Previous versions

How have Elect The Council

concept notes evolved?

Elect The Council proposals

Previous versions of the proposal

Version 1

The first version of Elect The Council proposed the establishment of a two-tier system of elected membership (for five and three years respectively), bound to five technical requirements for candidacy, based on the current regions that vote for non-permanent seats in the UNSC.  A reformed Council would therefore consist of one five-year member per 24 countries in each voting block, and double the number of five-year members to be elected for three-year terms. This gives a UNSC membership of 24, consisting of 8 countries elected for five years and 16 countries elected for three years with the former group allowing for indefinite re-election.  Minimum criteria would apply and the current electoral regions would propose candidates for election in the General Assembly. Within the UNSC, each elected country will have one vote therefore providing for the abolition of the veto as well as of permanent membership of the Council. Both substantive and procedural decisions within the UNSC will require a two-thirds majority of those attending and voting.  This first proposal already provided for the development of process to get to approved rules of procedure and an undefined transitional period. In accordance with Article 109 of the UN Charter, efforts would be focussed towards a General Conference of UN member states to review the Charter.

Elect The Council concept note – Version 1

Version 2

In accordance with Article 108 of the UN Charter, version two advocated for a resolution to amend the Charter, ‘adopted by a vote of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly [UNGA] and ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all the permanent members of the Security Council’. A reformed UNSC should consist of 24 seats of which eight countries would be elected for five years and 16 countries elected for three-year terms, with staggered elections to ensure overlap and continuity. During a 15-year transition period the current P5 members would occupy five of the five-year seats and have additional votes during the first 10 years.

Elections to seats on the UNSC should occur on the basis of the same (or largely similar) electoral regions that currently elect the non-permanent members to the UNSC.  The proposal maintained the five minimum criteria for candidates, to be included in the draft UNGA resolution, with each electoral regions free to adopt its own modalities to identify candidates. Countries elected to the five-year seats would be eligible for immediate (and indefinite) re-election and the intention is that global powers and regional leaders be re-elected in this capacity. Each electoral region would be entitled to one five-year and two three-year seats per 22 member countries. Voting rights within the UNSC remained unchanged from version 1.

The current P5 members would immediately lose their veto rights but remain members of the UNSC for 15 years without the need to contest elections within their respective regions. During this period they would occupy five of the five-year seats. For the first five-year period the vote of each the former P5 countries would count as three votes instead of one, while during the second five-year period their votes would each count as two votes instead of one. After 15 years the P5 members would need to contest for elections in their respective regions should they wish to remain on the UNSC.

Elect The Council concept note – Version 2

Elect The Council summary note – Version 2

Version 3

The final composition of the UNSC remained unchanged with version 3, consisting of 8 countries elected for five-year renewable terms and 16 countries elected for three years (non-renewable) respectively, thus a UNSC of 24 members. This version also maintained a 15-year transition period during which  the P5 will remain members of the Council without the need to stand for election. Similar to version 2 the Council will consist of 26 members during the 15-year transition period. After 15 years the P5 members would need to contest for elections in their respective regions should they wish to remain on the UNSC. The P5 will also be provided with one of two proposed additional voting privileges during the 15-year transition period. Under Option A their votes will carry more weight than those of ordinary members of the Security Council, decreasing in weight over time. Under Option B a decreasing number of Council members will be required to support a resolution. Both substantive and procedural decisions within the UNSC would require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.   A mandatory review would occur every 30 years.

Elect The Council concept note – Version 3

Elect The Council summary note – Version 3

Version 4

Version 4 retained all the essential elements of version 3, namely to do away with permanent seats on the UNSC and the veto and to move towards a system where countries are elected to the Council bound to four technical requirements for candidacy. All Security Council decisions will require an affirmative two-thirds majority. An important addition is that global powers that exceed a set proportion of the world’s population, economy and defence expenditure will automatically qualify for seats. As a result, after a 15-year transition the UNSC will consist of 24 elected countries plus the two or three countries that will expectedly automatically qualify due to their size and influence. The composition of the 24 elected members remained unchanged namely that eight of the 24 elected countries will be elected for five-year terms and will be immediately re-electable. The remaining 16 countries will be elected for three years but not be re-electable. The current five electoral regions that elect the ten non-permanent members of the UNSC will nominate candidates for election by simple majority in the UNGA in line with current practice although changes to the composition of the regions should be pursued. During the 15-year transition period the P5 will remain members of the Council without the need to stand for election. This means that the UNSC will consist of 26 countries during this period, since three of the P5 will occupy three of the eight five-year elected seats. The P5 will also be provided with additional voting privileges during this period. Two options are presented in this regard, similar to version 3. In this version the outgoing UNSC will be requested to compile a list of up to five intractable issues that, for a period of up to 15 years, may not be subject to a Chapter VII UNSC resolution. A mandatory review of the UNSC will occur every 30 years that must come to a conclusion within 3 years.

Elect The Council concept note – Version 4

Elect The Council summary note – Version 4

Version 5

Elect The Council version 5 continues to propose to do away with permanent seats on the UNSC and the veto and to move towards a system where the majority of states are elected to the Council on a proportional basis, bound to four technical requirements for candidacy. In addition, global powers (or groups of states) that exceed a set proportion of the world’s population, economy and military expenditure will automatically qualify for seats. As a result, after a 20-year transition the UNSC will consist of 24 elected states plus the two or three states (or groups) that will expectedly automatically qualify due to their size and influence. Eight of the 24 elected states will be elected for five-year terms and will be immediately re-electable. The remaining 16 states will be elected for three years but not be re-electable. The current five electoral regions that elect the ten non-permanent members of the UNSC will nominate candidates for election by simple majority in the UNGA in line with current practice although changes to the composition of the regions should be pursued. During the 20-year transition period the current P5 will remain members of the Council without the need to stand for election. This means that the UNSC will consist of 26 states during this period, since three of the P5 will occupy three of the eight five-year elected seats. The P5 will also be provided with additional voting privileges during this period. Finally, the outgoing UNSC will be requested to compile a list of up to five intractable issues that, for a period of up to 20 years, may not be subject to a Chapter VII UNSC resolution beyond updates, removal or maintenance.A mandatory review of the UNSC will occur every 30 years that must come to a conclusion within 3 years.All Security Council decisions will require an affirmative two-thirds majority.

Elect The Council concept note – Version 5

Elect The Council summary note – Version 5

Version 6

This is the current proposal, click here to see the current version.

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