The Struggle for a Permanent Seat at the Security Council : Current School News

The Struggle for a Permanent Seat at the Security Council



– The Struggle for a Permanent Seat at the Security Council –


This work set out to investigate the struggle for Permanent Seats At The Security Council: A Critical Assessment of the Contestants in 2012.
While observing that there exists a fundamental need to reform and enlarge both the membership and voting pattern in the Security Council in order to reflect geopolitical realities of the 21st Century by making both the organization and the Security Council, in particular, appear democratic while at the same time enhancing its efficiency and legitimacy around the world.

It is noted that while all member states of the organization accept this need and exigency, they, however, differed on the modalities, nature, and extent of the reform.
Moreover, each of the major contestants though enjoys the support of one or the other of the members of the P5, but they at the same time faces opposition from major powers in their respective regions; thereby making the struggle a serious and arduous task.
We, however, in this study vehemently believe that the structure and composition of the United Nations Security Council must definitely be reformed and reorganized to reflect the wide and varied membership of the organization.
The theory of national interest was used as our framework for analyzing the quest and struggles for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Data for the study was gathered through observation of secondary sources like books, journals, Internet, official documents et cetera.
Our method of data analysis which involved giving a qualitative description to quantitative information brings simplicity and coherence to our work. Our recommendations were also anchored on the findings of our research work which was clearly articulated in our conclusion.


Background of Study
The membership and structure of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have been among the most controversial and intractable issues considered by UN member-states since the establishment of the organization in the mid-1940s (Article 23 of the United Nations Charters).
Tillema (1989) opined that the importance of the UNSC, particularly the council’s permanent seats, stems largely from the status and prestige associated with its decision-making authority on questions of global peace and security.
In fact, permanent membership is equated with “great power” status in the international political system.
As a consequence, it is perhaps not surprising that a number of emerging global and regional powers throughout the world – including Japan, Germany, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt have sought permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council during the past few decades. However, Malik notes that,
despite a tremendous amount of discussion and debate, there has been little consensus on the matter of United Nations Security Council restructuring, including to what extent the council ought to be enlarged, how many new permanent and non-permanent members ought to be added, whether the new members ought to be extended the veto privilege and which specific countries ought to be added as permanent members (Malik, 2005: 19).
Although much has been written about United Nations Security Council restructuring during the past decade from an institutional perspective, (Russett et al., 1996; Blum, 2005; Malik, 2005; Price, 2005; Soussan, 2005), there has been relatively little focus on the politics of seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council from the perspective of an existing or emerging global or regional power.


Archer, C. (2001). International Organisations (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge
Asika, N. (1999) Research Methodology in the Behavioural Sciences. Lagos: Longman Nigeria Plc.
Bailey, S. D. and Daws, S. (1998). The Procedure of the UN Security Council (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Bertrand, M. (1997). The United Nations, Past, Present and Future. Kluwer Law International: The Hague.
Bhatta, G. (2000). Reforms at the UN. Singapore: Singapore University Press 
Bosco, David L. (2009). Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World (1st ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

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