Security Council: 62nd Session


Member States Renew Mandate for Working Group on Security Council Reform after Intense Discussions
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 16 September 2008
With only a few hours left in the 62nd Session of the General Assembly and in the face of a total collapse, Member States finally managed to broker a groundbreaking deal to renew the mandate of the Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform. The deal - based on consensus - includes an ambitious plan to move discussions from the Working Group to intergovernmental negotiations in the General Assembly.

Security Council Reform Debate Heats up as Member States Negotiate Final Drafts
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 11 September 2008
After almost unanimously rejecting last week’s draft report on the achievements and future of the Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform, Member States met again on Monday, 8 September 2008, in a session aimed at reaching a compromise solution. The session resulted in a new draft, but in a subsequent meeting on 10 September 2008, that new document was once more met with heavy criticism, especially from members of the Uniting for Consensus group and India, and the GA President was sent back to redraft. The Open-ended Working Group will meet again tomorrow, Friday, to continue discussions.

ANALYSIS: Member States Balk at Latest Report on Security Council Reform
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 5 September 2008
Member States met on Tuesday, 2 September 2008, to discuss a recently published draft report on the current status and future of the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council Reform. During the all-day meeting, a number of countries delivered statements, with many challenging both the contents of the draft report and the proposed way forward. The report - usually adopted by consensus - is expected to be redrafted and redistributed to Member States shortly; however, with several disgruntled interest groups concurrently planning their next move, rumors of a looming vote on the future of the Working Group are quickly spreading among delegates.

Security Council Holds Open Meeting on its Working Methods
28 August 2008
The Security Council met yesterday for the first time since 1994 to publicly discuss its working methods. The meeting was convened by Belgium, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August, following a request by the members of the so-called Small-Five group (S5) - Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland. The meeting was based on Presidential Note S/2006/507, and aimed at addressing issues such as the agenda, access to meetings and briefings, documentation, informal consultations, program of work, resolutions and presidential statements, subsidiary bodies and newly elected members.

Security Council President Convenes First-ever Meeting to Discuss Annual Council Report to the GA
by Nicolas Christiansen, 30 July 2008
Member States met on 25 July 2008 to share their views on the content of the 2007 draft annual report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. The meeting took place at the initiative of Viet Nam which holds the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of July, and was the first of its kind.

ANALYSIS: A Look at the Transitional Approach to Security Council Reform
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 24 June 2008
At the last meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council reform, on 17 June 2008, a task force composed of ambassadors and appointed by the GA President presented their status report. It included a reform suggestion based on the idea of a transitional approach. According to this approach, Member States would agree on basic reforms now, with a view to revisiting them at a later mandatory review conference; at which time they could be reversed or amended. The following provides some additional insight on the legal and political implications of such a transitional approach.

Member States Meet to Discuss Report of the Task Force on Security Council Reform
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 19 June 2008
Member States met on 17 June 2008, in a closed meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on Security Council reform, to discuss the report of the Task Force. At the meeting, some 40 countries delivered statements, expressing differing views on the way to move forward. The GA President is expected to present a status report to the GA in mid-July on the work of the Working Group, possibly with a view to beginning intergovernmental negotiations.

ANALYSIS: Member States Talk Security Council Reform Again: A Never-Ending Process?
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 16 April 2008
The Working Group on Security Council reform met on Thursday 10 April 2008 to discuss a draft put forward by Cyprus at the initiative of Germany. The text was an attempt to infuse new momentum in the slow-going debate, but was almost certainly “killed off” by heavy criticism from especially the Uniting for Consensus bloc and a large portion of developing countries. The following is an analysis of the current developments.

CHAPTER 1 of the Center's April 2008 publication Managing Change at the United Nations: SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
by Jonas von Freiesleben
This chapter explores the history behind efforts to reform the Security Council.

Six Member States Submit New Proposal for Security Council Reform
by, 27 March 2008
A group of UN Member States has prepared a new proposal on reforming the Security Council. The President of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, is expected to review the proposal and guide States toward the next steps to intergovernmental negotiations on Council expansion and improvements in working methods.

Working Group on Security Council Reform Meets to Discuss Way Forward
17 December 2007
On 14 December 2007, the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council Reform met in a closed meeting to discuss how to move the process forward towards intergovernmental negotiations. At the meeting Chairman Sgrjan Kerim announced the formation of a four-person task-force, a time-table, the organization of work, and heard statements from almost 40 Member States.

ANALYSIS: General Assembly Debates Security Council Reform: Still Slow Going
by Jonas von Freiesleben, 15 November 2007
The General Assembly met from 12 to 14 November 2007 in a plenary debate to discuss Security Council reform. The meetings did not result in any concrete steps; instead they clearly illustrated the continued divisiveness of the issue, which is now entering its 15th year as an agenda item.