Elected Members of the Security Council: Lame Ducks or Key Players?


Conventional wisdom has it that the successful functioning of the UN Security Council almost completely depends on the role played by its five permanent members and the extent to which they can agree—or avoid to fundamentally disagree—on the many issues on the Council’s agenda. But the Council also consists of ten non-permanent or elected members who represent five different regions of the world, and who, though not vested with the right of veto, play an indispensable role in Council decision-making.

This book aims to take a closer look at that role. It considers what role is foreseen for the elected members in the UN Charter, how this evolved in practice, and what “tools” they can deploy. It also considers whether there are particular “niches” for the elected members on the Security Council, such as engaging in conflict prevention, taking initiatives on rule of law issues and debating the potential effects of climate change on peace and security. Can elected members serve as agents of the international community and norm entrepreneurs? Should their position be strengthened, and if so, how? This collection was born out of a dynamic research seminar held at Leiden University, which also drew on the experiences of former elected members. This book thus offers unique insights from both practice and scholarship, and is an indispensable tool for politicians, diplomats, academics and students alike.

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Nico Schrijver is part-time Professor of International Law at Leiden University and serves as State Councillor in the Council of State of the Netherlands.
Niels Blokker is Professor of International Institutional Law at Leiden University and was previously Deputy Legal Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Both of them have extensive work experience in the UN system, either as a member of expert bodies or as a delegate. Earlier they co-edited The Security Council and the Use of Force. Theory and Reality - A Need for Change? (Brill, 2005) and Immunities of International Organisations (Brill, 2015). In each of these publications they seek to bring together the perspectives of both academics and practitioners.
Stef Blok

List of Abbreviations

1 Introduction
Niels Blokker, Nico Schrijver and Sarah Mead

Part I: Elected Members: Law and Practice

2 Non-permanent Members of the Security Council: A Charter Perspective
Stephen Mathias and Keiichiro Okimoto

3 Elected Members Today: Overcoming the Handicaps
Ian Martin

4 Campaigning for an Elected Seat in the UN Security Council
Ann-Marie Ekengren and Ulrika Möller

5 More Non-Permanent Members? On the Need for a Second Enlargement of the Security Council
Niels Blokker

Part II: Elected Members: Inside and Outside Experiences

6 Pursuing Peace and Justice on the Security Council: The Canadian Experience
Alistair Edgar

7 The Role of Elected Members on the UN Security Council: The New Zealand Experience 2015-16
Gerard van Bohemen

8 The Dutch Approach of Promoting the International Rule of Law and Constructive Multilateralism on the Security Council
Nico Schrijver

9 Belgium in the UN Security Council: Responsibility Without Power?
Jan Wouters and Nina Pineau

10 Representing the European Union at the United Nations: The Security Council Dimension
Thomas Mayr-Harting

11 Serving on the Security Council: More Like Playing Poker than Like Chess
Peter Wilson

Part III: Niches for Elected Members

12 What Kind of Rule of Law Should Elected Members Promote?
Alejandro Rodiles

13 Elected Members and Agenda-Setting: The Security Council as Peace Broker
Daniëlla Dam-de Jong

14 Managing the Ebb and Flow of Sanctions Reform: An Important Role for Non-Permanent Members
Jeremy Farrall and Christopher Michaelsen

15 The Office of the Ombudsperson and the Elected Members of the Security Council
Kimberly Prost

16 Environmental Peacebuilding and the UN Security Council
Amanda Kron

17 Non-Permanent Members of the Security Council and International Criminal Justice: A Proposal for Revitalization
Giuseppe Nesi

18 Working from the Outside to Change the Working Methods of the Security Council: Elected Members as a Bridge between the Permanent Members and the Rest of the UN Membership
Christian Wenaweser

About the Contributors
Table of Treaties
Table of Resolutions
Presidential Notes and Statements
Case Law