What Criteria Should Be Applied to Countries Seeking Non-Permanent Seats on the UN Security Council?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 17, 2008
United Nations Security Council

Today, the 192-member United Nations General Assembly votes on five, soon-to-be-open, non-permanent member slots on the 15-seat Security Council. Candidates must earn a two-thirds majority of members voting.

What criteria should be applied to countries seeking non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council?



Minnesota, USA
October 17, 2008

Steve in Minnesota writes:

As a bare minimum, I would hope for nations with professionalized military, perhaps with increasing diversification in who controls administrative, commercial and military institutions.

West Virginia, USA
October 17, 2008

Lindsay in West Virginia writes:

I would hope that a commitment to human rights would be a must for joining the Security Council.

Mario I.
October 17, 2008

Mario Ivan in Mexico writes:

The will to use its own strategic importance in the region that the counry belongs to, with the objective to aboid conflict so that there can be a positive impact on the social and economic debelopment. It must be a country that has equilibrium and not greed in the objectives of their long term foreign policy agenda, in a way it will assure the compromise tha the country has with the security council. A country with leaders who do not think of war as a viable or at least a first considered option to resolve a problem or any tipe of agresion that could result in ending diplomatic talks. A country that meets my criteria should be considerd for the security council. Though this is probaby allready part of the hopefully great scrutiny made by the criteria. I'm more interested in a country's diplomatic abilities its more importan than it's military might. It's the best for the future.

Kentucky, USA
October 18, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

The ability to fund, train, equip, and deploy their forces in a timely and effective manner, plus, abide by the commitment to do so if called upon. Prospective nations must also act to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

South Korea
October 18, 2008

Chul-hong in South Korea writes:

There are, in my opinion, three criteria to be considered for suggested theme above.

First, a candidate nation should have the policy, which supports protecting and guaranteeing fully the human rights. In other words, a candidate nation must be a perfect democratic.

Second, a candidate nation should have its actual results of 'peacekeeping operation(PKO)' as one of evidences of its trials for global peace.

Third, both ample and independent economy system is indispensable for a candidate nation. If a candidate nation is given tangible or intangible economic assistance by one certain developed nation, we can't assure the political neutrality of a candidate nation.

Simply put, a democratic nation endeavoring for world peace in reality and holding the sturdy economy system deserves one of non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council.

Tennessee, USA
October 20, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Here: Membership in 2008

The Council is composed of five permanent members -- China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and ten non-permanent members (with year of term's end):
Belgium (2008)
Indonesia (2008)
South Africa (2008)

Burkina Faso (2009)
Italy (2008)
Viet Nam (2009)

Costa Rica (2009)
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2009)

Croatia (2009)
Panama (2008

I understand they are elected every two years and not eligible for re election, but it is a far cry from fair representation don't you think? There seems to be a large gap in time line representation related to decision makeing to me.

What I do not understand is: if the disputed elements are allowed floor time in the security chambers, not just the UN floor,how can anything be voted on?

Why should the agitators not be allowed to express their views in the Security chambers? Instead of constantly keeping the problem outside, bring it in where there can be open discussion...then kick them out...LOL

Cohen duly noted that in most negotiations, more often than not, there are underlying factors which often have nothing to do with the circumstances or what led to the situation as developed that need to be resolved. If the disputed nation is kept outside the discussions where the vote takes place, how can anything be resolved to begin with?

I do not see how there can be fair representation unless you have a divided Security council for various parts of the world for objectivity with present Interenational problems or incorporate more countries, including developing nations which have stable infrastructure and are non violent or threatning to the whole....

If the five major powers constantly violate the membership values, what difference does it make?

Wisconsin, USA
October 18, 2008

Dennis in Wisconsin writes:

I recall in the 1970's an incident at work. A co-worker, Dave, went to the door as some neighborhood toughs came in. I rose to accompany Dave, but he told me simply that this was a private matter and that I should return to my seat. What happened is that his backpack was taken some time before, and that this was his first opportunity to confront them and demand his property back. Dave was a skinny guy but raised strong in the Quaker tradition. That was the first time that I saw such self-contained righteousness at work. Dave simply stood up to them to get back his belongings. No raised voices, no threats, no punches. Dave stood up for what was right.

