuperman, 2011; Mohamed, 2013), which has aroused discussion on the UNSC reform (Bourantonis, 2005). This essay will first discuss the necessity of the reform, analyze some proposed plans, and explain why they are unpractical. Finally, it will offer some suggestions to argue that the reform without charging the current structure of the UNSC is methodologically available as well as practically viable.
What is the necessity of the UNSC reform?.
Before looking deep into the essay topic, it is of significant importance to understand why the UNSC should reform. On the one hand, the Council is not updated with the contemporary global realities and thus has gradually lost its representativeness. The Council implemented only one reform in 1963 by adding four non-permanent members. The world has changed greatly during the past five decades, reflected not only in the ever-growing UN membership but also in the power transition from west to east (Bosco, 2009; Zifcak, 2009). This mismatch partly erodes the legitimacy of the Council. On the other hand, the Council faces difficulties in tackling the new security threats brought by non-state actors. Globalisation greatly changed the nature of security threats from wars among countries into stateless crises (Naim, 2013). Non-state actors are more unpredictable and changeable than states. The Council concerns too much about the traditional notion of sovereignty so it cannot react correspondingly (Jaeger, 2010).