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The need for UN reform revived in the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine | War in Ukraine


Neither the United Nations nor the Security Council worked. Reforms are neededclaimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Japanese Parliament at the end of March. We need to develop a new preemptive tool that can actually stop invasionshe pleaded, a request repeated in several countries and again on April 5 before the first concerned: the Security Council.

Supposed to guarantee peace and prevent a third world war, this body created in 1945 retains as its base a group of five permanent member countries endowed with the right of veto – United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France – which allows you to protect yourself and keep control of the affairs of the world.

Since 2011, Moscow has used it fifteen times for Syria. It guarantees him not to be excluded from the Security Council, the Charter of theUnited Nations providing for the exclusion by the General Assembly of a member only on the recommendation of this body (article 6).

For their part, the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq in 2003 without the backing of theUnited Nations and without consequence on their position in the Security Council.

In addition to the right of veto and the lack of representativeness of the international community among its permanent members – without Africa or Latin America – the functioning of the Council depends on a monopoly exercised in many files by Washington, London or Paris.

Among the 15 members of the Security Council, the distribution of roles is unequal, judges an ambassador from one of the ten non-permanent member countries. The latter, elected for two years each, are entrusted with the bureaucratic duties of chairman of the Sanctions Committees and we don’t think it’s a fair division of laborhe said on condition of anonymity.

In the end, the Security Council is denounced for its recurring paralysis, the Secretary General of the Organization, Antonio Guterres, criticizes misguided global governance, and the United Nations is singled out globally and without half measures.

In reality, “theUnited Nations it’s like cholesterol,” tempers Bertrand Badie, a specialist in international relations in Paris. There is the goodincluding life-saving humanitarian aid around the world, and there is the bad, with the Security Council.

The criticism is intensebut you have to wondering where we would be if we had nothing of everything what makes up the Organization, abounds the ambassador.

The right of veto criticized

Any reform of the Security Council will require its enlargement, for both permanent and non-permanent members. But the identity of the new as the subject of the right of veto continues to provoke highly polarized positions.

The use of this right must be a little more disciplined, continues the same ambassador. The veto should not be intended to block progressbut at force the five permanent members to sit down and find an acceptable solution to problems.

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At an informal meeting on Friday on the reform of theUnited Nations including the five permanent members of the Council, the veto was again questioned. Several sometimes old ideas coexist, including a Franco-Mexican proposal to limit the use of the right of veto in the event of mass crimes and that of Liechtenstein to oblige any country resorting to it to explain itself before the General Assembly.

  Cyril Ramaphosa

South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa wants the UN Security Council to be expanded to include other countries.

Photo: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country could one day join the permanent members of the Security Council, judged the latter instance outdated.

“The entire peace and security architecture of theUnited Nations needs to be revised,” he said, calling for democratize the Security Council to influence unilateral actions current permanent members in order to reshaping the global political game.

Other contenders for a permanent seat include India, Japan, Brazil or Germany.

According to several experts, however, as long as the five permanent members do not accept a loss of power, no reform of the Security Council will see the light of day.

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