News & events


New Actors; New Thinking:

03 May 2016
12:30 - 14:00

Moving Reform of the UN Security Council Forward

Date:     3 May 2016       
  12:30 to 14:00

Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Dr Hester Du Plessis:  Faculty Head: Humanity, at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA).

Jakkie Cilliers: Head of African Futures & Innovation , Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
Nicole Fritz: Consultant to the Institute for Security Studies

Elect the Council is an initiative that proposes a broad-based global civil society campaign that would push for UN Security Council reform (concept note available at It also contains specific detail as to the proposed mechanisms of Security Council reform (e.g. a phased fifteen year period of reform; staggered loss of veto power; a time-out on a number of limited issues that spark only intransigence).   UNSC reform is hugely important but also admittedly an enormously ambitious project.  Inter-governmental negotiations about this issue have essentially stalled and yet now more than ever effective, legitimate global governance is needed. Coordinated, strategic civil society action may help unlock the issue.

In particular globally representative human rights organisations need to be taking up the matter — not only because more representative global governance institutions might be more effectively lobbied to render human rights compliant decisions and legitimate governance, but because tactically were emerging powers to view these NGOs as potential allies in the struggle for global governance reform they might be more responsive to their criticisms re domestic matters. 

Key to the success of this proposed campaign lies not in it being pushed by a single organisation but that a group of well-known, globally representative NGOs come together in a coalition of sorts. To this end a first meeting of such a potential coalition is planned for New York in September.   The purpose of the seminar will be to deliberate on the need and content of the proposals for UNSC reform, based on version 4 of the concept.

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

RSVP by 1 May 2016

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Carmen August, Tel (021) 466 7827, Fax (021) 461 0299, or ;

Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria.