top_five_big Voted top five of its week TOP FIVE

United Nations Security Council - Let's Make it Fit for Purpose

The United Nations has a Charter that is its constitution. The Charter establishes a Security Council, of which Russia is one of five permanent members. As such, Russia is entitled to veto (prevent from happening) any decision of the United Nations. This means it can deny the United Nations the ability to pass any binding resolution on any matter of international security. It is true the General Assembly, that sits below the Security Council in terms of power, can make resolutions. These can include resolutions to call for the cessation of aggression, as they have done regarding the current war on Ukraine. However, the General Assembly's rumblings on such matters are not binding in any way. It must be remembered that the Security Council was established in 1945 to essentially give power to the winners of the Second World War, to preserve peace. Now that one of its permanent members - which country comprises just 1.87% of the worlds population - has turned into an aggressor, everything changes. The system has broken down. That is to say, the United Nations Security Council is no longer fit for purpose. Given that the legitimacy of the UN Charter relies on the good faith of member countries, it is time for those members therefore to re-imagine, and then to actually to change 'the system'. There can surely be no argument that the recent actions of Russia have diminished the legitimacy of the Security Council to the point of no return. True, accelerated democratisation of the United Nations is hopeful at best. The years of wrangling that the politics of such change will require will be lost years, and the world does not have time to for that. One model, the proposed UN Parliamentary Assembly that gives direct consultative power to the people of the world is a noble pursuit, but, in the near term, represents at best another layer of bureaucracy. Instead, the whole of the General Assembly , including the veto powers that also sit in that chamber, need to now vote to replace the Security Council with something new. Ideally, this would be something akin to a 'Meritocracy' upper house. One that is elected according to the skills of individuals that are appointed to it, and not by reference to country politics. That is to say, the new upper house that replaces the Security Council should be individuals, and not countries- people skilled in their relevant areas. And the departments in this 'Meritocracy' could be more than just security. They could be Security, Biodiversity, and Space Affairs, for example. A case could also be made for the Meritocracy to include decision makers on Artificial Intelligence Ethical Regulation, and Geoengineering, to name a couple more possible departments. The major decisions of the new Meritocracy would, one would expect, be subject to ratification by the General Assembly. And yes, there should be cursory re-weighting of country votes in the General Assembly, with member countries having an extra vote for, say, each extra hundred million people per country. Any further reweighting can be a matter for another day. But it is time for the experts to lead the way on what should and should not be binding resolutions. Not people whose one job is to put their country first. The UN Security Council was never fit for purpose in a totally interconnected world. But right now it has, absolutely and completely, lost its legitimacy. It is time for the UN to reconfigure, to recreate itself in a common sensical way.
77.78 %