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In the view of promoting international co-operation, numerous governments across the globe formed an intergovernmental organization known as the United Nations (UN). One commonly known fact about UN is that it was formed after the occurrence of the Second World War. One of the core organs of the United Nations is the Security Council (SC) the major mandate of which is to maintain international security and peace (Blokker & Schrijver, 2005). However, with all the events that have occurred across the globe, it is easy to conclude that the latter has not succeeded in its mandate. This paper analyzes some of the reasons why the Security Council can be said to have failed in its mandate of maintaining international security and peace. The essay goes deeper to discuss some of the things that the mentioned organization can do to improve its operations in the areas where it is performing ineffectively. This paper focus mainly on the failure of the Security Council and the reforms that it should consider, as this is the most powerful UN institution with the greater potential for bringing change.
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Failures of the Council
Under the United Nations charter, the Security Council is empowered to take the necessary action to maintain peace and security in the world. There are fifteen countries that make up this institution. It is imperative to note that not each of the fifteen member states that make up the organization possesses a single vote. The veto power that the five permanent member countries that make up the Security Council have, has been one of reasons of its failing. These five member states include France, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia (Schweigman, 2001). The veto power that these countries have in the council enables them to block certain resolutions they dislike which can work in their favor. It is correct to suggest that the ability of the organization to maintain stability and peace across the globe depends on the interests of its five permanent members. It is with this power that the United States of America, on the one hand, has continued to veto any resolutions condemning the actions of Israel in Palestine. Russia, on the other hand, vetoes any decisions meant to enable the intervention in Syria.
The other proof that the Security Council has failed in its attempt to maintain word peace is the fact that there are few permanent countries with veto power. The five permanent member states possess the power that can allow them manipulating the decisions made by the organization. These countries have been notorious for being against any resolutions that do not favor them. For instance, the council relies on the decision made by the states with veto power to react to situations that emerge. The power structure in place makes it impossible for the organization to go against the interests of the countries with veto power (Malone, 2004).
Regional representation is another issue that shows the failure of the Security Council. The organization is made up of fifteen countries, a number that is relatively low considering the numerous states in the world. The low number of the council’s membership means that there are some regions that are not represented. The lack of representation means that the interests of countries in some parts of the world are not considered. There are some states which feel that the council is biased as it only looks and tries to fulfill the needs of its five permanent members. For fairness and equality, the organization should include member countries from all regions (Malone, 2004). The fact that the states that have economic superiority are the ones that possess veto power reflects the bias.
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There are several reasons why the Security Council has failed in its mandate with one of them being work performance (Bellamy, 2015). The clashes that have been occurring in Syria are one of the incidents which prove that the organization has not succeeded in its mandate. It is estimated that close to 150000 people died during the conflict in Syria with millions of people becoming internally displaced. If the council was effective, it is easy to assume that the mass murder that occurred in Syria could have been avoided.
Failure of SC to Maintain World Peace & Security
The Security Council also failed to curb the invasion of the Bosnian Serb army into eastern Srebrenica where the latter executed more than 8000 Muslim boys and men. The inhuman execution occurred during one day and in the view of showing their prowess, the Bosnian Serb forces thrown the bodies of the victims in pits for everyone to see. The eastern Srebrenica massacre has been taunted as the worst mass murder to ever occur after the Second World War (Bellamy, 2015).
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The Rwanda genocide is also another proof that the Security Council has failed in its mandate of promoting world peace. It is important to note that the genocide led to the death of close to one million people. The inquiry done regarding the genocide revealed that the United Nations is guilty of ignoring evidence that the genocide was to occur that was presented to it (Bosco, 2009). Moreover, that the organization withdrew the over 2500 UN peacekeepers from Rwanda after ten Belgian soldiers were mercilessly executed. The other shocking revelation from the inquiry made regarding the Rwandan genocide is that the peacekeeping forces affiliated to the United Nations caused the deaths of hundreds of people after deserting a school that had earlier been inhibited by the Tutsis militia (Bosco, 2009).
The council has also failed to combat terrorism and extremism. There is a rise of extremist groups like ISIS in Syria and Iran. Such organizations have spread to Turkey and North Africa. The groups have conducted terrorist activities in the USA, France, and other countries. ISIS is growing in membership and SC has failed to combat it.
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Reforms of the Security Council
Since the failings of the Security Council have already been established, the next step that should be taken to ensure that it fulfils its responsibilities is to carry out necessary reforms. The changes are helpful in dealing with the factors that do not allow the organization to perform better. One of the reforms that the council should consider is abolishing the veto powers possessed by its permanent members. Past experiences have proven that the mentioned member states use this power to drive their agenda. The fact that the council acts on the decision arrived at by the countries that have veto powers limits the organization’s effectiveness in the peace keeping mission. There are many instances where the council has been rendered helpless in maintaining peace due to a decision reached by the permanent members after the voting exercise (Hassler, 2013). The United States of America, for example, has voted against any resolution that condemns the activity of the Israelites in Palestine. Israel and the United States have similar interests regarding Palestine and this is the reason why the USA is always against laws that would jeopardize Israel’s activities in Palestine.
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Ensuring that there is equal regional representation among the member states that make up the organization is the other reform that the Security Council can implement for it to deal with the reasons that make it fail in its mandate. The fact that there are some parts of the world that are not represented means that the decisions made by the member states can be subjective (Luck, 2006). For example, the Middle East states feel that the organization does not consider its interests, as there is no country from the region in the council. With this, the Security Council should develop policies that guarantee the participation of every region.
Adopting proper strategies during the occurrence of situations such as mass massacres is the other reform that the council should incorporate. There is evidence that the organization has failed in responding to certain incidents that might happen (Blokker & Schrijver, 2005). The veto power that some members of the council possess limits the institution’s participation in peace keeping. Changing the policy that makes the organization wait for approval from its permanent members will enable it to respond to any event that threatens global peace and stability.
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In conclusion, it is evident that the Security Council has failed in its mandate of promoting global peace and stability. For instance, the Rwandan genocide where more than a million innocent people were killed proves that the organization has not succeeded in its mission. There are several reasons why the Security Council has failed in its mandate. For instance, it relies on the decisions made by the members with veto power for it to intervene in any situation that threatens peace and stability. The veto powers that the five permanent member countries possess have been trespassed upon numerous occasions (Hilaire, 2005). The states with the veto power make decisions that serve their interests. The United States of America, for instance, has in the past rejected any proposal put forward to condemn the activities of Israel in Palestine. Despite the council’s failure, there are several measures that it can take to make it attain success in its mandate. One of the reforms that can be undertaken is changing the policy that gives some member countries the veto power. Besides, the council can be set in a way that there is equal regional representation. Some parts of the world are not represented in the organization, something that has formed one of the reasons why the latter has failed in its mandate. With such reforms, the council is guaranteed to add its success rate in the mission of trying to ensure that there are global peace and stability.