n Conflict Trends - Integrating Africa and the politics of inclusion and exclusion in the process of UNSC reform

Volume 2013, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the most powerful and influential organ of the United Nations (UN). The main responsibility of the UNSC, as conferred to it by the UN, is to maintain international peace and security. Membership of the UNSC is composed of representatives from 15 countries. Of the 15 members of the UNSC, five are permanent members - the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), China, Russia and France. The inclusion of these countries as permanent members of the UNSC was premised on them being the victors of World War II. Each of these five permanent members of the UNSC has veto power over any matter voted on by the organ. Thus, all five permanent members of the UNSC must agree to endorse any decision for it to pass.

The remaining 10 non-permanent members of the total membership of 15 countries are chosen based on various regions of the world, which include the Western European and Others Group, the Eastern European Group, Latin American and Caribbean Group, the Asian Group and the African Group. Because the structure of the UNSC does not necessarily represent the geographic and political demographics of the world, it necessitated calls to reform UNSC. Such calls have focused on the permanent inclusion of regions not permanently represented in the UNSC.

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