What is the importance of the UN Security Council?
“The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has primary responsibility, under the Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security” (UNSecurity Council 2010).
The end of the 1980s and the 1990s has been marked by major changes in international relations, both as practice and as an academic discipline. The collapse of the multi-polar system in the world politics, fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the beginning of some state level wars transformed the international peace affairs with the Security Council in the international cooperation to resolve conflicts. The debates on the United Nations Security Council become particularly vigorous after the cold war. Major concerns on the Security Council are over effectiveness and representation with demand for transparency in terms of its actions and decision (Basu, 2007; Taylor and Curtis, 2006; Luck, 2006).
This paper will attempt to look at various contributions of the United Nation Security Council from various scholars view in terms of its power and functions.
According to O’Byrne (2003:81) in his view, “the Security council is probably the most powerful of the UN’s organs and is responsible for peacekeeping, interventions, and sanctions against warring or rogue states”. Byrne further points that it is unreliable to consitently defend human rights standard and other rights related issues.
Similarly, Basu (2007: 63) enumerates the functions and powers of the Council as follows: (1) to maintain international peace and secuity in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations; (2) to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction; (3) to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlements; (4) to formulate plansfor the establishement of a system to regulates armament;(5) to determine the exsitence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken; (6) to call on member states to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force in other to prevent or stop aggression; (7) to take military action against an aggressor ; (8) to recommend admission of new members and the term onwhich states may become parties to the statue of the International Court of Justice; (9) to exercise the trusteeship function of the United Nations in “strategic areas”; and (10) to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretaty General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the judges of the Internation Court.
Based on the above functions and powers of the Security Council, it is well known that the Charter provisions to act effectively is quarantee, but many scholars of war, international relations, human rights argue for the need for a reform. Hannay (2009) examined the UNSC effectiveness and ineffectiveness in terms of its functions and powers within the decade of 1989 to 1999...