UN reform agenda calls for fair representation, functionality
18 Sep 2023 - 17:23
In recent years, many countries have been calling for reforms at the United Nations, saying there are inequalities in terms of representation and structural injustices, especially given that there are only five countries with veto power in the UN Security Council.
Efforts towards UN reform began in 1993 with the establishment of an open participation working group within the Security Council. The group was transformed into an intergovernmental negotiation format in 2009.
While there are issues on which UN members agree as part of the reform, different groups have differences of opinion on the number of Security Council members, permanent membership and veto power.
Anadolu compiled reform studies that envisage some changes in the UN system and the proposals of intergovernmental groups that put these studies on the agenda.
According to Article 108 of the UN Charter, a bill for reform must receive approval by a ratio of two out of three at the assembly.
Then this reform bill must also be adopted in the national assemblies.
The conditions include the presence of all five permanent members among these countries.
The permanent members are also required to attend the plenary session even if they vote against it.
G4 members want Security Council membership
The G4, a group of four countries -- Brazil, Germany, India and Japan – aspiring to become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, is also among those who want to reform the Security Council
The group in a joint statement issued in March this year proposed to increase the number of seats in the security council to 25 by adding six permanent and four non-permanent members.
If they are admitted to the Security Council, the G4 recommends that new permanent members waive their veto rights for at least 15 years.
African Group wants permanent membership in Security Council for African countries
The African Group, consisting of 54 members, has also proposed enlarging the Security Council to 26 members, two of which are permanent and two of which are temporary African countries.
The group proposes that two of the other permanent members should be from Asian countries and one each from Latin America and Western Europe, or the "Other Group of States.”
At the same time, temporary membership requests are being made for one country each from Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America or the Caribbean.
The group, which opposes veto power, argues that if this authority remains valid, they should also be granted this right.
China, Russia uncomfortable with Western domination in Security Council
China wants Asian, African, Latin American and Arab countries to take part in the council, arguing that the assembly is in an unstable position between North and South.
Russia is also expressing an expansion policy that will include Asian, African and Latin American countries in the Security Council
L.69 group wants permanent membership to be granted to all regions
The L.69 Group is a group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. It consists of 32 nations including Bolivia, Jamaica and Papua New Guinea.
It is also in favor of increasing the number of members in the UN Security Council
L.69 requests rotating membership of the assembly to developing small island countries, which correspond to about 20% of UN member states.
The group also advocates permanent membership in the Security Council for Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe and the "Other Group of States.”
Arab Group against adhering to veto power of 5 countries
The Arab Group formed by the Arab countries that are members of the UN also supports the reform proposals.
It wants permanent membership in the assembly to be granted to Arab countries in the event of expansion.
The group opposes adherence to the veto power of the five permanent member states of the Security Council during the crises experienced in the Arab geography in the last 80 years.
Unity for Consensus Group proposes increasing Security Council to 26 members
The Unity for Consensus Group, of which countries such as Argentina, Italy, Spain, Canada, Mexico and Pakistan are members, and with China and Indonesia as observers, is also calling for reforms in the Security Council
The group proposes increasing the number of members in the assembly to 26 and protecting the status of the five permanent members.
Twenty temporary members of the Security Council would be determined at the Security Council for a period of two years.
It is envisaged that six of the 20 provisional members would be elected from Africa, five from Asia, four from Latin America and the Caribbean, three from Western Europe and two from Eastern Europe.
The group also announced that it is ready to support a system in which the provisional members of the council can be re-elected.
Strong Security Council for accountable UN
The permanent members of the UN Security Council do not represent the global Muslim population of around 1.5 billion or the 1.2 billion people of the African countries.
Europe, which accounts for about 5% of the world's population, has the right to be represented in the council with two permanent members.
According to the views expressed in the book "A More Just World is Possible" (Daha Iyi Bir Dunya Mumkun) written by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Türkiye wants inequality to be prevented in order for the UN to function for world peace.
The reform also aims to make the UN accountable.
Erdogan, in his book on this issue, said: "The UN should be held accountable for why it did not take timely action in the face of crises."
While the structure of the assembly also prevents accountability, this situation leads to a deepening of injustice and inequality in the UN.
According to Ankara, the strengthening of the Security Council is also necessary for the UN to become more democratic and accountable.
The proposal in the book includes strengthening the UN Security Council, permanent membership and abolishing the veto power.
Meanwhile, the Security Council is asked to implement the decisions taken by the assembly, which performs legislative duties by acting as an executive body.
According to this reform proposal, the UN Security Council will be elected from among the member states for a certain period of time.
Members will not have the right of veto.
Story Code: 607307
Taghribnews (TNA) https://www.taghribnews.com