SCID Panel of Experts – Online Guest Lecture – Chris Sharwood-Smith – The UN Security Council

This is the sixth Online Guest Lecture by members of the SCID Panel of Experts. Chris Sharwood-Smith presents a lecture entitled ‘The United Nations Security Council’.

guest lecture advert Chris Sharwood-SmithThis Lecture addresses what the UN Security Council (UNSC) does in theory and in practice, including its historical context and methods of operation. It then considers various arguments and proposals for UNSC reform, and how various reform proposals have been responded to, before assessing the likelihood of reform in the near future.

Click on the link below to access Chris’ Lecture (it is large so it will take a while to download). Please submit any questions or comments within the next two weeks for Chris’ attention and/or discussion by other SCID Panel members, students and staff.

THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL – Chris Sharwood-Smith Guest Lecture

2 thoughts on “SCID Panel of Experts – Online Guest Lecture – Chris Sharwood-Smith – The UN Security Council

  1. mistarihi

    Greeting from Juba – The Republic of South Sudan

    I have listened to Mr. –Chris Sharwood Smith lectures “The United Nations Security Council “. The lecturer displayed knowledge and awareness of the United Nations and specifically the Security Council’s history, procedural and reform; I would like to comment on two main topics.

    Mr. Chris mentioned that there is a criticism about the UN mandates are not clear enough and they are subject to interpretation of the mission, one of the justification that the security council is giving a flexibility for the missions to implement their mandate depending on the situation on the ground rather than to adhere to rigid instruction, I believe this perception is more general rather than specific, or it could be in very rare cases, definitely the peace process , either keeping, making or building depend on the real progress on the ground in the mission area, if the mission be able to perform its duties freely, to what extent freely, impedance, if they receive support and cooperation from the local government\parties involved, as well as implementing partners, the experience and the qualification of staff members and the mission leadership are essential, all these factors affect the implementation of the mandate and eventually the peace advancement. I am strongly in favor of the composition of the UN mandates is proper, the Security Council is a directive rather than literal, let me give an example the protection of civilian is part of the mandate and the actions how to implement is the total jurisdiction of the mission within its capabilities however the achievements should be subject to accountability.

    The Security Council reform: The world has changed in all dimensions, vertically and horizontally, populations increase, education, scientific, communications, economically.. etc. The UN is a collective buddy to help the world to maintain peace and security, and therefore the mechanism should be very fair and acceptable, how to prevent intrastate or interstates aggression, how to control the war when it is happening. There are cases of aggression after the WWII initiated by the P5 member\s not less significant from those were initiated by the other countries. There are situations where the Security Council is unable to handle a situation like the conflict in Syria, different interests behind their stance. How long the world has to wait before a real logical reform, I use this term with my knowledge won’t be an ideal reform.

    The international politics and interest will continue forever however such forum should be representing the whole world to be, to be seen or to have more legitimacy, how much representing the whole world will be the more countries and the people to conform with, to respect and look forward for strengthening the relationship, I would call this is a forum of a world’s Parliament. Mr. Chris narrated the views and the controversial stands; however I have the following points for consideration:
    1.The Veto right shouldn’t be for only one country, to reject an UN resolution, it should be at least two countries (P Countries) to legitimate a veto to reject proposed resolution and the resolution require the majority of Security Council (two third) of the members to adopt.
    2.Increase the number of permanent and non-permanent member to represent the world suitably, considering the population, size of the country, economic, contribution to the UN either financially or peacekeepers (25 to 30 members).
    3.The General Assembly should have more authorities role to play, even with penalty to withdraw the veto rights if there is major grieve was committed by a P member however such decision require majority of the GA, three fourth or four fifth of the GA members.
    4.The utilization of the regional powers to attain peace or control the situation in a conflict should be established in fair and legitimacy, these powers have the capacity to intervene however they are not necessary to be welcome by either party or concerned parties, therefore the UN should establish criteria when and how to engage.
    5.The UN need to reach agreeable definition for, specific terms, like terrorism, national struggle, the International Humanitarian Law may constitutes the reference.
    6.Establish norms when and how to intervene in inter or intrastate conflict, like imposing sanction should be objective rather than subjective.

    Once again, I would like to thank Mr. Chris for the real substantiate efforts.

    Best Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris Sharwood-Smith

      Dear Ahmad,

      Thank you for your post regarding my on line lecture, you raise some very valid points.

      Your observations regarding the use of the veto are very pertinent to the arguments of all the parties seeking reform at the moment and the dilemma they face as to whether there should be more Permanent Members and if those members should or should not have the ability to veto.

      Overall your comments highlight the frustrations among many Member States with regard to the lack of reform and how to move the matter forward.

      I am glad that you found the lecture useful.



      Liked by 2 people


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