Pressing for enlarged Security Council, Annan cites 'democracy deficit'
Pressing ahead with his proposal to enlarge the United Nations Security Council, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of global peace and security, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said the 15-member body is not sufficiently democratic or representative of the world organization’s vastly increased membership.
“I think we all have to admit that the Council can be more democratic and more representative,” Mr. Annan told reporters yesterday of the body whose membership total has remained unchanged since 1965, when the UN itself had only a fraction of its current 191 member states. “There is a democracy deficit in the UN governance that has to be corrected.”
In a reform package issued earlier this year in his report – “In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all” – Mr. Annan proposed increasing Council membership to 24 and the General Assembly this week begun its first round of open debate on Council reform.
“Of course, it’s up to the members to determine whether they will let size trump democracy and representativeness,” he said yesterday. “We are the ones who go around the world lecturing everybody about democracy. I think it’s about time we apply it to ourselves and then show that there is effective representation.”
“So I believe the Member States should consider this question of expansion very seriously. There are two options before them, and I think they should act on the proposals,” he added of his proposals, which include two different mixes of new permanent and non-permanent members to reach the increased total.