The United Nations Security Council needs to change to reflect the realities of the international system. Discuss this statement.
The United Nations is an international organisation, created at the end of the Second World War in 1945, with the primary objective of maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural and humanitarian character, and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all (Article1:1-4). It was established as a replacement to the ineffective League of Nations and at the time of its creation, had 51 member states, rising to 193 in the present day.
The United Nations (UN) is structured into six main organs, the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. The aims and functions of the UN are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) is arguably its most powerful body. It has the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security (United Nations Charter: Chapter V, Article 24.1) and is the sole UN organ, whose decisions have the authority of law and are binding upon all of it’s 193 Member States[footnoteRef:1]. [1: . “Under Article 25 of the Charter, all UN members agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the UN make recommendations to Member States, the Council alone has the power to take decisions which Member States are obligated to implement”]
The UNSC is made up of 15 member states, five permanent and ten elected members who serve a two-year term. The five permanent members (P5) are comprised of the victors of the second World War, namely, United States (US), Soviet Union (Russia), China, United Kingdom (UK) and France. Each P5 member wields the power of a veto, which enables them to prevent the adoption of any resolution or decision they disagree with. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis with five seats allocated to Africa and Asia, two seat to Latin America and the Caribbean, two seats to Western Europe and other States and the final seat to Eastern Europe.
The UNSC functions continually and has met at regular intervals since its creation to assess actual and perceived threats to international security. Despite some notable successes, the Security Council has also experienced devastating failures which many critics have put down to its structure and operational methods, in particular the use of the veto by the P5, which can incapacitate the Security Council and prevent it from taking any action with the genocide in Rwanda and more recently, the Syrian Crisis as case studies. This has led to arguments from critics that the Security Council reflects the geopolitical...