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Does the United Nations Security Council work?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Curio, 2 Jun 2006.

  1. Curio

    Sgarrista

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    Obviously the current situation with Iran has got me thinking about this...

    Does it work having the 5 "super powers" making up the UNSC? With Iran, you get the feeling the US has already made up its mind one way or the other....the nuke issue, terrorism, oil, whatever. Russia isn't helping because it won't even talk about sanctions against Iran (which, IMO, isn't helpful at all...) due to its crucial business links with Iran. Similar story with China.

    Now we hear there is some form of agreement on how to proceed with Iran. Russia is saying the agreement rules out any use of force. I suspect the US is still saying "all options are on the table". Is this really going to send a clear message to Iran, or anybody else? :confused:

    Is there any event, short of one country invading another (like Iran invading Kuwait in 1990), where we could get quick, decisive and unanimous agreement from the UNSC members? Regardless of how you see the Iran situation, it's surely better for everybody if the crisis can be resolved quickly and effectively. Can that ever happen now? Or do the big guns have their powerful fingers in far too many pies?

    Does the UNSC work as it is then ? Is there a better way? I think maybe a council made up of more "neutral" countries (if such a thing even exists...) would be better. Maybe the countries could "rotate" in and out every few years so that no one country could build up too much influence. Or is the current way just fine?

    NOTE: This is not an excuse for US bashing, although of course fair criticism of any country is a good thing ;)
     
  2. Indy500

    Capodecina

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    The problem is the UNSC is entirely dominated by the P5 members...
     
  3. Yas786

    Caporegime

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    Fixed and i think we all know who that P5 member would be....


    Personally i think the UN has become very much a farce when it comes to world order and keeping peace. To me it seems all they have become is the Americans puppets ie Americans pulling most if not all the strings.


    Could possibly work if they had more neutral countries taking more of the decisions but hard to say if that would really work tbh.
     
  4. JimmyEatWorms

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    No it doesn't. Even though it grants too much influence to the P5 countrys, it also renders the entire UN pretty much useless due to the fact that any of the P5 countrys can veto any agreement. A much better system would be 1 country, 1 vote.

    I mean, Richard Branson doesn't get more votes than somebody that works as a burger flipper just because he has more power and wealth, does he? So why should certain countrys be granted that privelage.
     
  5. Shackley

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    Richard Branson and the 'Burger flipper' are each individual people, they each have a single vote regardless of wealth.

    Do you agree then that countries should have a voting power based on their populations ?
     
  6. JimmyEatWorms

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    Perhaps, but populations fluctuate and many countrys have no means of neasuring their population. And even after that, it would only result in China having pretty much absolute power over any decision. All in all...unworkable.
     
  7. AJUK

    Man of Honour

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    Not really as the countries with the largest populations, with the exception of USA and Russia, tend to be developing nations and are much less stable than the developed world. I mean, with all due respect to India, China and Brazil, wold you really want them in charge of policing the world*.

    * Not that we do a good job at the moment. sadly.
     
  8. BillytheImpaler

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    If that were the case why would any of the P5 countries choose to participate? Are you equating the military, economic, and political weight of a country like the UK to one like Côte d'Ivoire, for instance?
     
  9. Curio

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    Well, yeah, that was my point :) The P5 effectively is the UNSC.

    I don't think that's entirely true. Russia, China and the US are all trying to pull strings when it comes to Iran - that's the whole problem. They're all as bad as each other, which is why I think it needs to be changed. I guess I'm thinking of it like a trial - you wouldn't have the jury made up of people with a vested interest in the outcome. Although how this could work on an international level I'm not sure.
     
  10. JimmyEatWorms

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    They don't "participate" now....they dictate.

    No, but can you explain to my why a richer and more developed nation should wield more international authority than any other?
     
  11. dirtydog

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    I think the current system could work if the P5's individual vetoes were done away with, and instead any resolution needed a simple majority of P5 votes. The P5 as a group would still have a veto over the rest of the security council, but one individual country would no longer be able to dictate to the rest.
     
  12. Meridian

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    He would if he had dozens of nuclear-armed rockets at his disposal. Which is precisely why a) the P5 members are who they are, and b) why they wield so much power. And the Americans certainly don't dominate the Security Council - witness the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

    There have been moves in the past to add a couple of countries to the main five, but all have failed because they don't want their power (such as it is) diluted. For instance Germany has been suggested: it is richer than the UK and France, but no nukes, so no seat at the elite table.


    M
     
  13. JimmyEatWorms

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    So do you think that "more weapons=more political clout" is a good thing? Should this be the way international politics is carried out ("Do as we so because we have all the missiles")?
     
  14. Meridian

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    The question being asked wasn't "Is this a good thing?", but "Why?", which is the question I answered. Is it a good thing? At best, debatable. Who else should be included? Why? On what basis? Population? Military might? Only democracies?


    M
     
  15. BillytheImpaler

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    If they did not dictate, they would not submit their wills to "richer and more developed nation(s)." The whole point of the UN would be moot if it did not have the vehement backing of the most powerful nations. Take the League of Nations as an example of this.
    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. When a major world power is in an economic slump we see that the worldwide economy frequently follows it. When the UN votes to take forceful police action the majority of troopes sent into harm's way are not from developing nations, rather, they are from the "richer and more developed nation(s)."

    The G5 nations contribute the lion's share of the UN's operating budget. If the UN did not play by the terms dictated by the interests of these states with great enough frequency, they would withdraw their support and backing. Without that, what good would such a body be?
     
  16. Visage

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    I *nearly* agree, but I'd prefer to perhaps widen the p5 to p10, and suggest that any veto would have to be beased on at least 3 dissenting votes....