NAM Proposes Measures for Reform of the United Nations Security Council

The reform of the United Nations Security Council is one of the long-standing demands of the Non-Aligned Movement, which regards it in a wider context of the reform of international global order, entailing efficiency and legitimacy of the UN system. NAM believes that transparency, impartiality, and consistency in the positions that are adopted should guide the Council’s functions. One of the major demands of the NAM is that the five permanent members of the UNSC should not immediately recourse to Chapter VII of the UN Charter to implement measures such as sanctions or military intervention if countries do not comply with the UNSC demands or act in such a manner that violates the interests of the ‘Big-5’.

In July 2016, Gholam Ali Khoshroo, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Speaking on behalf of the NAM, whose rotating presidency is assumed by Iran, called for 9 specific measures, for the reform of the UNSC and increasing the elements of impartiality and accountability in its functioning. First, the Iranian Ambassador called for the formalization of provisional rules of procedure of the UNSC to improve transparency and accountability.

It may be mentioned here that UNSC rules of procedure have remained provisional for 70 years. Second, NAM called for an increase in public meetings, in accordance with Article 31 and Article 32 of the UN Charter, and further that such meetings should have adequate representation of all nations and not just dominated by the permanent members. Third, NAM called that closed meetings and informal consultations should be kept to a minimum and should be exception rather than rule. Meetings should be open, especially when they include briefings by the special envoys or representatives of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Secretariat.

Fourth, NAM called for the establishment of subsidiary organs by the Council to be in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, and further that those organs should function in a manner to provide adequate and timely information on their activities to the broad United Nations membership. The fifth demand of NAM pertained to making annual reports of the Security Council to the General Assembly more explanatory and analytical. This demand is a part of the NAM’s principled position to make the UNSC more accountable and giving the General Assembly to review the work of UNSC.

The Sixth NAM demand for reform stated that Security Council should, pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 15 and paragraph 3 of Article 24 of the UN Charter, submit special reports for the consideration of the General Assembly. Related to this, the seventh demand stated by NAM called the UNSC to submit its monthly assessments comprehensively, and analytically, and that the General Assembly may consider proposing parameters for the elaboration of such assessments. Eighth, NAM called on the UNSC to take full account of the recommendations of the General Assembly on matters relating to international peace and security, consistent with paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Charter. The Ninth and final demand of NAM for UNSC reform called the UNSC to cease its on-going attempts to shift issues on the agenda of the General Assembly or the United Nations Economic and Social Council over to the Security Council and the encroachment by the latter on the functions and powers of the Assembly.

The above demand highlights NAM’s principled position that in order to enhance regional representation; there is consensus that the council must be enlarged to improve the current makeup, giving more weight to regions such as Africa, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean states, especially when most agenda issues centre on these regions. NAM believes that in its current composition as well as functioning, the Council is unable to articulate a balanced and inclusive vision of world order that satisfactorily reflects the views of the developing countries. Thus, the Movement has called for a reformed and renewed Security Council, one that reflects the voices of developing countries on the global stage.


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