In the 70th United Nations General Assembly, an issue that has long been overlooked was once again called to attention: the unjust structure of the United Nations Security Council. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “reform which reflects the real power in the world better than the situation today”. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the Council should no longer be “a club of the powerful and privileged”. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says the world needs “a renewed Council that adequately reflects the new balance of power… a Security Council that is representative, legitimate, and effective,”
The Security Council is one of the world’s most important institutions. It is made up of five permanent members- the US, the UK, Russia, France and China- and ten rotating members, each elected to two year terms. However, the five permanent members hold the lion’s share of the power, due to their right to a veto vote which can be used to overturn any decision, even if 14 of the 15 other members pass it.
As the body of the UN entrusted with matters regarding international security, the US, Russia, China, Britain and France hold war and peace in their hands. Unlike the General Assembly, which can only issue recommendations or condemnations, the Security Council can make resolutions reality, as Security Council decisions are binding on all members of the UN.
The composition of the council itself is already problematic. The permanent members were designated their position...
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...uncil completely, although to do so would be to rid the world of the only recognized authority on international security. Although the best course of action in reform is unclear, most of the international community agree that reform is necessary. The current structure is unacceptable, inequitable, and causing the international community harm.
Selfish pursuit of national interests by the permanent five is prolonging and exacerbating conflict around the world, leading to death and preventing peace. The current structure is not only eroding the effectiveness of the Security Council, but also diminishing the legitimacy and credibility of the Council and the UN as a whole. While it aims to be a paradigm of peace and universal morals, the UN is doing little to uphold their values as it lets only the richest, most powerful nations play the game of international security.
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