Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Expanding the Security Council

Talks of expanding the UN Security Council has been going on for a long time, but now it seems they have peaked a bit. There are mainly four realistic candidates for an expansion of permanent seats: India, Brazil, Japan and Germany. However there are a few more looking to get one, for example Egypt and South Africa. To me they all seem like good candidates; India and Brazil large countries, democratic and fast growing economies and Germany and Japan more mature industrialized economies that are also significant players on an international stage.

For Japan and Germany the exclusion has much to do with past wars, whereas for India and Brazil it has to do with the magnificent economic growth not starting until rather recently. To me India should be the most obvious candidate, as the worlds largest democracy and one of the largest economies.

The possible expansion and how it is implemented is very important for the maneuver room of the United States. If new permanent members get veto right in the Security Council it would make it harder to undertake any operations, since there will be more parties able to block a decision. This may be a solution that is good in theory, but not very practical in reality. On the other hand an expansion, especially, of non-Western countries would perhaps give the Security Council increased legitimacy outside of Europe and North America.
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