In response, this book focuses on:The Role and Agency of the UN Security Council The History of the Reform Debate An Expanded Council Working Method Reforms Enhancing Agency
As the future of the UN Security Council continues to be the focus of fierce debate, this book will be essential reading for students of international relations, international organizations and international security studies alike.
In this report, Matthew C. Waxman argues that an international legal regime that puts decisions about international intervention solely in the hands of the UN Security Council risks undermining the threat or use of intervention when it may be most potent in stopping mass atrocities. The features of the UN Charter that help resolve security crises peacefully make it difficult to generate the rapid action needed to deter or roll them back. Waxman urges the United States and other Security Council members to take steps to improve the responsiveness of the existing Security Council. He insists that they signal the willingness, if the UN fails to act in future mass atrocity crises, to take the necessary action to address them.
The Future of NATO argues that NATO members must recognize two features of the new security environment.First, threats are global, not local, and often are nonmilitary in nature; and second, NATO cannot manage many of these new threats on its own and must seek other partners, such as the European Union, to be effective. In addition, James M. Goldgeier maintains the alliance must come to a consensus on how to manage its relationship with an increasingly assertive Russia.
Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed a package of sweeping reforms that would safeguard the rule of law, outlaw terrorism, protect the innocent from abusive governments, reduce poverty by half, safeguard human rights, and enlarge the Security Council. Intended to reinvigorate the institution and galvanize its members into action, his proposals are extensive and innovative, courageous and controversial.
This volume assembles the perspectives of current practitioners, leading academics, civil society representatives, and UN officials on transforming the secretary general’s proposed reforms into action. Their assessments are frank and their views varied, but they do agree on one thing—the United Nations must be made more effective precisely because it is indispensable to the promotion of economic development and collective security in the twenty-first century.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Yet while the perils of this institutional failure are obvious for domestic policy, their consequences for foreign policy are under-explored. The Constitution delegates to Congress considerable responsibility for foreign affairs, including the right to declare war, fund the military, regulate international commerce, and approve treaties. At least as important are such congressional authorities as the ability to convene hearings that provide oversight of foreign policy. A failure to perform these functions could have significant results, leaving the United States hobbled by indecision and unable to lead on critical global issues.
In this Council Special Report, Kay King, CFR's vice president for Washington initiatives, explores the political and institutional changes that have contributed to congressional gridlock and examines their consequences for foreign policy making. Some of these developments, she notes, are national trends that have developed over a number of decades. Successive redistricting efforts, for example, have all but eliminated interparty competition in some House districts, leaving the real competition to the primaries and the most ideologically driven voters. King further notes that the rising cost of elections has increased the time devoted to fundraising at the expense of substantive priorities, and the twenty-four-hour news cycle has decreased the time and incentive for reflective debate. More subtle—but equally important—institutional changes have likewise diminished Congress's effectiveness. A decline in committee chairmen's authority and expertise, tighter control over voting by party leaders, and the relaxation of traditional customs limiting the use of procedural tools to practical ends have all, she writes, led to a breakdown in comity. The consequences she highlights are both broad and significant, from delayed presidential appointments to a poorly coordinated budget process for critical foreign policy areas such as intelligence, diplomacy, and development.
Solving these well-entrenched problems will likely prove impossible, but King issues a number of recommendations that can make a difference. Congress, she writes, should restore traditional restraint in procedural maneuvering, rationalize the budget process, and revamp committee structure in both houses to better address the fast-moving, interrelated threats the United States faces today. The Executive Branch should improve its coordination and consultation with Congress, while, she concludes, the public should hold Congress accountable by becoming better informed on international issues.
As the 112th Congress takes shape during the coming months, Congress and National Security will provide sensible guidance to party leaders interested in establishing a more constructive foreign policymaking process. As the complexity and interconnectedness of the world's problems grow, there can be little doubt that such reforms are both timely and desirable.