[IntOrg] UN Security Council Reform (Mr.Umid and Professor Hasegawa) (16th May 2012)

 On 16th May 2012, Mr. Makhmudov Umid, a graduate student from Hosei University, made a presentation on the implications of the Security Council reform. One of the reasons why the Security Council needs reform is that the number of permanent members and non-permanent members are not sufficient to reflect the present condition of the world. Japan has attempted to be a permanent member along with India, Brazil and Germany. The failure of UN members to reach a consensus is their preoccupation with their national interests. According to Mr. Umid, Japan has diplomatic disputes with China, Russia, South Korea and so on. The Japanese tasks for the future are to take a leadership on the world stage, to resolve the disputes with the permanent members and to actively grapple with the reform of the Security Council.

 Professor Hasegawa then explained in detail the reform process which started in September 2003 when Kofi Atta Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN at the time, proposed the establishment of a High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Since its establishment in November, the Panel addressed three questions: (1) “what is the new threat that the international society faces?” (2) “what can be taken as a group against the new threats?” and (3) “how should the structure of the UN be reformed?” With regard to the Security Council, the Panel considered imperative to increase its effectiveness and credibility by bringing into the Security Council those countries that contribute most in terms of decision making and resources. The Secretary-General reflecting the recommendations of the Panel then presented in his report, “In Larger Freedom”, two Models A and B. Professor Hasegawa also explained other suggestions and proposals made by Group of Four, Consensus Group, African Union, the United States and the LDCs. Intensive and extensive negotiations took place in 2005 but due to the lack of a promising prospect for adoption of any of the proposal, no voting took place on them and the Security Council reform was abandoned temporarily. Professor Hasegawa noted that the Secretary-General’s proposal reflected the rationale for a more effective way to manage the international security, while the member states pursued primarily their immediate national interest. The Westphalia world of anarchy still prevailed and the era of effective global governance was yet to come.

(Yui Narikawa)