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The Mandate of the United Nations Security Council in a Changing World

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Chapter Summary

The question of the mandate of the United Nations (UN) Security Council in a changing world is closely related to the ongoing work of reforming the UN. This chapter addresses the following question: whether the ideas brought forward in the debate, often reduced to mathematical exercises comparing the UN membership in 1945 and today with the fifteen-member Security Council, risk missing the core issue in any reform of the Council, namely the manner in which the members of the Council honour the obligations that flow from the mandate entrusted to the Council by the members of the Organisation. The concluding section contains a number of caveats and a warning that a reform that overlooks certain key elements in the mandate of the Security Council could cause irreparable damage to the UN system of collective security.

Keywords: fifteen-member Security Council; UN membership; UN system of collective security; United Nations (UN) Security Council



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