chapter  5
10 Pages

The Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on UNSC Reform

Demands for reform of UNSC have been growing for years. In fact, the issue of UNSC reform has been on the agenda of the General Assembly since 1979 but had attracted little interest. However, UNSC reform became a ‘hot issue’ in the late 1980s, when the end of East-West confrontation opened up prospects for a greater role for UNSC in world affairs. As UNSC, from the early 1990s, began to play a more active role in dealing with situations relating to international peace and security, and world attention was preoccupied more than ever before with the work of the Council, the case for restructuring the most important organ of the UN gained momentum. Critics of the status quo argued that the composition, distribution of permanent and non-permanent seats and distribution of power and infl uence in UNSC refl ected the reality of the world of 1945. Thus, from the onset of the 1990s, a large number of states – Germany, Japan and many states from the less developed world – started forwarding their demands for a reform of the UNSC that would better refl ect the new international environment and geographical distribution of UN membership.