chapter  5
Accountability and Reform Security Council accountability 59 Formal change: proposals for structural reform of the Security Council 61 Informal change: reforms to working methods 64 Proposals for an international organisation of democracies 65
Pages 8

Arguably, the budgetary power of the General Assembly creates some limited Council accountability. Under Charter Article 17, the Assembly has the power to ‘consider and approve the budget of the Organization’. However, when the Security Council embarks on a costly new initiative such as setting up a peacekeeping operation, the costs are borne through special budgets over which the General Assembly has less control than it has over the regular budget. In respect of both the regular and special budgets, member states are obliged under the Charter to pay contributions assessed on percentage scales agreed by the General Assembly. Frequently in UN history, states have sought to exert pressure on either the Assembly or the Council – for example in response to the latter’s establishment of a peacekeeping operation with which they disagree – by withholding parts of these dues.