Samuel Santos López, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, called for a reform of the United Nations system, and specifically of the Security Council, in his address during the last session of the UN General Assembly yesterday. The foreign minister joined several other regional leaders who called for reform of the UN’s most influential body.
In his address, Santos asked the Council to take into account the “voices and votes of developing countries in the categories of permanent and non-permanent members.” While many leaders of developing countries believe that the time is right to add new permanent members to the Council, obstacles to the inclusion of these countries remain. Some have pointed to competing regional interests—such as Brazil and Mexico, and India and Pakistan—as well as Brazil and India’s voting records on human rights and democracy, as impediments to moving forward with reform.
The Security Council currently has 15 seats with five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.—that have veto power. There are also 10 rotating members—currently Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Korea—without veto power.