Security Council Reform

To browse updates on Security Council reform by session, please use the links in the sidebar. To read more about Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) and reform efforts outside the IGN, please follow the links in the main menu.

Security Council reform has historically been a very complex issue; while there is general agreement that the Security Council needs to be reformed, there is extensive disagreement on exactly how.

In recent years, efforts to reform the Security Council have proceeded along two tracks: through the formal Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) process, and through more informal channels. While the IGN have been the main forum to discuss possible expansion of the Council, efforts outside the IGN have been developed to address other aspects of Security Council reform, particularly the Council’s working methods and the use of the veto by its permanent members.

Given that reform of the Security Council is considered by many to be a question of the efficiency and legitimacy of the UN system, a number of civil society organizations—including the Center for UN Reform Education—have followed it closely, with some expressing their own views about how they think reform should move forward. One of the most vocal of these groups is The Elders, who detail their proposals for Security Council reform in four recommendations entitled A UN fit for purpose.

Other organizations that have been following Security Council reform include the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the International Coalition for Responsibility to Protect, Global Policy Forum, Security Council Report, and United Nations University.

For a more in-depth and analytical account of the history and progress of Security Council reform, see our timeline on Security Council reform, and our publication Security Council Reform from 1945 to September 2013.