Ambassador Samantha Power: "So let me just start by noting that I too am a musician. I sing in a band of other UN Ambassadors called 'UN Rocks.' [Laughter.] The Korean Ambassador plays the drums – this is not a joke, it’s real life [Laughter.]; the Thai Ambassador plays the bass; the Serbian and Danish ambassadors play the electric guitars; and the ambassador from Tonga plays the keyboard. And I wanted to take this opportunity to announce that I have some availability for gigs starting around January 20th, 2017. [Laughter.] In case anybody is interested." [more inside]
How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations. A paper from a doctoral student at the Harvard Business School, and an employee of the National Bureau of Economic Research has found a correlation between serving on the United Nations Security Council, and the amount of aid received from the United States and the UN. The paper will be printed in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Political Economy. From the abstract: "Ten of the fifteen seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country’s U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members’ votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country’s election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control." The Harvard Business School working paper can be found here. Commentary from Steven Levitt (the co-author of Freakonomics) can be found here.
Does India belong on the UN security council? A fascinating analysis of UN politics from a developing country's perspective.
UN resolution 377, This makes for fascinating reading as this arcane resolution provides for collective action by the general assembly 'if the security council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security'. Hardly applicable.
Detailed collection of resources about the movement to reform the UN Security Council, including news, data and commentary.
U.N. passes Iraq resolution on weapons inspections "The resolution passed unanimously, after Secretary-General Kofi Annan joined the assembled delegates in the Security Council chamber." I really hope Iraq takes a new approach, and actually genuinely disarms. Next year will be so much more pleasant.