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UN Security Council reform

Craig234

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I've said for a long time that the fundamental design of the UN Security Council is flawed - it's not easy to address the power differences of some countries, but this approach of five countries getting permanent membership and a veto is very problematic. It essentially ensures that the law only applies to countries without the 'connections' to be one of those five or their ally to get their veto.

That means the security council can do nothing against those five, or anyone one of them wants to protect, as the US does for Israel. That's an inherently corrupted, dysfunctional system of double standards.

And now, Zelensky has made that point, telling the Security Council that it should remove Russia, or the body is not legitimate. And he makes a good point.

But then, when that's agreed to - there's a good argument that the same applies to the US over the Iraq war, which the UN Secretary-General at the time rightly called illegal.

Something should be done. Both Iraq and Ukraine show the problem of the limits on the Security Council. And if the US is allowed to launch an illegal war without accountability - how can we condemn Russia or others for doing so?
 

Evilroddy

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Something should be done. How? The permanent member status and their vetoes are baked into the design of the UN and to change that would require the cooperation of all the permantly members.

Thus there are two options. One is to disband the UN and rebuild it back up from first principles. That's very hard, but is possible, in the long-run.

The other is a bit tricksy and amounts to a coup d'etat against the Security Council by the General Assembly. The General Assembly has the power to review and reject the credentials of any new representative appointed by any state to the UN as delegates. So the General Assembly could wait until Russia tries to replace its present delegation to the UN and then repeatedly refuse to recognize any future delegates' credentials, thus leaving Russia unrepresented in both the General Assembly and on the Security Council. However such a tactic could also be used against any permanent member of the Security Council and this would set a precedent, so it's likely that both America and China would resist such a coup attempt by cutting off funding to the UN. Perhaps France and the U.K. would resist too. Cure worse than the disease?

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
 

Sweden

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Something should be done. How? The permanent member status and their vetoes are baked into the design of the UN and to change that would require the cooperation of all the permantly members.

Thus there are two options. One is to disband the UN and rebuild it back up from first principles. That's very hard, but is possible, in the long-run.

The other is a bit tricksy and amounts to a coup d'etat against the Security Council by the General Assembly. The General Assembly has the power to review and reject the credentials of any new representative appointed by any state to the UN as delegates. So the General Assembly could wait until Russia tries to replace its present delegation to the UN and then repeatedly refuse to recognize any future delegates' credentials, thus leaving Russia unrepresented in both the General Assembly and on the Security Council. However such a tactic could also be used against any permanent member of the Security Council and this would set a precedent, so it's likely that both America and China would resist such a coup attempt by cutting off funding to the UN. Perhaps France and the U.K. would resist too. Cure worse than the disease?

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
Good. However the rot started when the UN began to admit states which did not even attempt to honour the UN Charter. This was done for reasons of political expediency and 'balance'. *If we allow South Korea to become a member we must let in North Korea as well'. And 'If we allow China to be a member just maybe they will gradually become a little democratic'. Add in a shipload of corrupt African and Latin American tyrannies and all the Islamic hell-holes. As Oliver Hardy almost said "Here's another fine mess we've got ourselves into.
 

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I've said for a long time that the fundamental design of the UN Security Council is flawed - it's not easy to address the power differences of some countries, but this approach of five countries getting permanent membership and a veto is very problematic. It essentially ensures that the law only applies to countries without the 'connections' to be one of those five or their ally to get their veto.

That means the security council can do nothing against those five, or anyone one of them wants to protect, as the US does for Israel. That's an inherently corrupted, dysfunctional system of double standards.

And now, Zelensky has made that point, telling the Security Council that it should remove Russia, or the body is not legitimate. And he makes a good point.

But then, when that's agreed to - there's a good argument that the same applies to the US over the Iraq war, which the UN Secretary-General at the time rightly called illegal.

Something should be done. Both Iraq and Ukraine show the problem of the limits on the Security Council. And if the US is allowed to launch an illegal war without accountability - how can we condemn Russia or others for doing so?
The UN has no authority of any kind, and does not enact laws. The UN creates covenants, which nations must either ratify or reject like any other treaty. The last UN convenant the US Senate ratified was the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1992. Even then with reservations.

The UN was created after the League of Nations obvious failure to prevent WW II. Even though it encompasses all the nations on the planet, the UN's real purpose was to prevent a third world war in Europe. Which is why France and the UK are included as part of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. China and the USSR were included because they were the prevailing superpowers, along with the US, after WW II. Naturally the US is on the permanent members list because we created the organization.

The UN really hasn't accomplished much of anything. The conflict between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus that began in 1976 continues to this day. Nothing has been resolved. UN troops in Africa end up raping the citizens of those countries, and committing even more atrocities that they are suppose to be preventing. Nothing the UN does is considered legitimate, and they certainly have no credibility with all the deliberate falsehoods the IPCC publishes.

