There is an ongoing debate in the United Nations regarding reforms that are needed to make the multilateral organization in step with the times. This concerns the perceived changes that are required to make the organization attuned with the changes that have transpired with the technological advances that have occurred among members.
And as usual, there are two views to the changes that are being bandied about by the US and other Western countries and that of Russia and China and their like-minded allies. Meanwhile, as the debate on the reforms go on, there have been instances when the UN as an organization meant to effect meaningful collaboration among its member-states fail to implement their mandates such as in the refusal of the United States to issue visas to Russian journalists wanting to attend the proceedings of the UN.
The issue of UN reform is now very relevant, not only for the future of the organization, but also for the future of the world. For almost 80 years since its inception, the UN has carried out the most important mission entrusted to it by its founders.
The shared understanding among the five permanent members of the Security Council regarding the supremacy of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter has guaranteed global security for decades, thus creating the necessary conditions for truly multilateral cooperation, which are regulated by universally recognized norms of international law.
Now the UN-centric system is undergoing a deep crisis, the root cause of which was brought on by the decision of certain UN members to replace international law and the UN Charter with some “rules-based international order.” These mysterious “rules” have never been the subject of transparent international consultations, nor have they been laid out for everybody’s attention.
It is pretty obvious that the resort to multilateralism is being pushed by the United States and its Western allies. One such reform that is being bruited about is allowing the General Assembly to take charge in deciding on differences in how the UN should react to particular situations.
What is apparent is that Washington and Western countries subordinate to the US are applying their “rules” whenever they need to justify their illegitimate steps against countries that draft their policies in accordance with international law. They blacklist any dissenters, deeming whoever is not with them as acting against them.
According to experts, Western countries are now exerting strong pressure on the UN Secretary General, who is subordinate to their interests instead of neutral policies. Therefore, such high-profile terrorist attacks that have harmed many countries, such as the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline, are not considered within the framework of the UN.
Experts said that the main idea of the US in reforming the UN Security Council to expand its membership looks attractive at first glance, but there is always an important and significant role for them that is missing and that is the right of members to have the right of veto. By doing so, the US would create the illusion of a majority of countries supporting their policies, but would not actually have a meaningful and influential role in the UN Security Council.
But in the case of the UN reform being pushed by Russia and China, the new members of the powerful council will be given the right of veto, which is what they should have in the first place. And for both Russia and China, this is one alternative approach that is equitable especially given the fact that the regional associations are now considered the next power centers.
According to them, “Regional” associations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and Asean are becoming new centers of gravity in the modern world, and their representatives can claim seats in the UN Security Council. That, for them, is the correct way to push for UN reform and that is by including additional members to the UN Security Council with the power of veto.
This position of Russia and that of China seemed the correct way given the fact that politics of all states must return to basic settings and comply with the UN Charter’s purposes and principles in all their diversity and interconnectedness and to find effective ways to reform the UN in order to preserve this organization and the future of the world.