Security Council (Module 03)

Schwartzberg Model For Security Council Reform

Middle School 

The Issue

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

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

These reforms do not want to end the veto power and they fail to address the Council’s current division of the world.

The Schwartzberg Reform Includes:

1) A Security Council that includes every UN member state within twelve regional seats.

Schwartzberg recommends the following twelve regions (note that three are single nations, each having large populations and/or economic power). 

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:

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

Each Region in the proposed Security Council Reform will have a vote that is based on the above weighted voting formula.

  • 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) 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

Let’s look at the following examples. Can you determine if the resolution will pass or fail in each of these examples?

Guiding Questions

  1. Does this reform model with all UN members being represented in the Security Council make sense? Why or why not? 
  2. Compare and contrast the existing and proposed reform Security Council system. 
  3. 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