GoJIL Vol. 5, No. 2 (2013)
Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council and the Promotion of the International Rule of Law
Non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council experience clear and well-known limits. Yet, there are certain tools at their disposal which, beyond lucky political constellations, allow them to exercise a more systemic influence on the Council’s work and outcomes. These tools are of a juridical nature, often established and developed through the organ’s practice, but their efficient use depends primarily on diplomatic expertise and imagination channeled through informal venues. The present article shows how said tools have been used in the case of the promotion of the ‘international rule of law’. However contested the concept and restricted its practical consequences on the organ’s functions, the evolution of its promotion within the Security Council is both a demonstration of and a further vehicle for non-permanent members’ influence on this body. That this in turn serves to legitimate the Council under its current configuration can be seen critically. However, it seems important to underline that the UN Security Council’s efficiency depends ever more on the legitimacy that non-permanent members can best imprint on it. In a non-polar world, this tendency can be expected to increase.
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