May 1, 2023
It doesn't weaken the proposal but strengthens it. The US has invaded countries it shouldn't have been allowed to invade, namely Iraq, after its bogus "evidence" of WMD was revealed. Then there's Vietnam
Thank you, Diane, for a compelling disclosure of just how worthless and dishonest the U.N. and its members are in allowing a lie and an absurdity to exist for so many decades. The idea of some sort of world forum in which every nation has a possibility to express itself and maybe even resolve some common problems based on a global consensus is a good idea.
But, just as the short-lived "League of Nations" failed to live up to its expectations and was dissolved, so the U.N. must revise its charter and rules in order to become relevant. Two possibilities (which would immediately make a difference) would be for a "world court" to determine whether a nation - at least at the Security Council level - be denied a vote on matters in which it has an interest and whether to suspend membership of any nation that violates its charter.
Excellent reporting and I totally agree. Putin is making a mockery of the UN. Reform is needed at the UN because the World and the Players have changed so significantly since the end of WWII.
Pres Zelensky voiced his objection to the UN allowing RU to be a member of the UN council - & suggested that UN should be dismantled due to the ineptness of the institution to adjust and/or change - he was furious as UKR continued to be handcuffed by Putin AND the UN! If there is NO change to the mandate & its regulations etc - it's a waste of time and $$$ to operate. Currently it is just plain obsolete, ineffective and incompetent. Yikes - 3 strikes and you're OUT!!
I wonder about relegating the UN to the dustbin of history; that is what happened to the League of Nations, and why? Because the US abandoned it. Why? Because it was not prepared to assert its hegemony; it retreated into isolation, and the bad guys rampaged. One could argue that Great Britain was the hegemonic nation from 1815 (Waterloo) through 1914, and during that time it kept the peace quite well and its currency, sterling, was the world's reserve currency. The only major war was the American civil war. But Britain could not prevent the Great War and was broken financially by it, even though ironically its empire grew larger as it absorbed the remnants of the Ottoman and German empires. Even so, a country that cannot finance its own wars is no longer hegemonic, and Britain began its long decline ending with Brexit. But where was the United States, which had been the world's financial superpower since the 1870s? Historians may write that America's succession from England as the hegemonic power was unprecedented in history, but during the interregnum was the world depression and WW2; into the vacuum of power roared the Waffen SS and the Knights of Bushido. Certainly, the League of Nations was hopeless, but the United Nations is an improvement. It does all kinds of good work at the lower echelons; its principal failure is political at the level of the Security Council. So now we have another gigantic fail; as the Guardian puts it "Absurdity to a new level as Russia takes charge of UN security council." I agree with everything you say, except talk about relegation to dustbins. Every time something like this happens, we have lots of Americans reaching for the exits, which makes me nervous. It will be really hard to reform the Security Council. India has to have a place, even though Modi is doing his best to reduce India's 200 million Muslims to second-class status or worse. The issue of Britain and France is doing to be difficult, though for years both countries have voted in lockstep with the US. Tons of problems, but relegating this flawed organization, abandoning or abolishing it, I suggest would herald disaster. I hope the United States, the world's hegemon for the foreseeable future, will accept the challenge and lead the way not run away.
As you just pointed out, the US must acknowledge its disastrous invasion of Iraq and Vietnam before we can present a reshaping the Security Council of the UN. It's time that we own our perpetrations as we re-shape a planet that does more than kill each other. You've laid out a good groundwork for us to address the United Nations--if we are to have a format in which nations can work in unity for the good of humanity.
Maybe it's time to review the United Nations Charter, and implement its teaching in our schools. [I knew George Nakashima who designed a symbol made out of very special wood for the UN--I helped address postcards to those he wished to thank.]
while I share this view, what weakens the proposal is the assumption that no other P-5 member has disrespected state sovereignty.
The veto must be eliminated from the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Then a simple majority can determine decisions a la the Supreme Court. The veto renders the UN dysfunctional.
Great piece Diane. It’s about time. One of the commentators Mr. Woloshyn mentioned that the League of Nations "failed to live up to its expectations." That is only partly true. It is a little known fact that in early 1940, after Russia invaded Finland, the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations. At the same time the US House of Representative introduced a resolution to break diplomatic relations with Moscow. It suggests that at least as Russia goes, the League of Nations was more effective than today’s UN.
What is the UN waiting for to kick them out. Look at the Budapest Memorandum. Russia again violated the agreement as it always has in the past and continues to do so.