The CSS Blog Network

UN Security Council Reform: A Gordian Knot?

UN Security Council session on 24 September 2009 chaired by US President Barack Obama. (UN Photo)

UN Security Council Reform: A Gordian Knot? (UN Photo)

Will the UN ever manage to reform its Security Council?

CSS senior researcher Daniel Trachsler evaluates the organization’s 20-year-long efforts in a new policy brief.

He gives an overview of reform proposals and analyzes factors blocking the reform project. Disagreements, regional rivalries and institutional obstacles have led to a Gordian Knot, an intractable problem solved by a bold move, which will require a high degree of willingness for compromise to entangle, he argues.

Failing this, Trachsler warns against a substantial loss of legitimacy for the UN’s most powerful body. He stresses that it is particularly in the interest of small and medium states to avoid this.

You can download the paper here. For more resources on Security Council reform, please visit our Digital Library.