Dáil Éireann - Volume 410 - 02 July, 1991
Written Answers. - UN Security Council.
Mr. Rabbitte Mr. Rabbitte
 25. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Government intend to initiate any proposals to make the United Nations Security Council more representative of the general membership of the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Collins) Gerard Collins
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Collins): The present position in regard to membership of the Security Council is set out in Article 23 of the UN Charter as amended; and the geographical distribution of elected seats on the Council is determined in accordance with a UN General Assembly resolution of 1963.
Under Article 23 of the UN Charter the Security Council has a membership of 15 of whom five are permanent members and ten are elected for two year terms. Paragraph 1 of that Article provides that:
The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect ten other members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the organisation and also to equitable geographical distribution.
The Charter as adopted in 1945 had provided for a membership of 11 of whom six were elected but Article 23 was amended in 1963 so as to expand the membership of the Council to the present level of 15.
By Resolution 1991 A of 1963, the General Assembly agreed that the distribution of the ten “non-permanent” seats would be as follows: five from African and Asian states; one from Eastern  European states; two from Latin American and Caribbean states; two from Western European and other states.
The Government are aware of views that the composition of the Security Council, and in particular the allocation of permanent seats as provided for in the Charter, should be changed in order to take account of a world in which the distribution of power differs in some significant respects from that which existed when the Charter was adopted some 46 years ago. Ireland is participating in the international exchange of views on this question but we do not plan to take an initiative on it.
An important factor to bear in mind is that under Article 108 any amendment of the Charter would require a vote of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly and ratification by two thirds of the members of the United Nations, including the five permanent members of the Security Council. This means that no change could be made without the agreement of all five of the permanent members of the Council.
Dáil Éireann 410 Written Answers. UN Security Council.