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REFORM OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL - A REQUIREMENT OF THE TIMES

Nguyen, Hong Hai (2004)
Department of Law
Abstract
The Thesis, which is titled ''Reform of the United Nations Security Council: A Requirement of the Times'', consists of six chapters. Chapter I, ''Overview'', begins with the very brief historical background of the United Nations, the Charter and the UNSC. The focal point in this Chapter is about the functions and powers, the reasons - both objective and subjective - presenting the need for reform of the UNSC. For nearly six decades, except the 1965 increase in the non-permanent membership of the UNSC following an amendment to the UN Charter, the composition of this body remains under-representation of the UN membership, particularly representatives from developing or least-developed countries, in the UNSC's permanent and non-permanent... (More)
The Thesis, which is titled ''Reform of the United Nations Security Council: A Requirement of the Times'', consists of six chapters. Chapter I, ''Overview'', begins with the very brief historical background of the United Nations, the Charter and the UNSC. The focal point in this Chapter is about the functions and powers, the reasons - both objective and subjective - presenting the need for reform of the UNSC. For nearly six decades, except the 1965 increase in the non-permanent membership of the UNSC following an amendment to the UN Charter, the composition of this body remains under-representation of the UN membership, particularly representatives from developing or least-developed countries, in the UNSC's permanent and non-permanent membership categories&semic while the United Nations saw substantial growth in its membership, from 51 in 1945 to 191 at present. Additionally, some of the current permanent members of the UNSC are no longer major players in the international arena, could not bear the responsibilities entrusted on them by the UN Charter as permanent members with the veto power. Therefore, challenged by the intricate world situation, it is more than ever the high time for the UNSC to change. Chapter II, ''Membership'', is the first of the five remaining chapters dealing with each specific topic on the agenda of the UNSC reform debate. The UNSC is the representative body acting ''on behalf of'' and its decisions binding all the UN member states. Thus, the international community requires that more countries should be brought in the UNSC on the principle of ''geographical equality''. Going into the concrete nature of the above requirement, this Chapter discusses a series of questions: Why the UNSC should be expanded? How large the UNSC should be? What criteria should be used for new admissions? And, more specified is the expansion of the permanent and non-permanent membership. The answer for the question concerning the reason for enlargement is clear, but debates on the composition and criteria are never ended. For instance, with regard to the increase in the permanent membership, it is far from agreement in how many and who should be elected for the permanent membership, even there is nothing to guarantee for Japan and Germany - the world-wide influential potential candidates - for permanent membership&semic or concerning the criteria, whether or not contributions to the UN by member states should be the basic criterion. Finally, a bold point challenging all readers in this Chapter is the discussion about the term ''permanent''. As for the author, this term should be reinterpreted in accordance with the reality of modern politics. Chapter III is about the ''Working methods''. Since the GA officially launched the reform of the UNSC in 1993 with the establishment of the WGSC, revision of the UNSC's working methods has been most probably clear. To some extent, the picture of a transparent, democratic, accountable and efficient UNSC could be seen. However, criticisms on the UNSC's working methods in general remain. Two of the procedures relating to the UNSC's routine work are meetings and voting particularly discussed in this Chapter. Though much has been improved in the former with different and more open types of meeting, such as open debates, open meetings and Arria formula meetings, the latter seems to be the job of the UNSC's members only, even that it is dominated and used by the permanent members for their own sake. Therefore, a question raised in this connection is the significance of this procedure. Is voting a substantial or formula act? Chapter IV is especially reserved for discussing one of the most controversial issues on the UNSC's reform agenda, ''The Right to Veto''. In fact, this issue challenged the existence of the UN at the outset of this organization. ''Without the veto there would be no United Nations''. That was the feeling of many states participating in the San Francisco conference for the establishment of the UN in 1945. Nevertheless, like the Charter itself, the right to veto is deemed by many the relic of the past. The permanent members constitute the elite in the most powerful body of the UN thanks to the stupidly magic and supreme sword - the right to veto - in their hands. This Chapter reviews different types of veto&semic discusses the question of use of the veto power. After all, in connection with the enlargement of the UNSC's membership, questions relating to the abolition of the veto power&semic or giving the right to veto to new members, and if any, the basis for giving this right to permanent members, are deliberated in this Chapter as well. Chapter V, ''Cooperation with the Other UN Main Bodies, Regional Arrangements and Civil Society'', focuses on the cooperative mechanisms between the UNSC and the other five UN main