United Nations Security Council Reform

Core-Group Prep Con Meeting—Summary Minutes & Decisions
Brussels (BXL) & San Francisco (SFO)
23-24 October 2018

In attendance

Sam Deese (Boston University, USA), Fritz Pointer (DWF San Francsico, USA), Roger Kotila (DWF San Francisco, USA), Bob Hanson (DWF San Francisco, USA), Maria Vizdoaga (CUNCR, Moldova), Boshko Stankovski (CUNCR, Macedonia), Saeed Bagheri (CUNCR, Iran), Mais Qandeel (CUNCR, Palestine), Shahr-yar Sharei (CUNCR, USA/Iran), Kelci Wilford (CUNCR, Canada), Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm (ICAN), Huaru Kang (CUNCR, China), Adriana Abdenur (Igarapé, Brazil)

Other participants not in attendance: Jakkie Cilliers (ISS, South Africa – Proxy to Sharei), Tadashi Inuzuka (Japan)

Agenda (as determined before the meeting)

PLENARY 1: Simultaneously held in SFO and BXL SFO: Oct 23 8:30-11:00, BXL: Oct 23 17:30-20:00

SFO: Oct 23 8:30-11:00, BXL: Oct 23 17:30-20:00

•  Introduction (including video “grave consequences of an ineffective UN Security Council”)

•  Partner Organization Introduction, Participant Introduction

•  Academic/Analytic presentation on Security Council Reform on selected topics (see below)

List of Topics (to be expanded upon prior to the meeting and then shortlisted during plenary)

  • Nuclear weapons prohibition and disarmament: acceptable for the P-5? (Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, ICAN)
  • Veto power: how much misuse and abuse? (Maria Vizdoaga, CUNCR Research Fellow)
  • Climate Change and Security (Sam Deese, Boston University])
  • Admission of new states: P5 role in preventing state recognition (Palestine, Taiwan, Kosovo, etc.) (Mais Qandeel, CUNCR Research Fellow)
  • Relations with ICJ and ICC: effective interaction? (Kelci Wilford, CUNCR)
  • What is the balance between the Responsibility to Protect and non-interference in internal affairs? 
  • The Security Council acting as the World’s Judiciary and legislator- ultra vires? (Sharei, CUNCR)
  • Legislative functions of the SC: A World Government? (Sharei, CUNCR)
  • Maintaining international peace and security: successes and failures 
  • Non-conflict security issues: expansion of SC powers?
  • Relations between UNGA and UNSC (from United for Peace to present)
  • UNSC involvement in secretary-general and ICJ elections
  • The relevance of a 1945 SC to today’s geopolitics and how appropriate for the future?
  • UNSC role in conflict and migration

Shortlist of proposals for SC Reform: Partner organizations can submit proposals beforehand:

  • Previous attempts and “high-level” meetings; Different modes of expansion (Maria Vizdoaga)
  • Other UN reform attempts and linkages: R2P and boosting SC conflict prevention role
  • Elect the Council (Jakkie Cilliers, ISS) (video)
  • UNSC as enforcer of Climate Change accords? (Sam Deese, Sharei)
  • Framing a constitution? (Roger Kotila, DWF)
  • Non-Charter reforms (Kelci Wilford)
  • Charter Amendments (Art. 108)
  • Charter review (Article 109) (Kelci Wilford)
  • Regional security arrangements under Chapter VIII (Tadashi Inuzuka)

•  Discussion of call for papers for the 2019 Symposium (Sam Deese and Michael Holm)

WORKSHOP: Non-Simultaneously held in SFO and BXL
SFO: 12:30-15:00 (Oct 23), BXL: 14:30-17:00 (Oct 24)
Note: It was decided to merge the topics of the workshop into the two plenary sessions. However, due to time differences, a teleconference meeting was held between participant Tadashi Inuzuka and Dr. Sharei, who then acted as his rapporteur during the second plenary session.

  • Elect workshop rapporteur and moderator
  • Identify potential partners, donors, speakers, and participants
  • Discuss SC topics and challenges and create shortlist
  • Discuss SC reform solutions and create shortlist
  • Creating a framework for the call for papers
  • Draft details for 2019 symposium agenda

PLENARY 2: Simultaneously held in SFO and BXL
SFO: Oct 24 8:30-11:00, BXL: Oct 24 17:30-20:00

  • Report from a rapporteur from each workshop
  • Reconciliation of the two workshop outcomes (moderator CUNCR)
  • Final setting of the symposium agenda (provisional)
  • Selection of date and venue for symposium
  • Election of steering committee
  • Election of symposium convener
  • Wrap-up and next steps

Summary of Action and Decisions

Venue: Decision by general acclamation to hold the symposium in multiple locations, aiming to be as expansive as possible: Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia, Oceania.

Steering Committee: Plan is to have minimum of five and maximum of 15 committee members, including someone from each organization. Jakkie Cilliers (ISS), Roger Kotila (DWF), Shahr-yar Sharei (CUNCR), Adriana Abdenur (Igarapé), Tadashi Inuzuka (HRTF – TBC), Sam Deese (Boston University)

Call for Papers: Request 300-word abstract by April 15, 2019, calling for two types of papers: research papers critical of status quo, and policy recommendations for reform.

Convener: CUNCR volunteers to be convener of the symposium. Co-conveners are welcome and expected to put money up front to fund the symposium.; the possibility for co-conveners remains open. Convener after the prep con will publish the minutes and arrange for the steering committee meeting.

Dates: Agreement by general acclamation to host the symposium in early September 2019.