Universiteit Leiden

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Research Seminar on the Role of Non-Permanent Members of the UN Security Council

Nico Schrijver and Niels Blokker (Grotius Centre, Public International Law) organised a seminar on the role of non-permanent members of the UN Security Council on 11 and 12 May. The seminar was held with the involvement of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the Netherlands will be a member of the Security Council next year. The goal of the seminar was to bring together theory and practice.

In addition to researchers from Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and our own Dr Daniëlla Dam, several leading ambassadors from the United Nations gave presentations and contributed to a lively discussion. The British Ambassador to the Security Council even joined a panel through a video link from New York. Panels were chaired by Larissa van den Herik, Han ten Broeke (Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the VVD in the Tweede Kamer), and Abdulqawi Yusuf (Vice President of the International Court of Justice). The seminar commenced on Thursday afternoon at the Eerste Kamer (the Dutch Senate) in the Hague, and continued on Friday in Leiden’s Academiegebouw. In general, participants concluded that the ten non-permanent members could play a vital and useful role in many ways, in addition to the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States), despite the limited margins and the work of the Council being dominated by current crises and power politics. A book will now be prepared, which will include the detailed presentations given at the seminar.

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