Publication: Selective Security: War and the United Nations Security Council since 1945
30 June 2008
Ever since the creation of the UN in 1945, there have been repeated proposals for its reform, some of which have been implemented. There have also been growing demands for UN bodies, including the Security Council, to be subject to a fuller system of accountability. In addition, in response to some of the UN’s perceived weaknesses, including ineffectiveness and selectivity in the face of threats to the peace, proposals for alternative institutions, such as a ‘League of Democracies’, have been put forward by academics and policymakers in the US.
Major proposals for changing the structure of the Security Council, and for introducing formal systems of accountability as a means of controlling its actions, have not been implemented, but some informal changes to how the Council operates have been introduced. While reform is a serious issue that will not go away, progress on it has been limited – in part because many proposals for change have been based on questionable assumptions about the nature of the UN and the causes of its troubles.