UN Security Council in session. Credit: United Nations-United Nations, December 4 (IPS) – At the height of the Cold War in the 1960s, a Peruvian diplomat, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde, the United Nations as a politically shaky institution that survives only at the will – and pleasure – of the five great powers.
To simplify his reasoning more realistically, he said, “When two small powers have an argument, the argument disappears. When a large power and a small power are in conflict, the small power disappears. And when two great powers have an argument, the United Nations disappear. ”
And more fittingly, the UN Security Council (UNSC) should be forgotten, especially when major powers collide and justify a ceasefire, not in a distant military conflict but within the UNSC chamber itself.
As the only international body with primary responsibility for maintaining global peace and security, the United Nations Security Council has often been paralyzed, especially when the five members of the veto (the P-5) – namely the USA and Great Britain – and France (in one Corner) and China and Russia (in the other corner) – are determined to protect either their national interests or the interests of political and military allies and customer states.
As the New York Times stressed last week, the world must now grapple with the new political realities of “aggressive Russia” and “emerging China” that will continue to be reflected in the Security Council Chamber.
After nearly 75 years, one of the United Nations Security Council’s biggest mistakes is its inability to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine or even ensure the implementation of its own resolutions.
The United Nations Security Council has either remained frozen or has failed to resolve some of the ongoing military conflicts and civil uprisings around the world, including in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Somalia, Western Sahara and, most recently, Ethiopia.
Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Middle East Studies Coordinator at the University of San Francisco, who has written extensively on Security Council policies, told IPS that perhaps the biggest mistake was the UN Security Council’s inability to effectively target the illegal expansion some member states of their territory react with violence.
“It was such aggression by the Axis powers during World War II that led to the creation of the United Nations and the categorical prohibition of such invasions in the Charter of the United Nations. Nevertheless, Israel and Morocco, protected by the veto power of their allies in the Security Council, are continuing their illegal occupation and colonization of the territories (Palestine and Western Sahara, respectively) that they have forcibly taken over. “He also argued. Russia effectively got away with the occupation of Crimea.
Zunes pointed out that the Security Council failed to enforce its resolutions regarding the conquest of East Timor by Indonesia and the continued occupation of Namibia by apartheid in South Africa until global civil society campaigns finally forced them to withdraw decades later.
If the Security Council cannot even prevent member states from invading and occupying other nations, which the UN founders believe would remain a historical anachronism, how can more complex issues be expected to be addressed? asked Zunes.
Meanwhile, after more than 20 years of failed negotiations, the current President of Turkey’s General Assembly (PGA) Volkan Bozkir is making another attempt to reform the United Nations Security Council, including expanding its current membership to 15.
Polish Ambassador Joanna Wronecka and Qatari Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani were appointed co-chairs to continue stalled intergovernmental negotiations on reform of the United Nations Security Council.
When asked if the rivalry of the great powers and the protection of customer states were some of the reasons for the frequent blockades in the United Nations Security Council over the years, Zunes said the United States prides itself on the principle of universal applicability of domestic law – That is, the decision to adhere to certain legal principles should not be based on an individual’s politics, position or personal relationships.
In terms of international law, however, the United Nations has urged the United Nations to use force or impose severe sanctions on opposing nations in relation to the proliferation of weapons, support for terrorism, and the conquest of neighboring states, while the United Nations has prevented them from doing so have been to take effective action allies guilty of the same crimes.
In the meantime, he pointed out that the United States and Russia had abused their veto power to protect Israel and Syria, respectively, from accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Ultimately, the failure is not due to the United Nations system. It is the failure of the United States and other P5 members to fulfill their responsibilities as Security Council members in enforcing the charter and related international legal laws on the basis of their merit, not because of narrow geopolitical interests, said Zunes, columnist and senior analyst, Foreign Affairs in focus.
Bozkir said last month the early appointment of co-chairs should allow member states to start their consultations on time – and he encouraged delegations to consider starting intergovernmental negotiations in early 2021 and to increase the number of meetings at that meeting.
He said that dialogue between member states is the most effective way to move this process forward and that the membership and working methods of the Security Council must reflect the realities of the 21st century.
Brenden Varma, spokesman for the president, told reporters that the president hoped that through active Member State engagement and pragmatic approaches we could “make significant progress on this difficult issue.” The president has an obligation to support this process in an impartial, objective and open-minded manner, Varma said
In terms of fair representation and membership in the Security Council, around 113 Member States (out of 122 that have submitted their positions in a framework document) support the expansion in both of the existing categories.
The United Nations Security Council currently has five permanent members and ten non-permanent members who are elected for a two-year term due to geographic rotation.
Potential candidates for permanent membership include India, Japan and Germany with South Africa or Nigeria (in Africa) and Brazil or Argentina (in Latin America). However, new permanent members are unlikely to have a right of veto – a privilege only P-5 countries will exercise as their “legitimate birthright”.
But given the stalemate and implicit opposition of the P-5, what are the chances of significant changes in both the composition and the functioning of the United Nations Security Council?
When asked whether the current attempt to reform the Security Council is just another exercise in political futility, Zunes said, “There is no serious chance the P5 will be able to carry out these reforms anytime soon.”
However, it is important to repeatedly draw attention to the undemocratic and unrepresentative nature of the Security Council in order to mobilize world governments and global civil society to do more to ensure that the United Nations fulfills its mission, he said.
The author can be contacted at [email protected]. http://www.ipsnews.net/author/thalif-deen/
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