Second World War played havoc with the life of millions of people; a large number of them was killed, seriously wounded, rendered homeless, and suffered from poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance. The conscience of man was raised and he cried, let there be an end to war, let there be peace and goodwill prevail on the length and breadth of earth, let man live with his fellow men as brothers. As a result of this cry United Nation came into being on October 24, 1945.
Its objectives include establishment of a system of collective security; to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to enhance cooperation among the member states in political, economic and cultural field, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights etc. But this organization like its predecessor-the League of Nations-has failed to come up to its expectations. Various reasons are attributed to its failure and a large number of suggestions have been presented for binging about a change in the working of this organization in order to revitalize it.
One of these suggestions is that the Security Council should be expanded in order to include more permanent and veto-wielding members so that more countries of the global community should be able to play more productive roles in the international matters and politics. Presently Brazil, Germany, Japan, India, Nigeria etc have launched a unified campaign and are lobbying hard to muster support in order to get permanent seats in the United Nation Security Council.
Now the question arises whether changing the membership or procedures of the UNSC improve its credibility or not. At present the question is no longer restricted to the expanding of the UNSC rather the supreme and unaccountable power of the United States of America has also become a great problem. The roadblocks to the Security Council’s credibility go beyond issues of process, exclusive permanent membership and the right to veto, to include unparallel United State of America’s power.
With the exception of 1965 expansion from eleven to fifteen members, efforts at Security Council reform since the organization’s inception in 1945 have repeatedly proved implausible; today, uncontested United State’s power makes such efforts largely irrelevant. The structure of United Nations represents a brilliant piece of institutional engineering, in the making of which, the have-not countries of the world were enticed into unconditionally accepting a permanent hegemony of the haves i. e. he five great powers of the world- the United States of America, England, France, Russia, and China. The post nine-eleven world witnessed unprecedented erosion in the role, authority and credibility of the United Nations. Today the United Nations is no longer a meaningful arbiter on issues of global relevance and importance. Countries and leaders are increasingly looking towards the Unites States for support and succor in their domestic and external problems. The problems of the world are aggravating. The root causes of global conflicts and malaise remain unaddressed.
The humanity finds itself divided on religious line. Dialogue among civilizations is almost dead. In its history of six decades the UN has never been as helpless and ineffective as it is at present. Its role has been circumvented by the unabashed use of veto-power. The poor of the world are clamoring for equality of rights that was guaranteed to them in the charter of the UN, which they signed on the condition of equality The poor has become wary of the Veto power, which is strongly against the principle of equality.
Citing the need to avoid conditi6ns that led to the downfall of the League of Nations, the P-5(The US, Russia, England, France, and China) insisted on vetoe over UN Charter amendments. Article 108 effectively provides each, permanent member with a trump card that can overrule any efforts to weaken its formal power, although virtually all of the other 186 member states criticize the veto as inequitable. The veto has been and remains an obstacle to reform both because of the P-5’s vested interest in preserving power and because no provision in the charter requires them to relinquish this right.
In their pursuit of raisons d’etat, states use whatever institutions are available to serve their interests. Although arguably the United Kingdom and France as well as Russia are no longer considered major powers, their permanent status with vetoes gives them a substantial voice in international politics. As evidenced by the debate over Iraq, enhancing the Security Council’s role is a primary objective of French and Russian foreign policies, giving these countries a say about where and how U. S. military power will be projected so long as Washington works through this framework. The P-5 countries, including the United States, are, in essence, guarding themselves; they will not give up their vetoes easily. Political paralysis, when it comes to deciding on candidates for either permanently rotating or new permanent seats on the Security Council-the latter with or without vetoes–has further prevented successful Security Council reform.
Increasing membership numbers beyond the current 15-5 permanent and 10 nonpermanent members serving rotating two-year terms-seems relatively unobjectionable to promote and reflect greater diversity. At the same time, those more interested in results than in process were quick to point out that a Security Council of 21 or 25 members would hardly improve effectiveness-a “rump ” General Assembly certainly would have increased the chances for what one observer poetically called a Sitzkrieg over Iraq.
Moreover, the group would be too large to conduct serious negotiations and still too small to represent the UN membership as a whole. Thus, the apparent agreement about some expansion to accommodate more seats at the table for the clearly underrepresented “global South” does not translate into consensus about which countries would be added. Even more difficult has been reaching agreement on new permanent members. If dominance by the industrialized countries was the problem, why were Germany and Japan obvious candidates?
Would Italy not be more or less in the same League? Would it not make more sense for the European Union to be represented (rather than Paris, London, Berlin, and Rome individually)? How did Argentina feel about Brazil’s candidacy? Pakistan about India’s? South Africa about Nigeria’s? How did such traditional UN stalwarts as Canada and the Nordic countries feel about a plan that would leave them on the sidelines but elevate larger developing countries, some of which represent threats to international peace and security?
Moreover, if the veto was undemocratic and debilitating for the Security Council’s work, should this privilege be given to new permanent members? Would that not make the lowest common denominator lower still? United Nation Security Council is the most important organ of UN. It is necessary to make it more representative. This objective can only be achieved by increasing the council’s size in the non-permanent category, with a fixed tenure, to allow each and every member of the UN to participate in the decision-making process by this institution, on a rotational basis.