Romania at the United Nations

Reform of the UN Security Council

The Security Council (SC) is the organ of the UN which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

In its initial form, the SC was formed of 11 members, among them 5 permanent ones and 6 non-permanent ones. In 1963 the Charter of the United Nations has been amended in order to allow an increase of the number of non-permanent members form 6 to 10. Until today, this has been the only successful attempt to reform the Council.

Nowadays, the Council has 15 members, 5 of them permanent (France, Russia, Great Britain, China, USA) and 10 non-permanent (elected by the UN General Assembly for a 2-year mandate).

The main reform groups are:

1. The Group of 4 - G4 (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) proposes an increased number of permanent members of the Council. It supports an extended SC of 25 members, among them 6 new permanent members (G4 members and 2 African states) and 4 newly elected.

2. The Group „Uniting for Consensus” (UFC) – lead by Italy, Argentina, Pakistan, Mexico supports an extended Council of 25 members, with the addition at the level of non-permanent members and /or the introduction of a new category of members, the semi-permanent members.

3. African Union (“Ezulwini Consensus”) supports an extended SC of 26 members. Africa will receive 2 permanent seats, accompanied by the right to veto and 2 non-permanent seats.  

4. ACT represents a Trans-Regional group of 21 states, which promotes the need for a review of the working methods of the Council, in order to increase its members’ responsibility in front of the entire UN membership and the transparency of its work.

The main controversy is related to the total number of seats of a reformed Council and their distribution on categories (permanent and non-permanent members).

At UN level the SC reform has been debated in 5 components: categories of members, the right to veto, the level of extension, working methods and the relation to the General Assembly.

In 2015, it was noticed an enhancement of the activity of the Working Group on the Reform of the UN Council, chaired by the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to UN, ambassador Courtenay Rattray. However, it was not reached a consensus solution.  

Romania supports the reform of the Council, in order to make it more transparent and efficient. Romania stands firmly for an increased representation of the Eastern European Group by affording at least one additional non-permanent seat in the future architecture of the Security Council.

Februarie 2016