Workshop ‘Influence in the United Nations Security Council: rethinking the role of elected members’, Florence 28th-28th September

Flag Flying half mast in honor of

UN Photo

Conventional wisdom suggests that the United Nations Security Council is controlled by its five permanent members, while the other 188 UN member states are effectively sidelined, including those serving two-year terms on the Council as elected members. By virtue of their exclusive right to veto proposed resolutions, the permanent five are assumed to control decision-making, often striking deals among themselves before a draft resolution is even put to the vote. Lacking the power of veto, elected members are widely assumed to lack any means of influence.

This workshop and the broader project of which it is a part will explore a richer account of Security Council dynamics. We will look beyond the Council’s formal voting rules and the distribution of material power among its members to identify how elected members shape Security Council outcomes.

The workshop will bring together more than 20 scholars and practitioners to examine, test and advance our understanding of how elected members influence the UN Security Council.


The workshop will be held at Borgo I Vicelli Country Relais, a half-an-hour drive from Florence, on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September 2017.


This event is part of a four-year Australian Research Council-sponsored Discovery Project entitled Leveraging Power and Influence on the United Nations Security Council. The project is a collaboration between researchers from the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University and the University of Queensland. The organisation team include Jeremy Farrall, Marie-Eve Loiselle, Christopher Michaelsen, Jochen Prantl, and Jeni Whalan.

Workshop working papers 

Workshop working papers will soon be available here.


“Game changing reform will require champions of change”


Jeni Whalan was in New York law week to speak on the theme of her recent report Dealing with Disgrace: Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping

Speaking at the 2017 International Peace Institute (IPI) Policy Forum on 11 September, Jeni explained that “[p]reventing SEA in peacekeeping and responding appropriately will not happen with business as usual reforms”, instead “[w]hat’s needed are genuinely game changing efforts”. This changes, she concluded “will require champions of change”, to ‘make sure there’s not cause to sit here again in 10 years, in 5 years, to tackle SEA by peacekeepers”.

Sarah Taylor, IPI Research Fellow, Youssef Mahmoud, IPI Senior Adviser, and Jennifer Wittwer were also part of the panel.

 You can watch the video of the event on IPI website.