When the United Nations was founded in 1945, the Security Council were given primary responsibility for international peace and security. The quest for reform of the Council started about ten years after. In 1965, a reform of the Council took place, when the Council was enlarged from six to ten non-permanent seats. Since then, no efforts to reform the Council have been successful. Even though the veto powers have welcomed the discussion and the UN General Assembly has debated a Council reform for decades, they have so far not been able to reach agreement. The process of reforming is still in a deadlock, despite years of debate and several demands for reform.
In this thesis I review the historic process of reform efforts of the Security Council and consider three specific reform efforts. These are: the reform that took place in 1965, the 1997 proposal submitted from prior chairman of the Open-Ended Working Group, Ismael Razali, and the 2005 proposal outlined in Kofi Annans report “In Larger Freedom”. I furthermore discuss these reform proposals in light of a game theoretic approach, namely George Tsebelis` “Veto Player Theory”. Tsebelis defines “veto player” as “one who has in his power to prevent a change from the status quo”. Furthermore, a change of the status quo requires an unanimous decision by all veto players. One of the theory`s main argument is that if any of the veto players have incentives to block a change of the status quo, the status quo will prevail.
My aim in this thesis is to answer how the veto powers affected the reform processes and to what extent the outcomes can be explained by the veto player theory. I show how the permanent members` reluctance towards a change of status quo has made a reform of the Security Council seem impossible in the two latter cases. Furthermore, I conclude that while the veto player theory can be seen as a useful tool for explaining the process and the outcomes in 1997 and 2005, the theory`s explanatory power concerning the reform in 1965 is rather limited.