Though there are suggestions for reforming the United Nations and expanding its membership so that it can represent contemporary global realities, there are a few hurdles in its actual implementation.
Talking about the reforms, there are two important matters that have captured international attention:
a. Structural reforms that are expanding the membership of the UN Security Council for making it more representative:
• There have been rising demands to increase the membership from Asia, Africa and South America and also to improvise the UN’s budgetary procedures.
• The UN Security Council reflects western values and culture; therefore, it is required to expand its scope.
• The former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Anan, had made certain recommendations regarding the admission of new members in the Security Council, following which a criterion was laid out. However, this criterion lacked consensus among the permanent members and other countries, eventually blocking a country’s membership in the SC.
• Also, there have been discussions regarding the abolition of veto power which is an exclusive privilege enjoyed by the permanent members. Again, it was a suggested reform which no permanent members agreed to.
b. Jurisdiction reforms- There have been suggestions for expanding the jurisdiction of the UN so as to make it more effective.
• There have been proposals to have a Peace building Commission.
• There have been proposals to make agreements for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
• There have been proposals to entrust greater responsibility on the UN in cases where the national governments fail to do their duties.
• There have been proposals to effectively combat terrorism of all forms.
• There have been proposals to create a Democracy Fund.
• However, regarding the expansion of the UN’s jurisdiction, there are a few questions that need to be addressed like how would one define terrorism, what the area of responsibility of the UN is or how to use the funds to bring about democracy.
There are certain ambiguous questions for which it is difficult to reach at a consensus. These questions become hindrances in the implementation of genuine reforms. It requires an effective pragmatic strategy and greater initiative on the part of the member states to implement such proposals.