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Barriers to an effective UN Security Council reform (Essay Sample)

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Research intensively on the barriers to an effective UN Security Council reform.

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Barriers to an Effective UN Security council Reform
The United Nations Security Council is one of the major arms and bodies of the United Nations Organization (UN Security Council, 2001: 1). It tasked with the most important role of ensuring peace to everyone and every state in the world. It is the organ of the United Nations that ensures that peace prevails in the world and it has vast powers vested onto it by the organization as defined in the United Nations Charter (UN Security Council, 2001: 1). It the organ that oversees the institution of peace keeping missions in the parts of the world that tend to be unstable and authorizes any military action that is to be undertaken in the volatile regions of the world (Malone, 2004: 16).
The council was formed on 17th of January 1946 and is made up of five member states who are the permanent members and other ten elected member states who are elected for a term of two years. The permanent states are the world’s super powers comprising of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China (Bosco, 2009: 23). The other members of the Security Council are elected in rotating format from the emerging super powers of the world. The non-permanent members are elected after every two years during the General Assembly meeting of the United Nations. The council is based in New York which gives it the best chance to act fast in times of crisis.
In the current past there have been calls from some other states and members of the United Nations to carry out major reforms in the UN Security Council ( HYPERLINK "/SM.qst?act=adv&contributors=Ian%20Hurd&dcontributors=Ian%20Hurd" Hurd, 2008: 5). These other nations including the Germany and Japan have been calling for the expansion of the Security Council with more world super powers included as permanent members (Wikipedia, 2012:1). Since the inception and formulation of the Security Council there has been little changes made in the charter governing the formulation and powers of the council. The major proponents of this reform agenda are Japan and Germany which were the world super powers that were defeated in the World War II. Other nations calling for these reforms to take place in the Security Council are India and Brazil (Bosco, 2009: 34). These are some of the four nations that have made major strides in development and economic growth after the end of the World War II and they constitute what is today called the G4 that is pushing for the expansion of the Security Council to include more nations of the world and permanent representatives from each region of the world including Africa, Caribbean Asia and South America. It is well understood that the two defeated powers in World War II, Germany and Japan support the United Nations to a very great extent which should be appreciated by giving them permanent positions in the Security Council. Brazil also contribute much to the functions of the United Nations Security council as it provides the most army squads for the council’s peacekeeping missions in the volatile regions of the world (Wikipedia, 2012:1).
The major stumbling block to the achievement of this reform in the membership of the Security Council is the veto powers that have been instilled onto the five permanent members. For a proposal to go through the Council it needs to be supported by all the five permanent members of the council (Malone, 2004: 45). If a proposal is declined or opposed by one of the permanent members it is regarded as void and it cannot be acknowledged as a reform in the Security Council. The calls to have the Security Council have been expanded to include as many members have been called upon by many leaders of other developed countries including India, Japan, Germany and Brazil together with other fast developing nations such as South Africa and Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico (Press Trust of India, 2011:1).
The veto power that the permanent members of the council enjoy keeps the expansion and reform agendas at bay due to the differences in the interests of the permanent members.
For instance in the calls for reforms in the 1990’s the five permanent members held differing stands about the expansion of the Security Council and the choice of the other super powers to be included in the council (Wikipedia, 2012:1). On its stand the United States favored Japan and India to join the council but objected the inclusion of Germany in the council. China stood with having India included as a permanent member as well as other developing nations in Africa and the Caribbean but objected the inclusion of its rival Japan into the council. The United Kingdom together with France held common stand and backed four nations of the G4 organization to be included in the council as permanent members (Press Trust of India, 2011:1). This stand off caused by the different views of the permanent members who have vetos ensures there is a major stand off in carrying out any reforms in the Security Council.
The veto powers enjoyed by the permanent members of the Security Council have caused stand-offs in undertaking many different measures and procedures to ensure that the world’s peace is maintained. The power of veto has been a delimiting factor in ensuring the council addresses urgent security issues in the world which tend to threaten the security and general peace in the world. The veto power is also blamed to be cause that caused stand-off during the Cold war since no resolutions were passed to aid in the stopping of the war by the Security Council. It is also blamed for the continuing of the war between Israel and Palestine and also the stopping of Iraq from manufacturing nuclear weapons as it was suspected. The veto power has reduced actions that can be undertaken by the council and the views by the permanent members seem to dictate the operations of United Nations and threaten the state of the world peace ( HYPERLINK "/SM.qst?act=adv&contributors=Ian%20Hurd&dcontributors=Ian%20Hurd" Hurd, 2008: 6).
The operations and the interests of the Security Council have also drawn a lot of criticism from the members of the United Nations. This comes from the seclusion and differences in which the Security Council carries out its operations in its missions of restoration of peace and stabilizing the war-tone nations of the world (Luck, 2006: 45). The super powers who are the permanent members of the council have been hailed to have the greatest banks of nuclear weapons that are said to be used to selectively to the benefit of the super powers. A particular case in which this happened is the way the Security Council took a vast and protection agenda and step to protect Kuwait which is very rich oil in 1991 but failed to take urgent measures to quell the genocide menace in Rwanda in 1994 since Rwanda does not have extensive mineral wealth. These criticisms in the way the council undertakes its operation are also a barrier to reforms ( HYPERLINK "/SM.qst?a...
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