UN Security Council: Key Reform for a Culture of Peace


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Jul 2021 – In last month’s blog, we presented a utopian vision for Jerusalem as a turning point in the transition to a culture of peace. It was taken from my novella, “I have seen the promised land.”

Looking further into the novella, we find a second turning point in the transition, the achievement of universal nuclear disarmament.

And the key to both of these turning points is the reform of the United Nations Security Council, which, at the present time, is controlled by the nuclear powers and unable to act in the Middle East because of alliances with the State of Israel.

Here is how the novella imagines the reform of the Security Council, as of the year 2026:

“When we all got started on the Transition a few years ago . . . the United Nations was still a disaster. It is hard to overestimate the extent to which the UN was paralyzed following the Crash of ’20 and the Davos Coup. Its stock, like that of Wall Street, had fallen to the point that it was essentially worthless. Many said that its day was over, like that of its predecessor, the League of Nations. The old order, established after World War II, that the “Allies” should run the Security Council, had been disintegrating for many years since the turn of the Century, but all attempts at reform were unsuccessful. . . .

“The first breakthrough here in New York came when the permanent members of the Security Council, Britain, France, US, China and Russia, agreed to stand down and to suspend, at least temporarily, the functions of the Council. This enabled negotiations to go forward for a new representational system in the Council. We will probably never know all the details of the negotiations that went on between the Nobel Group and the five great powers. . . . .

“It was the Nobel Peace Laureates who cut the Gordian Knot, and they did it through a year of mediation, not by a single stroke of the sword. To me this symbolizes in a single image the transition to a culture of peace! It cannot be achieved overnight. There is no single decisive battle, but only the long patient process of dialogue, listening, and negotiation. As my African friends have always said, “A culture of peace is not built. It is cultivated.

“In the end, the agreement was reached. Those regional organizations previously based on state power, that could reorganize themselves on the basis of local and provincial representation were granted a seat in the new Security Council. . . .

“In a few weeks, we will mark the first anniversary of the Transition Security Council, and what a year it has been! In only one year, the Transition Council has revitalized the disarmament process. Already, the International Atomic Energy Commission has announced a schedule of nuclear disarmament that should be completed within the year. And, most dramatic of all, they have succeeded where a Century of efforts by the nation-states failed; they have brought a viable peace plan to the Middle East. It was one thing when the Wall came down in 2021, but that was only a beginning. In a few months we will have the reunification of Jerusalem, and it will be cause for great celebration. The culture of peace has come of age!”

The preceding vision of a reformed Security Council has led me in recent years to call for the establishment of a new initiative, an alternative Security Council, independent of the nation-states.

At the present time, the Security Council of the United Nations does not not represent the interests of ordinary people, but rather the influence of lobbies, such as arms manufacturing companies, that determine the policies of the nation-states. On the other hand, a new institution should represent the people more directly. It should be democratically elected and should be close to the interests of the people.

For this reason, a good option is to establish a Mayors Security Council, composed of a rotating group of democratically-elected mayors from all the regions of the world. They tend to be close to the interests of ordinary citizens, concerned with the day-to-day problems of education, with citizen safety, and quality of life in general. Cities have no enemies, no need to prepare for war !

Mayors have no use for nuclear weapons and a Mayors Security Council would quickly decide to take serious steps towards their abolition.

Mayors have no reason to intervene in the Middle East, unlike the interventions by the United States and its allies in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. And probably they would agree on effective steps towards peace between Israel and Palestine.

At first, such a Council would not have any power of action, but it would publish regular press-releases about what they would do if they were faced with the questions before the actual UN Security Council. The press releases would help develop the consciousness that “another world is possible”.

And, if some of us are correct that the world is on the verge of radical transformations, the time may come when a Mayors Security Council can become the real United Nations Security Council.

In any case, what we have now is not promoting a culture of peace. What we need is radical change, and the UN Security Council is a key point to be changed.


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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