The UN Security Council held its first meeting in London in 1946, since that time the security council has taken on various responsibilities that often dictate the security measures throughout the world. What makes the Council so important, is that out of 193 member counties in the world, only five nations, China, France, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom get to set at that pivotal table as permeant members. The additional non-permanent seats are voted on, every two years by the UN General Assembly. This creates a kind of musical chairs style of extremely limited inclusion for the rest of the world.
While reducing inequality within and among countries is listed as number 10 on the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals list, the current UN Security Council represents a kind of 1 percent itself. The ratio between the five permanent seats and the total 193 member-states figures to less than 1 percent representation in the Security Council.
As we talk about inclusion in fields like technology and media, it would be remiss of us not to mention the lack of inclusion and diversity built into the current world security body. How is it possible that such an influential body has not been updated and reevaluated to reflect the world as it is and not as it was… narrowly defined by an elite few. How is it Ghana or Saudi or India does not have a seat in the UN Security Council? Over the past 10 years, hundreds of resolutions have been made regarding world security and other important matters by the Council with only the input of a core five (1%) and a rotating few.
The security council makes pivotal decisions that affect many nations in terms of war, peacekeeping missions and inspections which have huge financial, economic and geopolitical implications. The lack of diversity on this important council is staggering. The security council makes decisions on mediation, investigations, military missions, special envoys, blockades, sanctions, financial penalties and restrictions, arms embargoes and so much more. It is uncanny to think that in the past ten years, of the many resolutions and pivotal decisions made, most were influenced by a proverbial 1 percent.
As we move toward a more inclusive and accountable world where old norms and world powers are being redefined, it would seem the UN Security Council needs an overhaul that reflects the times. Just recently, Kim Jung Un, North Korea’s President and Supreme leader took part in iconic opening-up talks with China, the United States and South Korea. Such changes may be beneficial to trade, peacekeeping missions, economic security (sanctions) and growth for many states who may wish to participate in associations like the Continental Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA and the Belt and Road Initiative in a more lucrative way.