The countries who seek to sit on the Security Council ought to have that same sense of right and wrong. They ought to have the moral fortitude to confront those countries disturbing the peace and security of the world. And they ought to be known for having such sense integral to their own foreign policy.

Virginia, USA
October 18, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

18 October 08

1. Democracy State
2. A military
3. Has established Law and Rights of its people
4. Enforces Civil rights for all people
5. Prepared to make a contribution to the United Nations when needed and offer suggestions and input that would support the security and the mission of the United Nations!

Tennessee, USA
October 18, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Iran loses to Japan in battle for UN seat

Japan has seen off a challenge from Iran for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The winner was announced after a secret vote in the General Assembly in New York.

just came in...thank God for some things.

New Mexico, USA
October 20, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Voting Iran in as a member of the security council would be akin to supporting terrorism, and it's no suprise Japan got the nod for all of its positive contributions to the UN.

Personally I think the UN sec. Council should start forcing nations to abide by the charter and rule of law before they would allow a member state to sit on the council. Especially one already in violation of several Sec. Council resolutions....should never have been allowed to seek a seat in the first place.

Libya made an intelligent choice to be a productive member of the UN , and made the grade. They earned their seat.

It would be I think a good idea to review the rules of procedure and make changes so that the integrity of the security council is not in the future compromised by terrorists or their state sponsors.

Folks need to take the diplomatic kid gloves off and get real about the state sponsors of terror among the UN membership and flat kick them out of the UN by two thirds majority vote in the UNGA.

Isolation as a strategy to invoke "behavior change" will not work until it is employed in totality at the diplomatic level in the UN.

If the goal is to create a more effective and reformed UN, then this is the first place I'd start, by giving notice to sponsors of terrorism to pack their bags.

Not complying with your charter membership? You are not welcome to enter the building.....

Simple rule that should be a driving motivation for nations to keep their standing among nations in good health.

Every year I hear nations reafirm their commitment to UN princpals in the UNGA. Let's have every nation put those commitments down in writing as they re-ratify their nations adherance to the charter and founding documents by the signature of heads of state on an annual basis.

Iran as a nation is an orignal signatory to these documents, but the leadership that is now in power in Iran never has signed those documents, flaunts their tennets, violates international law, and has chsen to become a threat to civilization by becoming active in global terrorism and WMD production in violation of the UN.

As host nation, we really don't need Iran's diplomatic entorage of 400 " diplomats?" violating the 12 mile limit, or engaging in monitoring activities and various types of threats upon Iranian Americans who are in active opposition to the regime in Tehran.

Folks at State can either take my well founded suggestions to heart, or fail to make progress on UN reform and risk our national security at the same time.

When a nation simply uses the UN as a "trojan horse" to further ts terrorist agenda, then we as host nation do have a responsibility to protect the institution we helped create and have sustained for the last 60+ years...Legally and morally.

We also have a responsibility to our own people not to issue visa to terrorists, or their sponsors or spokesmen that seek a platform to puke on civilization in the UN, or anywhere else.

Although it is amusing to see Aminidijad as "the gift who keeps on giving" everytime he hangs himself with his own words in the UN....arn't folks just a we bit tired of hearing the tripe?

Do we need to? Do they actually have a right, or any rights to have a voice in the matter at all being guilty of state sponsored terrorism?

Folks better start answering this question in a real serious way if we are to eradicate terrorism as an institution and methodology of political "diplomacy".

Because folks, whether you wish to admit it or not, the sponsors of terror are "gaming the international system" and we are not effectively addressing the challenge.

And until we do, it's going to be a very long war.

New York, USA
October 21, 2008

Ron in New York writes:

All non-perm SC seat seeking members should be given a seat with full Human Security and Responsibility to Protect authority. This should be done immediately.

District Of Columbia, USA
October 24, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

A commitment to human rights, democracy, and rule of law, within their own countries and in their interactions with other countries. A military capable of participating in peacekeeping operations and willingness to provide financial support to the UN. A genuine desire to work toward a more peaceful, prosperous future.


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