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NIGERIA’S QUEST FOR A PERMANENT SEAT IN THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL: PRO AND CONS

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ABSTRACT
The demand for the reform of the United Nations is due to the evolving international system.
The international system has gone through such a rapid transformation to the extent that the
UN structures as they were at the time of its establishment are making the UN not to function
effectively as expected by majority of its members. Hence, the argument that the Security
Council membership is expanded to include major financial contributors and the equitable
representation of the regional spread. There is every indication that Nigeria has all it takes to
represent Africa in an enlarged Security Council. But considering the vagaries associated with
international politics a lot still need to be done by Nigeria to garner overwhelming support from
Africa to enable her emerge as a consensus candidate for Africa. This work examined Nigeria’s
quest for a permanent seat in the security council of the United Nations and the possibility of
Nigeria representing Africa in an enlarged security council.
This paper research work was able to find out the reasons for the sudden clamour for the
democratization of the United Nations Security Council and the possibility of Nigeria being
accepted into this seat. This paper adopted the Neo- realism, Liberalism and Veto power theory
as a frame work for the analysis of Nigeria’s quest for a permanent seat in the Security Council
and the democratization of the Security Council.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
The united nations in the last few years undergone serious reforms among which is the
resolution to increase the membership of the non permanent members of the security council in
which the African continent has been allotted two slots Nigeria was a serious contender of one of
those slots in which it was able to get. Currently no African state is a permanent member of the
security council and this is a major reason why Africa was allotted two slots in the non
permanent members of the security council been that Africa is the second most populated
continent in the world behind Asia.
One of the biggest achievements of Nigeria in her fifty four years of independence is being a
non permanent member of the Security Council. The current reform of the United Nations is
golden opportunity which Nigeria cannot afford to miss. Being a member of this exclusive club
will be recognition of the country s strength, economic and strategic importance and political
maturity. Despite all her short comings, Nigeria has emerged biggest democracy on the African
continent. The return of the country to the part of democracy after years of successive military
regime has increased its legitimacy in internal affairs. Nigeria has contributed immensely too
many peace keeping operations around the world.
If these and other credentials are to yield the desired result the country must contend with the
slow pace of economic recovery, the challenges posed by other serious African contenders
particularly Egypt and South Africa.

In the 21st century, the world has indeed become a ‘’global village’’ what happens in one
remote corner of the world is quickly known by others at the farthest and remotest corner. The
consequences also spread fast and given the asymmetrical nature of the world, they have
different and varying impact. This accounts for the reason why United Nations permanent
members are reluctant towards the admission of an African state as permanent member of the
Security Council because of the existence of so many short coming
HISTORY OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
The year was 1945 was the second war enveloping much of the globe in the last 30 years was
coming to an end. In this environment, representatives from China, Great Britain, the Soviet Union,
and the United States met at the Dumbarton Oaks mansion in Washington D.C. for the initial
discussions that would lead to the creation of the United Nations. The representatives were well aware
of the guiding principles of the League of Nations, and also of its multiple failures. Though many felt
that the League of Nations had the capacity to discuss significant international affairs, the body was
not constructed in a manner which was able to produce successful measures to deter aggression and
prevent conflict. Firstly, the United States, by now a prominent global power, did not join the
organization, although the organization was originally the Woodrow Wilson’s, the president of the
United States at the time, idea after World War I. This handicapped the League from the beginning by
preventing it from achieving maximal financial backing and international political support. Secondly,
there was no clear division of duties between the League’s Assembly and Council committees. Thus,
tasks were often mismanaged. Additionally, all resolutions required a unanimous vote to pass, a rarity
in the arena of international politics. Since there was no clear sense of collective security, individual
Member States of the League continued the policy of pursuing narrowly defined interests of their own
country’s foreign policy. In 1945, the nations represented at Dumbarton Oaks were mindful of these,…

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Existing literature A.S Akpotor and P.E Agbeka in his book ‘ Nigeria’s quest for a permanent
seat in the security council’ and Sokore Collins ‘ Nigeria’s UN Seat Bid And the Tsunami
Gyration Gang’ have attempted to present both the advantages and the disadvantages that are
inherent in Nigeria’s bid for a permanent seat of or at the UNSC. These they have done without
paying adequate regards to the complex implications, which may not necessarily be negative,
that the bid could attract to Nigeria. Really Nigeria’s attempts at assisting the United Nations in
finding solutions to some of the numerous politico-security challenges that had happened in
some regions of the international system, and her contribution to several of Africa countries,
present her as about the best African candidate for a permanent seat at UNSC. However, the
groundswell of anomie within her confines and the grave ignominy in which she is held by some
of her neighbors, no thanks to the fraudulent activities of some of her citizens in diasporas and
some of the elites that are wont to siphon and launder funds from the governmental coffers, seem
capable of hurting her candidature. In view of this, one notes that the existing literature have
mostly paid attention to the advantages and/or disadvantages that her candidature would
engender, with distasteful disregard for the implications therein. Without grappling issues with
extant literature therefore, this study seeks an interrogation of the fallouts that would be
engendered by Nigeria’s candidature for a permanent seat at UNSC.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
During the course of this work it will research on the enlightenment of Nigerians on what
we stand to gain by being a member of the permanent seat of the UN Security Council. Its
implications on our finances and the responsibility this post is going to impose on Nigeria as a
nation and also as the ‘Giant’ of Africa. It will be analyzing the reasons why Nigeria is likely to
get the seat despite the fact that it’s competing against strong nations such as South Africa and
Egypt.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The scope of my research would seek to answer the following questions;
1. Is there any likelihood that the UNSC would be restructured in order to accommodate new
permanent members?
2. Is Nigeria’s quest for a permanent seat a way to go for Africa or is such aspiration meant to
satisfy some egocentric interests?
3. Will Nigeria’s acceptance into the Security Council solve the problem of insecurity in Africa,
and in particular, that within her confines?
4, Will Nigeria play a better role in the Security Council than other nations in Africa?
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives of the study are to:
a) Identify the reasons that underlie the sudden clamor for the democratization of the
permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council
b) Examine the complex dimensions of relations that Nigeria’s bid for the hallowed
membership might be engendered

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