The United Nations Security Council currently consists of 15 member states. Five are permanent, with veto power. The rest are elected for two-year terms.
Current permanent seats (with veto power):
The basic composition of the Security Council has remained the same for decades. However, all this may be about to change.
Proposed additional permanent seats (without veto power):
The four nations above are working together to support each other in obtaining permanent seats; however, they face substantial opposition from Italy, Pakistan, Singapore, and others. The four nations say they also may support the membership of an as-yet-unnamed African nation. Meanwhile, the Netherlands has proposed eliminating the separate seats held by France and the UK and replacing them with one seat representing the EU, and also giving Japan a permanent seat.
Some nations and analysts propose expansion of the Council to 20 or 25 nations. Opponents claim that will be unwieldy. Others say that too much focus on Security Council makeup diverts focus from other needed reforms of UN organization.
This debate has been going on for at least 11 years. Some hope that next year, on the 60th anniversary of the UN, the Security Council composition may be changed. Others are skeptical, saying that not only may nothing change, but even if modifications are made, the practical effectiveness of the Security Council -- and the UN as a whole -- remains in question.
What do you think? Does it matter?