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Reforming the Working Methods of the UN Security Council: The Next ACT

Date: 2013
ACT is a new group of 22 UN member states that is pressing for reform of the working methods of the UN Security Council in order to improve its accountability, coherence and transparency. To achieve its aims, ACT will have to avoid being caught up in the stalled debate over Council membership reform. The group, currently dominated by small states, will also need new partners from different geographical regions, and with more political weight. Moreover, if ACT wants to involve the permanent members of the Security Council, it may have to limit its emphasis on the role of the veto. ACT aims to encourage UN member states to dedicate energy and political capital to reform of the Council’s working methods. The overwhelming majority of them would also profit from the body’s improved functioning at times when they are not in the Council as non-permanent members, which is most of the time. ACT’s seemingly technical and modest proposals cut to the highly-political core issues of who controls representation of member states interests and who controls the reform agenda at the UN.

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