Reconfiguration of the U.N.Security Council

August 9, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” – simple yet meaningful creation by the renowned American Poet – Robert Lee Frost.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Only if the authorities in power – the corporations and the governments alike, in the contemporary world honor the commitment to their people and prioritize the promise to the general population over personal quest for profit, privilege, prestige and politics,

Perhaps, it might be possible to wipe out the global problems such as poverty, disease and war polluting the planet and restore the deep, dark and lovely woods that once used to be the nature’s paradise.

The past week event involving the release of two American journalists – Laura Ling and Euna Lee through high profile diplomacy aided with the former President Bill Clinton’s visit is a confirmation that communication and dialogue can be effective in resolving international crisis.

Congratulations! to President Bill Clinton on the job well done and the American citizens Laura Ling and Euna Lee on the reunion with their respective families. The former Presidents’ expertise and popularity always remains a valuable asset to the nation and the international community.

The world is not a safe place than it was before. In fact, in the nuclear era and arms proliferation – the trading of conventional and modern weaponry particularly the nuclear arsenal is a major threat to global security. It’s not the question of who’s entitled to the possession of new age weapons of mass destruction gauged by the threats materializing into action and the responsible vs. irresponsible nuclear ownership etc.

Whenever there is a hierarchy in terms of quantity and superiority, it foments a possibility for back channel arms race or illicit exchange of the nuclear technology as it is prevalent now. It’s relevant to the recently intercepted cargo shipment allegedly containing nuclear materials from North Korea to yet another brutal regime Burma.

Even though, the recent agreement between the United States and Russia in the arms reduction including the non-proliferation of nuclear warheads is significant due to President Obama’s strategy, the desire among other nations like North Korea and Iran to be a nuclear power is symbolic not to mention the defiance towards the Superpower and the United Nations.

The present volatility in international security stems from the lack of trust and cooperation among the major players in control of the world security and economic prosperity and their undue dominance for five decades yielding the status quo counter-productive. The focus is directly on the United Nations Security Council permanent membership.

U.N.Security Council originally set up with the five nations permanent membership following the major world wars I and II in identification of the role and economic status then, does not synchronize with the present reality.

Besides the poor achievements or the lack thereof on global fronts i.e. economic, political and environmental issues by the exclusive body, the obvious polarization within the P5 or the permanent membership club has been detrimental for the world security and prosperity.

The P5 has demonstrated politics more than delivering solutions on many international crises rendering the United Nations most important component redundant and controversial. The council’s inability in arriving at a consensus on crucial international matters due to predictable action by members exhibiting economic and political clout is strongly indicative of its impotence in the decision making process.

Much to the frustration and disappointment of other big and small nations, the P5 management of genuine global catastrophes ranging from nuclear containment or disarmament to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease has been a miserable failure. Any positive results in the latter attributable to the relentless work by the non-governmental and non-profit organizations funded through private endowments and caring international groups.

Again, not all P5 members meet the criteria primarily based on economic status given the conspicuous shift in the current world economic dynamics. Notwithstanding, the precipitous decline of P5 performance in hosts of issues particularly with respect to North Korea, Iran, Burma and other despot leaderships around the world, unequivocally requiring the urgent expansion of the Security Council from P5 to P11.

Further, the ‘so-called’ P5 and Plus in reference to the western ally Germany as a defacto member of the U.N.Security Council regarded hypocritical by the deserving and true economic powers seeking permanent membership for years only to be declined noting obvious reasons reminiscent of the twentieth century imperialism not in concurrence with the new millennium geo-economic and political setting.

P5’s likely opposition and reluctance to the proposal possibly viewed as a monopoly of the power, thereby unnecessarily creating opportunities for aptly qualified potential members to seek alternatives undermining the P5 course of action in the regional and worldwide issues.

Apart from the Security Council permanent membership enlargement, the U.N. Preamble is due for review and modification in the permanent members’ tenure depending on the member track record to world peace, progress and prosperity. Otherwise, the U.N. Security Council permanent membership no longer set in stones as a guaranteed life-long privilege for the perceived presumptuous players despite them abdicating responsibilities, and voting rights abuse on global matter witnessed until date.

To reiterate, under the new structure, the permanent membership will be strictly merit based and humanitarian objectives attained collectively from the individual member contribution. Non-cooperative members on universal cause viz. defense programs and warfare, environment…disqualified and replaced with other aspirants subject to eligibility conditions.

In light of the true perspective, the new members to the imminent expanded P11 Security council, in addition to the existing ones – United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China are:

Brazil, Japan, India, South Africa, Germany and UAE (United Arab Emirates) assuming functions of the permanent council members in the leadership role for the respective regions reflecting diligence and fair representation anchored on promoting regional trade, security, economic prosperity, cultural exchange and eventually nuclear disarmament.

The inevitable expansion in addition to the prevailing U.N. temporary membership on roster allowing other U.N. members to participate in the international resolution to global issues is the only and concrete remedy for the burgeoning arms deal, human rights violation, illegal occupation of lands, economic disparities, natural disasters and last but not the least global warming.

As stated above, the five members council neither adequately represents nor addresses the growing demands by the rest of the world in terms of political, economic, energy, social, cultural, and environmental challenges.

Therefore, it is incumbent on the United Nations to pursue the proposal set forth for immediate reorganization of the Security Council irrespective of the five members dissent or approval in accordance with the new world order.

Reconfiguration of the Security Council would provide positive outcome with majority voting
in favor of curbing international threats and terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation leading to disarmament by all nations, economic prospects, and political stability by liberating occupied lands as well as containing if not eliminating miseries in the impoverished regions of the world.

The recommended action targeted towards power and responsibility sharing among other economic and democratic/progressive nations rather than the continuation of twentieth century dominance proven ineffective in advancing the humanitarian rights and goals.

Finally, Congratulations are in order for the new member nations to the Security Council –

Brazil, Japan, India, South Africa, Germany and UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Appropriately representing the continents/regions considering their contributions to the world economic, political and international security.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.