Past eventMembers

The State of the UN Security Council

2 May 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Chatham House, London 


Sam Daws, Director, Project on UN Governance and Reform, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford
Ian Martin, Executive Director, Security Council Report (2015-18); Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Libya (2011-12)
Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association UK (UNA-UK)
Chair: Dr Beyza Unal, Senior Research Fellow, International Security Department, Chatham House



The UN Security Council represents the most powerful arm of the United Nations with the authority to enforce binding resolutions on countries, sanctions, dispatch UN peacekeepers, and even to authorize military action.

However, in recent years, the council has faced criticism for its composition, its effectiveness in confronting the vested interests of its permanent members and its perceived failures in responding to pressing conflicts, such as those in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine.

Our panel will assess the current state of the UN Security Council and the most immediate challenges it faces. What reforms are necessary to the structure of the council to ensure it can effectively carry out its mandate? And how can the body respond to the new nature of conflicts, including the growing threat of cyber threats, proxy wars and non-state belligerents?