Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OUTLINE: That this house would expand the permanent membership of the UN Security Council


Four nations that aspire to permanent seats on the Security Council — Japan, Germany, Brazil and India — are preparing a resolution to change the U.N. charter to expand the council. Under this plan, the number of permanent members would increase from five to 11, including two African countries that have not yet been named. The number of rotating elected seats would rise from 10 to 14. The draft also proposes that the new permanent members have the same veto power as the five current permanent members. (Maggie Farley, UN Divided over Proposal to Expand Security Council, May 13, 2005 )


1. To reflect more accurately the realities of the international community, which has experienced dramatic change over the past 60 years, and to bring about improvement in the representation of the Member States. (Permanent Mission of Japan to the U.N.)

2. In order to adequately address the wide range of today ’ s challenges, the composition of the Security Council must be reformed to permit Member States with the requisite capabilities to participate continuously in the Council’s decision-making process. (Permanent Mission of Japan to the U.N.)

3. Activities of the Security Council have greatly expanded in the past few years. The success of Security Council's actions depends upon political support of the international community. Any package for restructuring of the Security Council should, therefore, be broad-based. In particular, adequate presence of developing countries is needed in the Security Council. Nations of the world must feel that their stakes in global peace and prosperity are factored into the UN's decision making. ("India's position on UN Reform Process", India's Permanent Mission to UN)


1. Regional disputes persist. North Korea and South Korea dislike the idea of a permanent seat for Japan. The United States opposes Germany's bid for a permanent seat. Within Africa, a fight between South Africa and Nigeria, which represent the continent's two largest economies, has emerged over which nation should get a seat. And though India is a natural choice for a permanent seat since it is home to a fifth of the world's population, its nuclear rival Pakistan opposes its inclusion. (Kristina Nwazota, U.N. Member States Torn Over Security Council Expansion, Online NewsHour).

2. An expanded Security Council could find it more difficult to garner support and act quickly in times of crisis. (Maggie Farley, Mexico, Canada Introduce Third Plan to Expand Security Council, July 22, 2005 ) More countries on the Security Council would mean a greater divergence of goals and thus more gridlock. (Cowin, Andrew J., Expanding The U.N. Security Council: A Reciepe for More Somalias, More Gridlock, and Less Democracy)

3. The present five permanent members already place a great burden on the Council. Eleven permanent members would add to this burden. Their presence would block future reform and make limitation or outright elimination of permanency far more difficult. (Africa Week Magazine)

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