The UN is just another failed example of US hegemony.
 

Glitch

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Something should be done. How? The permanent member status and their vetoes are baked into the design of the UN and to change that would require the cooperation of all the permantly members.

Thus there are two options. One is to disband the UN and rebuild it back up from first principles. That's very hard, but is possible, in the long-run.

The other is a bit tricksy and amounts to a coup d'etat against the Security Council by the General Assembly. The General Assembly has the power to review and reject the credentials of any new representative appointed by any state to the UN as delegates. So the General Assembly could wait until Russia tries to replace its present delegation to the UN and then repeatedly refuse to recognize any future delegates' credentials, thus leaving Russia unrepresented in both the General Assembly and on the Security Council. However such a tactic could also be used against any permanent member of the Security Council and this would set a precedent, so it's likely that both America and China would resist such a coup attempt by cutting off funding to the UN. Perhaps France and the U.K. would resist too. Cure worse than the disease?

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
There is a third option. The US could simply remove itself from the organization it created.

Stop participating, stop all funding, and give other nations a limited amount of time to find another location for the UN other than the US. There are 193 sovereign nations who are members of the UN, yet the US continues to pay 33% of all the UN's expenses. That made sense when the US was making 33% of the planet's wealth, but this isn't the 1950s any longer and the US is no longer producing that kind of wealth. Let these free-loaders start footing the bill if they want the UN so badly.
 

NatMorton

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The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has clearly demonstrated what many of us have been saying for years: the United Nations s, for the most part, a farce.

Yes. a world forum for negotiation is needed, and for that reason alone the UN should persist. But the pretence that the UN is some kind of nascent world government or a global guardian of human rights is a cruel joke. A reminder, more than 50% of the UN's members are representing authoritarian governments. The idea that such a body could ever have moral (much less legal) authority is manifestly absurd.
 

Glitch

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The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has clearly demonstrated what many of us have been saying for years: the United Nations s, for the most part, a farce.

Yes. a world forum for negotiation is needed, and for that reason alone the UN should persist. But the pretence that the UN is some kind of nascent world government or a global guardian of human rights is a cruel joke. A reminder, more than 50% of the UN's members are representing authoritarian governments. The idea that such a body could ever have moral (much less legal) authority is manifestly absurd.
I do not disagree with what you said, but I do question whether or not a world forum is necessary, or even desired today. Before the days of instant communication there is a good argument to be made for having such an organization. However, with current technology such organizations are superfluous. An unnecessary expense. All the functions of the UN, even the few that work, could be done within each of the affected nations without having a centralized organization. Video conferencing is not new technology either.

Our improvements in technology also calls into question the custom of embassies. Once again, a necessity before the days of instant communication. Now, not so much. Aren't we already accepting visa applications via the Internet? We need to update our thinking and get rid of institutions that existed for the sole purpose of communication before the Information Age began.
 

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I do not disagree with what you said, but I do question whether or not a world forum is necessary, or even desired today. Before the days of instant communication there is a good argument to be made for having such an organization. However, with current technology such organizations are superfluous. An unnecessary expense. All the functions of the UN, even the few that work, could be done within each of the affected nations without having a centralized organization. Video conferencing is not new technology either.

Our improvements in technology also calls into question the custom of embassies. Once again, a necessity before the days of instant communication. Now, not so much. Aren't we already accepting visa applications via the Internet? We need to update our thinking and get rid of institutions that existed for the sole purpose of communication before the Information Age began.
Yes, the medium may change, but without the formality of the UN and UN membership, who speaks for China? For Argentina? For Namibia? Yes, I think we could do without the physical presence of the UN complex in NYC, but the concept of a negotiation forum with established, recognized members still has value, IMO.

But my God, let's not pretend they have a "Human Rights Council" worthy of the name or that a sanction vote carries any moral authority.
 

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Yes, the medium may change, but without the formality of the UN and UN membership, who speaks for China? For Argentina? For Namibia? Yes, I think we could do without the physical presence of the UN complex in NYC, but the concept of a negotiation forum with established, recognized members still has value, IMO.

But my God, let's not pretend they have a "Human Rights Council" worthy of the name or that a sanction vote carries any moral authority.
Thankfully, the UN has no authority whatsoever, moral or otherwise.

As far as who speaks for China, Argentina, and Namibia, why couldn't the leaders of those nations speak for their own nations? Why must they do so through a representative of some organization that has no authority to do anything? The Prime Minister of the UK could video conference with the President of France any time he desired, and visa versa. For those public events, they can simply stream their video conference online for anyone interested to watch. Much like what CSPAN does now.
 

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Thankfully, the UN has no authority whatsoever, moral or otherwise.

