UN Security Council: An organization for injustice
Since its very inception in 1946, the United Nations Security Council demonstrated that it cannot be trusted as a podium of justice for the world countries, specially the oppressed and defenseless nations which eye the assistance and patronage of the powerful and economically influential nations for tackling their political predicaments and crises, and showed that it merely pursues the interests of its small bloc of five permanent members and undemocratically discriminates against a multitude of countries who don’t have a say in the policies which directly affects them.
United Nations Security Council is said to be one of the principal organs within the operative system of the United Nations and is “allegedly” charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. The authorities possessed by UNSC are the establishment of peacekeeping missions, imposition of international sanctions and authorization of military actions whenever necessary.
UNSC has five permanent members: China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States. What’s the reason? Why should the UNSC have permanent members which cannot be removed from power and must wield an unyielding and resolute authority to make decision over the international affairs? The answer is simple: these five countries are the victorious powers of the Second World War. Their victory in a war which took place and was concluded more than half a century ago minimally accounts for the eternality and endlessness of the power which they possess.
UNSC has also 10 non-permanent members which are elected on a rotating basis and through the vote of the members of United Nations General Assembly.
According to the Article 27 of the UN Charter, a draft resolution on non-procedural matters is adopted if nine or more of the fifteen members of the UNSC vote for the resolution, provided that none of the permanent members veto it.
What is the veto power? The answer is simple. It’s a discriminatory and biased privilege given to five countries to dictate their own will to some 200 countries as they wish. If a draft resolution, put forward by one of the fifteen members of the UNSC, is vetoed by any of the five permanent members, its adoption will be precluded. Veto power, seen by many as the most unfair and inequitable law of the world which enables a powerful and authoritative minority to determine the fate of an indispensable and subjugated majority, is unquestionably an insult to the insight and perception of the international community.
The permanent members of the UNSC are free to exercise their right of veto whenever they wish to, and nobody can question the legitimacy or justifiability of this approach. Several international organizations, lawyers and lawmakers, journalists, politicians and even statesmen have put forward alternatives to the right of veto wielded by the Big 5, but all of their efforts have been in vain, as the United Nations Security Council has showed the least flexibility with regards to the reformation of its autocratic and undemocratic structure.
Interestingly, all of the permanent members of the UNSC are the countries which we’ve long got used to hearing their claims of being the pioneers of democracy and freedom; nevertheless, in the very approach which they’ve implemented over the past fifty years and the manner of their interaction with the other countries of the world, one can hardly trace the footsteps of democratic and civilized behavior.
Unfortunately, the United Nations Security Council has become an instrument for the five superpowers to further their political will in the arena of international politics and alter the political equations according to their interests. They put forward a draft resolution whenever their interests are jeopardized and pressure the rest of members to vote for it, and veto the resolutions in which the interests of their allies are endangered.
Since its establishment up to now, the UNSC has adopted 1966 resolutions. Now the question lies: how many of these resolutions have become operative and come into effect? How many of these resolutions have been fair, lawful and defendable? Whose interests are met through these resolutions? Is the will of five nations more valuable or worthy than the will of 200 countries who don’t have access to UNSC?
Let’s bring up some examples. UNSC’s treatment with Iran is a notable and clear example of discrimination and prejudice exercised by the Security Council against an independent nation which wants to stride on its own path towards self-sufficiency and progress, free from the pressure of bullying powers. Since 2006 UNSC has adopted seven resolutions against Iran’s civilian nuclear activity and imposed four rounds of sanctions against the country for what it claims to be “Iran’s failure to halt its uranium enrichment program”. The imposition of four rounds of sanctions against an independent country which tries to achieve a scientific breakthrough is an ironic drama. All of the reports published by the International Atomic Energy Agency attest to the legality and rightfulness of Iran’s nuclear program. There has been not a single paper of evidence signifying that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. All the international community knows about Iran’s nuclear program is that Iran enriches uranium, and enriched uranium, to some certain extents, might be used to fuel a nuclear bomb! At the same time, the international community is well aware of the fact that the regime of Israel possesses 170 to 200 nuclear warheads, and this is a figure which is confirmed by the Federation of American Scientists, an organization within the country which is the staunchest ally of Israel. So why did the UNSC, being headed by the Big 5, impose four rounds of crippling sanctions and pass seven resolutions against Iran instead of condemning Israel and imposing sanctions on it?
Ironically, 118 members of the Non-Aligned Movement and 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Conference unconditionally backed Iran’s peaceful nuclear program; however, the country should face financial sanctions because 5 countries like this way. Is it fair, not? Five is bigger than 118!
World superpowers don’t tolerate the emergence of a new political and scientific power. Iran is an inspiring example for the developing world and should be obstructed at any rate, so the UNSC can effectively function as an impediment on the way of Iran and any country such as Iran which looks for improvement and progress.
However, UNSC’s treatment with Iran was a simple example of the discriminatory approach of this unfair and unjust organization with the world nations. Hundreds of unfair and unjust resolutions have been passed against the oppressed nations of the world, from the Latin America to Africa, adding to the pains and problems of these impoverished nations.
UNSC needs a drastic reformation. The veto power should be dissolved as soon as possible. There should be a permanent seat for the representative of the Islamic world with more than 1.5 billion population. The power to authorize sanctions or military expeditions should be handed over to the UN General Assembly rather than the Security Council. The members of UNSC should be held accountable for the decisions which they make. Their responsiveness to the international community should be built up. The impunity of UNSC members should be abolished. They should not be able to make any decision which they want and get away with it. It’s only with the implementation of such reforms that we can be hopeful for a successful future for the UNSC; otherwise, this organization will forever remain an organization of injustice and bias.
- Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist
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From the Archives
By Stuart Littlewood | February 10, 2009
Martin van Creveld, a former professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a world-leading writer on military matters, has made many enemies with his seemingly outrageous views.
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