High School Security Council (Module 03)

Schwartzberg Model For Security Council Reform

The Issue

The UN Charter was designed to prevent reforms that would diminish the power of the P5. Despite this, the SC has been the object of more recommendations for reform than any other UN entity. Yet these proposals fail to address adequately the SC’s core weaknesses. They shortsightedly focus on:

  1. how many new seats should be added,
  2. whether other nations merit permanent seats, and,
  3. if so, with what level of veto power, if any.

They fail to critique the Council’s current out-dated regional division of the world for purposes of choosing non-permanent members, and they fail to propose an end to the veto.

The Schwartzberg Model

1. The Schwartzberg Reform Security Council 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. Here are the following twelve regions (note that three are single nations, each having large populations and/or economic power):

Africa South of the Sahara
Arab League
East Asia
Latin America & Carribean
Russia and Neighbours
Southeast Asia
United States
West Asia
Westminster League

This slide show contains the details of all 193 member states in each of the 12 regions. Please note that Canada is part of Westminster League region and Israel is part of Europe region.

2) Each of the 12 regions would have a weighted vote.

Rather than one-seat-one-vote, This reform recognizes the huge difference in population and economic power of each region, and recommends “weighted voting” based on the following formula based on population, pain UN contribution, and a constant:

Weighted Vote = (P+C+8.33%) / 3


Population (P)

Represents the region’s population.

Paid UN Contribution (C)

Represents the region’s paid contribution to the UN budget as a percentage of the total budget (based on Gross National Income – a country cannot “buy” more power on the Security Council).

Constant (of 8.33%)

A constant signifying that all global perspectives of each of the 12 Regions is equally worthy of respect

Below is the weigted voting percentages for each region.

  • Africa South of Sahara (7.16%) 7.16% 7.16%
  • Arab League (5.45%) 5.45% 5.45%
  • China (12.24%) 12.24% 12.24%
  • East Asia (7.24%) 7.24% 7.24%
  • Europe (15.86%) 15.86% 15.86%
  • India (9.30%) 9.3% 9.3%
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (7.90%) 7.9% 7.9%
  • Russia and its Neighbours (4.69%) 4.69% 4.69%
  • Southeast Asia (6.61%) 6.61% 6.61%
  • United States (12.53%) 12.53% 12.53%
  • West Asia (6.49%) 6.49% 6.49%
  • Westminster League (4.54%) 4.54% 4.54%

3) The reform also calls for an elimination of veto power of the P5 members (see Resource #1, p.89-90 for details).

How does voting work this Reform Security Council? For all substantive matters, 66% of votes are needed to pass a resolution in the Security Council. When any resolution that includes military intervention, 75% of votes are needed.

Graph of Majority Rule for 66

Is needed for most
substantive matters
(at least 66% of weighted voting)

Graph of 75% for Majority

Required for any resolutions
that included
military intervention

You can use the voting simulator below for your practice and Security Council reform simulations.

Existing Security Council System VS Reform Model

Click on the button below to see a comparison between the existing security council system and the proposed reform model


Check out the following examples of voting with reform. Can you determine if the resolution will pass or fail in each of these examples?

Guiding Questions

  • Does the Schwartzberg Model, with a universally representative SC with 12 regional seats and with weighted voting make sense? Why or why not? What resistance would it encounter?
  • Review pages 78-84 of the first resouece (Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World). Discuss the impact of this proposed system on each region. Which regions would view this proposal favorably? Which are more likely to oppose it?
  • Do you agree or disagree that eliminating the veto is actually possible? Why or why not?

Security Council Modules

Prepared by:
Andrea Klein Bergman and
Nancy J. Dunlavy
for The Workable World Trust