The UN’s ‘Rubik’s Cube:’ Security Council Reform

U.S. - India Insight: August 2013

Almost three years ago, President Obama delivered an address before a joint session of the Indian Parliament, during which he declared U.S. support for permanent membership of India on a reformed United Nations Security Council. While progress on council reform has not been forthcoming, the recent confirmation of Samantha Power as the next U.S. Ambassador to the UN could bring new attention – and provide some fresh momentum – to the issue.

In this month’s U.S.-India Insight, we examine the need for U.S. leadership on Security Council reform and delve into the tricky politics behind it. Building a consensus on how to expand the council to incorporate new global actors while protecting the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing council will not be an easy task, as Obama acknowledged on his recent overseas trip: “The United Nations structure – which was created post-World War II – is going to have to be updated. How we do that, in what fashion, is complicated. It’s difficult. And it involves all kinds of politics."

Karl F. Inderfurth and Samir Nair