Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Robert S. Junn

First Page



From the time of the San Francisco Conference, the composition of the Security Council and its voting procedure was most severely criticized. The basic criticism had been the veto power of the five permanent members on substantive resolutions. This resulted in a long and vigorous political struggle on the part of the non-veto members of the Organization to amend the Charter in order to increase their voting strength in the Security Council. When the changes on membership and voting procedure came into force on August 31, 1965, a great victory was claimed. This case of the United Nations is intriguing and deserves attention of legal scholars, mainly because the proponents for the amendment to the Charter had no knowledge of intricacy in the relationship between its unique procedural formality of voting mechanism and the distribution of voting power as was "concealed" in the Charter. The purpose of this article is not to discuss juridical points but to analyze this concealed knowledge which should have been known in the course of amending the charter. The analysis will demonstrate that the so-called political victory turned out to be an empirical defeat and it will examine power distributions under two alternative plans for future amendments to the Charter.