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UN demeaning crisis

Feb 26,2018 - Last updated at Feb 26,2018

The repeated failures of the United Nations to deal effectively with countless numbers of conflicts across the globe, the latest of which is the systematic and indiscriminate Russian and Syrian aerial and artillery bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, brings to the forefront the issue of whether the international organisation, as it is presently constituted, is truly and faithfully fulfilling its ideals and objectives.

To be sure, the UN has failed and disappointed humanity in a number of other conflicts, on top of which is the Palestinian crisis, which continues to be unresolved despite all international efforts and resolutions issued by the world body.

The UN failed the international community also in Iraq, Libya and Yemen to name but a few regional situations, over and above other major failures in Africa, Asia and even in Europe. 

Lest the major powers forget, the UN was created in the first place to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind".

Article 1 of the UN Charter, adopted in 1945 in the wake of World War II, states that the UN purposes are “to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace... ."

Article 24 of the UN Charter stipulates in no uncertain terms that the UN Security Council (UNSC) has the "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security... ." Paragraph 2 of the same article states that "in discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations... ."

How can the UNSC, as currently constituted, claim that it is abiding by the principles of the UN Charter and is fulfilling its obligations! Obviously, the Security Council is not doing anything of the sort, not now, not ever.

A short glance at the recent debates of the council on Syria is enough to cause revulsion among humanity at large. This means that there is something terribly wrong with the UNSC and that it is much overdue for revamping from head to toe.

The main demeaning crisis within the council is the misuse and abuse of the veto power by its five permanent members.

The UN was established in 1945, some 73 years ago. Is it not time to revisit this highly provocative veto power prerogative! Is it not natural, fair and necessary to have another look at this veto power, which a select number of nations still enjoy for no justifiable reason! Is it fair that only the current five permanent members continue to be the sole privileged nations!

What are the criteria for this limited membership? Why not add Japan, Germany, Egypt, Brazil or India, for example, to the current shortlist! Till when must the international community tolerate the tyranny and the injustices of the five permanent members!

As long as this grave aberration and injustice continues, the scene in Syria will repeat itself and the UN will fail again and again to fulfil its goals.

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