As far as who speaks for China, Argentina, and Namibia, why couldn't the leaders of those nations speak for their own nations? Why must they do so through a representative of some organization that has no authority to do anything? The Prime Minister of the UK could video conference with the President of France any time he desired, and visa versa. For those public events, they can simply stream their video conference online for anyone interested to watch. Much like what CSPAN does now.
You need some basic rules for how business are done. If all that mattered were one-on-one negotiations between nations, yes, no need for the UN. But I think trying to negotiate, say, some kind of multi-nation treaty would be harder without the structure something like the UN provides.
 

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You need some basic rules for how business are done. If all that mattered were one-on-one negotiations between nations, yes, no need for the UN. But I think trying to negotiate, say, some kind of multi-nation treaty would be harder without the structure something like the UN provides.
The need for structure would not necessitate the need for an organization. The nations involved in the negotiations could determine the structure necessary, and even temporarily create a decentralized organization for that purpose until the negotiations were concluded. There is no need for the brick and mortar institutions that existed before the days of the telegraph.
 

Craig234

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Thus there are two options. One is to disband the UN and rebuild it back up from first principles. That's very hard, but is possible, in the long-run.

The other is a bit tricksy and amounts to a coup d'etat against the Security Council by the General Assembly. The General Assembly has the power to review and reject the credentials of any new representative appointed by any state to the UN as delegates. So the General Assembly could wait until Russia tries to replace its present delegation to the UN and then repeatedly refuse to recognize any future delegates' credentials, thus leaving Russia unrepresented in both the General Assembly and on the Security Council. However such a tactic could also be used against any permanent member of the Security Council and this would set a precedent, so it's likely that both America and China would resist such a coup attempt by cutting off funding to the UN. Perhaps France and the U.K. would resist too. Cure worse than the disease?
Your points are right. Below is a link to a good article on the topic. But, an option 2/3 of the UN can pass which can't be vetoed is the one that changed the China seat from Taiwan to mainland China: a measure can be enacted changing who is recognized to hold the seat. And so the UN can say that Putin is no longer recognized to hold the seat, someone else is.

 

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Your points are right. Below is a link to a good article on the topic. But, an option 2/3 of the UN can pass which can't be vetoed is the one that changed the China seat from Taiwan to mainland China: a measure can be enacted changing who is recognized to hold the seat. And so the UN can say that Putin is no longer recognized to hold the seat, someone else is.

You are mistaken, it can be vetoed. Before the UN General Assembly can even vote on the matter it must get Security Council approval. Since Russia has veto authority over any Security Council decisions, that will never happen. As your own source correctly states:
That would require a vote of the UN General Assembly based on the recommendation of the Security Council. This has never been done. And given that Russia has a veto on the Security Council, the Council cannot recommend Russia’s removal without Russia’s agreement. This simply will not happen. So no, Russia cannot be kicked out.

Furthermore, as your source points out, China would also veto such a Security Council recommendation, fearing what it would mean to them when they invade Taiwan.

The General Assembly will never be given the option of voting on the matter since there will never be a Security Council recommendation.
 

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Good. However the rot started when the UN began to admit states which did not even attempt to honour the UN Charter. This was done for reasons of political expediency and 'balance'. *If we allow South Korea to become a member we must let in North Korea as well'. And 'If we allow China to be a member just maybe they will gradually become a little democratic'. Add in a shipload of corrupt African and Latin American tyrannies and all the Islamic hell-holes. As Oliver Hardy almost said "Here's another fine mess we've got ourselves into.
Add to that the laughable idea that Russia would ever make a credible member of a Union designed to maintain peace. In what world was that logical?
 

Craig234

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Good. However the rot started when the UN began to admit states which did not even attempt to honour the UN Charter. This was done for reasons of political expediency and 'balance'. *If we allow South Korea to become a member we must let in North Korea as well'. And 'If we allow China to be a member just maybe they will gradually become a little democratic'. Add in a shipload of corrupt African and Latin American tyrannies and all the Islamic hell-holes. As Oliver Hardy almost said "Here's another fine mess we've got ourselves into.

I decided to read every reply in the thread so far. I'll respond as appropriate. There are more reasons for admitting 'bad' states - including increased communications and increased influence of the UN with them. Having the UN be a small part of the world that agrees wouldn't do much to deal with the rest of the world. It has had some bad effects, but that's democracy.

On the other hand, the 'good' countries aren't exactly perfect either. Without those 'bad' countries, were the votes wonderful and pure? Did they stop for example the French and the US from war on Vietnam? Did they stop the US from using its veto for Israel constantly? It's not all the fault of the 'bad' countries, and they have a right to their voice, they do exist, even if we rightly oppose them.
 

