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Restructuring the UNSC

It was just a few days ago, that I wrote about the decline of the United Nations (UN) into a shadow of it's former self. I believe that the UN has lost it's efficiency and appeal. It is becoming dysfunctional, slowly but steadily. A global political realignment is needed and it's needed soon.

The problem lies in the fact that our world changes with the click of a  button, so fast that we need to adapt to a new world every day. Organizations like the UN, which was based on the world's dynamics in the 1940's yet remain the same in the 2010's. In fact, the set-up of the UN became absolutely redundant within two decades of it's foundation when Japan once again become a global powerhouse, India achieved self-rule and the Republic of China was replaced with the People's Republic of China.

The sole solution to this quandary lies in reforming the UN, making it adapt to the realities of the 21st century. When the UN was formed, it was a bi polar world, today it is turning into a multi-polar world and the UN must resemble the world. Thus, this article will be talking about reforms which can be introduced to save the United Nations from dying out completely.

At the heart of the UN, it's very crux is the Security Council, it's top decision making body. The Security Council is what differentiates the UN from the League of Nations. The UN has what the League of Nations lacked - a body with the authority to take decisive action. Thus, the UN has survived for so long.

But today this very core of the UN has become rotten. Increasingly, the Security Council is becoming the lamest duck of the UN. The primary cause is the veto power held by the Permanent Five Members of the Security Council - USA, China, UK , Russia and France (P5). This veto is sapping the very foundations of the UN.

The veto has become a tool for these nations to blackmail others to force them into their will. It goes against the basic nature of the UN to have a veto. Why should Russia have the right to single-handedly decide what action the UN, which consists of 193 countries, takes in Syria? On what basis has it been given this right?

It is understandable to have permanent members in the Security Council. There is no doubt that there are certain countries which have the economic and military prowess which make them extremely important. It is the nature of the world. But the veto is uncalled for. It is a gift bestowed by the P5 upon themselves, which they have to relinquish if they wish to see the UN survive.

Perhaps, lifting the veto once for all is too drastic a step. But we need to weaken the use of the veto. Maybe we could amend the charter to say that at least two of the P5 countries have to vote against a resolution to fail it. It's a small step forward, but at least we can claim to have achieved something.

Another very important point is lack of adequate and proportionate representation in P5 of the Security Council. There isn't a single African, South American and Islamic country in the P5. Most of the countries are Western powers. If we want a strong SC we need good representation.

Most importantly, we need to allot permanent seats to a few countries (without veto of course!) which have an undeniable right to them. Foremost among them is India for no one can say that it isn't a rising power or economic or military hub. It is the world's largest democracy and has the second largest population. Having it inside the SC will definitely make it more credible.

We need an Islamic country. While India has the second largest population of Muslims, we need a Muslim majority country. Front runners would include Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. Of these Egypt seems to be the most favorable option since it is both an Islamic and an African country. Two birds killed with one stone.

Brazil deserves a seat thanks to it's economic power and for being the largest and most influential country in South America. Germany is considered to be a strong candidate for a permanent seat but I instead prefer a common seat for all European countries. It is more viable and will face less opposition.

Currently the UNSC has 15, members - 5 permanent and 10 rotating. I have spoken of at least 4 more permanent seats. This would take total membership to 19 and perhaps we could give a permanent seat to Japan, the other power in Asia. This would enlarge the Security Council and give it much better representation.

If the UN manages to reform itself even to such a small extent, it will work ten times more efficiently. Without the veto which makes the P5 bigger than the UN we can pass resolutions with more ease. The UN could reinvent itself to suit itself to modern times. Only then will the United Nations Organization sustain.

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