Security Council
(High School)

Background, The Issue, Guiding Questions, & additional Resources.



Strengths & Weaknesses of the United Nations

The UN was created to promote global cooperation and peace. As world power politics has changed and the scope of global problems has increased since its founding in 1945, the UN system has failed to adapt. This has left the UN without the political, financial or structural resources needed to adequately deal with the global issues we now face.


Functions of The Security Council

The Security Council (SC) is one of the most important UN bodies. The Council has the power to consider any situation that could endanger international peace. It currently has five permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK, US), known as the P5, and 10 non-permanent members. The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly every two years. The current regional allocation scheme consists of: five to Africa and Asia combined; two to Latin America and the Caribbean; two to Western Europe & one to Eastern Europe. The P5 are the only members that can veto resolutions.


Schwartzberg Model For Security Council Reform

A Security Council that includes every UN member state within twelve regional seats,… The regions would be created to maximize homogeneity with regard to factors such as culture, religion, language, economic interests and shared historical experience. Schwartzberg recommends the following twelve regions and the elimination of veto power.


Other Models for UN Security Council Reform

The Schwartzberg Model is just one of the many that we see for UN Security Council Reform. In this lesson, we will look at a few others that fall into two main reform categories.


Challenges of the UN Security Council Reform

There are many reasons we have not yet seen reform in the Security Council. This is not a complete rundown, and is open for debate. Think about this critically, and challenge the notions below.