Craig234

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Yes. a world forum for negotiation is needed, and for that reason alone the UN should persist. But the pretence that the UN is some kind of nascent world government or a global guardian of human rights is a cruel joke. A reminder, more than 50% of the UN's members are representing authoritarian governments. The idea that such a body could ever have moral (much less legal) authority is manifestly absurd.
Let's hear your better plan for making those most of the nations who are authoritarian not authoritarian. The UN can't do it, but so?
 

Craig234

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You are mistaken, it can be vetoed. Before the UN General Assembly can even vote on the matter it must get Security Council approval. Since Russia has veto authority over any Security Council decisions, that will never happen. As your own source correctly states:

Furthermore, as your source points out, China would also veto such a Security Council recommendation, fearing what it would mean to them when they invade Taiwan.

The General Assembly will never be given the option of voting on the matter since there will never be a Security Council recommendation.

No. You are referring to the process for expelling a state the article discussed. My post was about a different process. If you were right, how would Taiwan have lost its seat as a permanent member, when it had a veto?
 

Evilroddy

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There is a third option. The US could simply remove itself from the organization it created.

Stop participating, stop all funding, and give other nations a limited amount of time to find another location for the UN other than the US. There are 193 sovereign nations who are members of the UN, yet the US continues to pay 33% of all the UN's expenses. That made sense when the US was making 33% of the planet's wealth, but this isn't the 1950s any longer and the US is no longer producing that kind of wealth. Let these free-loaders start footing the bill if they want the UN so badly.
Glitch:

How does your "solution" solve anything but satisfying some peoples contempt for internationalism? How would the US kicking the UN to the kerb/curb stop the Russian Army from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine?

Be well and stay alive.
Evilroddy.
 

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There is a third option. The US could simply remove itself from the organization it created.

Stop participating, stop all funding, and give other nations a limited amount of time to find another location for the UN other than the US. There are 193 sovereign nations who are members of the UN, yet the US continues to pay 33% of all the UN's expenses. That made sense when the US was making 33% of the planet's wealth, but this isn't the 1950s any longer and the US is no longer producing that kind of wealth. Let these free-loaders start footing the bill if they want the UN so badly.
We no longer pay 33%, it's more like 20%.

Furthermore, it's around .03% of our budget. Do you think leaving the UN provides us a benefit to offset this?
 

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Let's hear your better plan for making those most of the nations who are authoritarian not authoritarian. The UN can't do it, but so?
I don’t have such a plan nor am I obligated to have one to rightly consider the UN a farce.

But if pressed I would like to see the civilized countries of the world band together more closely and have coordinated economic action against those nations that do not respect basic human rights. That is in stark contrast to the UN’s approach, where such nations are placed on their “Human Rights Council” and given a vote.
 

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No. You are referring to the process for expelling a state the article discussed. My post was about a different process. If you were right, how would Taiwan have lost its seat as a permanent member, when it had a veto?
When the US recognized China in 1971 it also acknowledged that Taiwan was part of China, and therefore the seat Taiwan held had to go to China. Taiwan also had to be expelled from the UN because it is not a separate sovereign nation, but rather a Provence of China.

You can't make that argument with Russia, because they are a sovereign nation and not part of a greater nation. There is also no dispute that the USSR (which the UN Charter specifies) was created by and controlled by Russia entirely. So it is not even close to being similar to Taiwan's situation.
 

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Glitch:

How does your "solution" solve anything but satisfying some peoples contempt for internationalism? How would the US kicking the UN to the kerb/curb stop the Russian Army from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine?

Be well and stay alive.
Evilroddy.
Did I say it was my solution? I bring up a third option because the OP only provided two and you somehow presume it is my solution? Wow, that is pretty damn arrogant, but expected from your ilk.

How exactly has the UN managed to stop the Russian Army from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Ukraine? Oh, that's right, they haven't. The UN is too busy committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Africa to be concerned about Russia.


 

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I don’t have such a plan nor am I obligated to have one to rightly consider the UN a farce.

But if pressed I would like to see the civilized countries of the world band together more closely and have coordinated economic action against those nations that do not respect basic human rights. That is in stark contrast to the UN’s approach, where such nations are placed on their “Human Rights Council” and given a vote.
You wouldn't find any nation that fits the bill. Every nation on the planet violates basic human rights, including the US.
 

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Glitch:

How does your "solution" solve anything but satisfying some peoples contempt for internationalism? How would the US kicking the UN to the kerb/curb stop the Russian Army from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine?

Be well and stay alive.
Evilroddy.
Roddy, do we really need a Security Council, since it has no teeth? I know nothing about the UN; I support it in theory because an organization that lets every nation in the world have a seat at the table to put in its 2 cents worth is a good concept, imo. It's better than nothing.

But I don't know what the Security Council does.
 

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You wouldn't find any nation that fits the bill. Every nation on the planet violates basic human rights, including the US.
Do you see a material difference in the level support for human rights between the United States and, say, Russia?
 
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