APCD launches new ARC project.

APCD launches new ARC project: leveraging power and influence on the UNSC

23 February 2016

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The Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD), based at the ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific, officially launched a four-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project last Friday, 19 February 2016. APCD convened an inaugural round table workshop with key stakeholders from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the wider policy community, under the Chatham House rule.

The project, Leveraging Power and Influence on the UN Security Council: The Role of Elected Members, aims to examine how elected members on the Security Council can influence Council decision-making and norm development.

This project brings together a research team of international lawyers and political scientists from the Australian National University (ANU), University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the University of Queensland (UQ). It provides a rigorous, multi-disciplinary evaluation of why and when non-permanent Council members have been able to shape the Council’s decision-making process, despite lacking the veto power available to the five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (the P-5).

Head of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy, Associate Professor Jochen Prantl, said this project will provide greater understanding of the strategies that are most effective in influencing national interests in global governance institutions.

“The project will help inform when and how elected members are able to best secure interests and exercise influence on the UNSC” Associate Professor Prantl said.

“We are very excited to be working with our counterparts in UNSW and UQ, to make a contribution to the UN Security Council and its actions to promote international peace and security” he added.

The aims of the project are to generate new knowledge about how, where and when non-permanent members have made a difference to the UNSC decision-making and norm developing processes; contribute new empirical data about important moments of UNSC law-making; and produce empirical evidence to inform the choice of strategies by Australia and other states in order to promote and secure their national interests in complex global governance institutions.

Three preliminary findings stand out from the inaugural workshop:

For Australia, finding effective means of leveraging power and influence on the UN Security Council is of utmost importance, given the centrality of the Council in, and Canberra’s dependency on, a functioning rules-based global order. The project’s outputs, which include advancing evidence-based and empirically grounded policy proposals designed to increase the capacity of elected members to exercise power and influence over the Council's agenda and policy, will be of vital interest to the 188 UN member states that are not permanent Security Council members. Finally, the project raises larger questions of global governance in times of shifting power. At the beginning of the 21st Century, the global order is in transition. The liberal institutional architecture that was created in the aftermath of World War II is not only challenged by complex problems but also by the lack of voice and representation of those countries to which global power is shifting. This wider background turns the project into a compelling case study with profound implications beyond the case of the UN Security Council.

For more information on the project, please visit http://scan-un.org/.

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