Reforming the UNSC by the African Union proposal to address inequality: The limitations

Author Tatenda Leopold Chakanyuka

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: PhD Candidate in International Law, Institute of International Law, Wuhan University School of Law, Wuhan, China
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2020, Volume 8, Issue 1, p. 128 – 148


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been accused of serving the interests of the victors of World War II rather than the collective interests of the current world. Countries, regions, and academics have all called for UNSC reform. The African Union (AU) argues that the current arrangements of the Council do not reflect the broad membership of the United Nations (UN) and ‘equitable geographical distribution’ provided for under the Charter of the United Nations and calls for equitable representation and involvement as per its proposal. Though the African position enjoys the support of most African countries, some African countries have described it as becoming unreasonable and obstructionist to the reform process. Despite, many scholars and countries questioning the practicality and prospects of the AU position gaining universal acceptance, the AU has not stopped calling for reforms by their position. Based on the realities of Article 108 and the responses the African proposal has received, it is time to compromise, but the compromise must be mutual. Currently, the African position does not seem to have the support of either the P5 or the majority of the other UN members. There is a need to devise a new plan that can get the support of the majority. Since Africa is the only region highly underrepresented in the UNSC, representation for Africa is long overdue. This article concludes that for the African position to gain the support of the other countries, including that of the P5, Africa must compromise but the compromise must be reciprocal. Africa can propose two permanent members with one veto power which will increase the veto holders to six.