bodies, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations in the framework of the Charter provisions and the UNSC's Rules of Procedures. In order to emphasize the importance of these cooperative mechanisms, each of them is discussed separately in three separate items of this Chapter: (1) cooperation with the other main UN bodies&semic (2) cooperation with regional arrangements&semic and (3) cooperation with civil society. The first two mechanisms are basically based on and governed by the provisions in the Charter. With regard to cooperation between regional organizations and the UNSC (item 2), this is a rather complicated mechanism, not only governed by the Charter, but also subject to operational rules of individual regional organizations. The case of cooperation between ASEAN and the UNSC was taken as an example in this regard, aiming at pointing out difficulties as well as solutions to improve that relationship. The last cooperative mechanism discussed in this Chapter is between NGOs and the UNSC (item 3). Though there is no point to deny their increasingly important role in the UN work, NGOs involvement in the UNSC is something revolutionary. Therefore, this item took a cautious approach by citing only recent developments in the relationship between the highly political sensitive body, on the one hand, and the free and outspoken society. Chapter VI is something like the so-called ''last but not least''. This Chapter titled ''Breakthroughs to the UN Charter'' aims to point out the organic interaction between the UN Charter amendments and the UNSC's reform. To reform the UNSC, it is necessary to revise the UN Charter&semic and vice versa, amending the UN Charter is to reform the UNSC. Therefore, this Chapter essentially focuses on possible amendments to the UN Charter, paving the way for the UNSC's reform. To justify the need for the UN Charter's revision, this Chapter begins with arguments based on philosophical standpoints of K. Marx on material dialectics. However, whatever it is, as K. Marx said, ''reality is the measurement of the truth''. The world has profoundly changed and the UN Charter is anachronistic. This is a crucial precondition for the call for UN Charter's amendments. The 1965 amendment to the UN Charter is considered in this Chapter as the first breakthrough, which becomes a comparative argument for the question of the possible second breakthrough to the reform of the UNSC. Finally, this Chapter discusses basic obstacles to the UN Charter's amendments. Unlike many considering politics decisive to the UN Charter's amendments, the author argued that differences in viewpoints and division among the UN members are the most fundamental obstacle in that process. The Thesis is wrapped up with the Conclusion, which summarizes the whole reform process of the UNSC. The last sentence of the Conclusion is a borrowing act by the author, from a popular English idiom, to emphasize the importance of personality, which is ''A talent in difficulty is a talent indeed''. This is always true, and also complies with the motto ''people are placed at the centre of development process''. (Less)
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author
Nguyen, Hong Hai
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1554844
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:22:40
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:22:40
@misc{1554844,
  abstract     = {The Thesis, which is titled ''Reform of the United Nations Security Council: A Requirement of the Times'', consists of six chapters. Chapter I, ''Overview'', begins with the very brief historical background of the United Nations, the Charter and the UNSC. The focal point in this Chapter is about the functions and powers, the reasons - both objective and subjective - presenting the need for reform of the UNSC. For nearly six decades, except the 1965 increase in the non-permanent membership of the UNSC following an amendment to the UN Charter, the composition of this body remains under-representation of the UN membership, particularly representatives from developing or least-developed countries, in the UNSC's permanent and non-permanent membership categories&semic while the United Nations saw substantial growth in its membership, from 51 in 1945 to 191 at present. Additionally, some of the current permanent members of the UNSC are no longer major players in the international arena, could not bear the responsibilities entrusted on them by the UN Charter as permanent members with the veto power. Therefore, challenged by the intricate world situation, it is more than ever the high time for the UNSC to change. Chapter II, ''Membership'', is the first of the five remaining chapters dealing with each specific topic on the agenda of the UNSC reform debate. The UNSC is the representative body acting ''on behalf of'' and its decisions binding all the UN member states. Thus, the international community requires that more countries should be brought in the UNSC on the principle of ''geographical equality''. Going into the concrete nature of the above requirement, this Chapter discusses a series of questions: Why the UNSC should be expanded? How large the UNSC should be? What criteria should be used for new admissions? And, more specified is the expansion of the permanent and non-permanent membership. The answer for the question concerning the reason for enlargement is clear, but debates on the composition and criteria are never ended. For instance, with regard to the increase in the permanent membership, it is far from agreement in how many and who should be elected for the permanent membership, even there is nothing to guarantee for Japan and Germany - the world-wide influential potential candidates - for permanent membership&semic or concerning the criteria, whether