The core political entity at the United Nations is the Security Council. The Security Council is comprised of five permanent members – the Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (until its demise in 1991), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America – and ten non-permanent members elected from the General Assembly for a term of two years. A great deal of power is vested in the Security Council, with special powers accorded to the permanent members. There may well be a need for a small executive group within the United Nations to effectively carry out its mandate. It is less clear, however, that the five states listed above should have permanent membership in this elite club. The arrangement of the Security Council immediately brings two questions to mind. The first is whether the current composition of the Security Council reflects modern international power broking reality? The second is whether there should be any members who sit permanently on such an important body?
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Toby DJ Mendel, "Time for the Security Council to Restructure" (1992) 1 Dal J Leg Stud 161.