or not contributions to the UN by member states should be the basic criterion. Finally, a bold point challenging all readers in this Chapter is the discussion about the term ''permanent''. As for the author, this term should be reinterpreted in accordance with the reality of modern politics. Chapter III is about the ''Working methods''. Since the GA officially launched the reform of the UNSC in 1993 with the establishment of the WGSC, revision of the UNSC's working methods has been most probably clear. To some extent, the picture of a transparent, democratic, accountable and efficient UNSC could be seen. However, criticisms on the UNSC's working methods in general remain. Two of the procedures relating to the UNSC's routine work are meetings and voting particularly discussed in this Chapter. Though much has been improved in the former with different and more open types of meeting, such as open debates, open meetings and Arria formula meetings, the latter seems to be the job of the UNSC's members only, even that it is dominated and used by the permanent members for their own sake. Therefore, a question raised in this connection is the significance of this procedure. Is voting a substantial or formula act? Chapter IV is especially reserved for discussing one of the most controversial issues on the UNSC's reform agenda, ''The Right to Veto''. In fact, this issue challenged the existence of the UN at the outset of this organization. ''Without the veto there would be no United Nations''. That was the feeling of many states participating in the San Francisco conference for the establishment of the UN in 1945. Nevertheless, like the Charter itself, the right to veto is deemed by many the relic of the past. The permanent members constitute the elite in the most powerful body of the UN thanks to the stupidly magic and supreme sword - the right to veto - in their hands. This Chapter reviews different types of veto&semic discusses the question of use of the veto power. After all, in connection with the enlargement of the UNSC's membership, questions relating to the abolition of the veto power&semic or giving the right to veto to new members, and if any, the basis for giving this right to permanent members, are deliberated in this Chapter as well. Chapter V, ''Cooperation with the Other UN Main Bodies, Regional Arrangements and Civil Society'', focuses on the cooperative mechanisms between the UNSC and the other five UN main bodies, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations in the framework of the Charter provisions and the UNSC's Rules of Procedures. In order to emphasize the importance of these cooperative mechanisms, each of them is discussed separately in three separate items of this Chapter: (1) cooperation with the other main UN bodies&semic (2) cooperation with regional arrangements&semic and (3) cooperation with civil society. The first two mechanisms are basically based on and governed by the provisions in the Charter. With regard to cooperation between regional organizations and the UNSC (item 2), this is a rather complicated mechanism, not only governed by the Charter, but also subject to operational rules of individual regional organizations. The case of cooperation between ASEAN and the UNSC was taken as an example in this regard, aiming at pointing out difficulties as well as solutions to improve that relationship. The last cooperative mechanism discussed in this Chapter is between NGOs and the UNSC (item 3). Though there is no point to deny their increasingly important role in the UN work, NGOs involvement in the UNSC is something revolutionary. Therefore, this item took a cautious approach by citing only recent developments in the relationship between the highly political sensitive body, on the one hand, and the free and outspoken society. Chapter VI is something like the so-called ''last but not least''. This Chapter titled ''Breakthroughs to the UN Charter'' aims to point out the organic interaction between the UN Charter amendments and the UNSC's reform. To reform the UNSC, it is necessary to revise the UN Charter&semic and vice versa, amending the UN Charter is to reform the UNSC. Therefore, this Chapter essentially focuses on possible amendments to the UN Charter, paving the way for the UNSC's reform. To justify the need for the UN Charter's revision, this Chapter begins with arguments based on philosophical standpoints of K. Marx on material dialectics. However, whatever it is, as K. Marx said, ''reality is the measurement of the truth''. The world has profoundly changed and the UN Charter is anachronistic. This is a crucial precondition for the call for UN Charter's amendments. The 1965 amendment to the UN Charter is considered in this Chapter as the first breakthrough, which becomes a comparative argument for the question of the possible second breakthrough to the reform of the UNSC. Finally, this Chapter discusses basic obstacles to the UN Charter's amendments. Unlike many considering politics decisive to the UN Charter's amendments, the author argued that differences in viewpoints and division among the UN members are the most fundamental obstacle in that process. The Thesis is wrapped up with the Conclusion, which summarizes the whole reform process of the UNSC. The last sentence of the Conclusion is a borrowing act by the author, from a popular English idiom, to emphasize the importance of personality, which is ''A talent in difficulty is a talent indeed''. This is always true, and also complies with the motto ''people are placed at the centre of development process''.},
  author       = {Nguyen, Hong Hai},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {REFORM OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL - A REQUIREMENT OF THE TIMES},
  year         = {2004},
}