By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, August 2, 2012
As more Syrian blood is shed under Bashar al Assad’s heavy artillery and with the international community totally crippled by the Russian and the Chinese veto, more questions are raised regarding the legitimacy of the veto power often wielded every time and since by major powers to defend their vested interests.
The famous “P5” or five permanent members of the Security Council seem to have the final say on critical issues. They tend to appropriate the “illegitimate” right to represent other nations and make decisions on their behalf under the umbrella of the United Nations, which is meant to represent the international community in the first place.
However, the permanent members who aggregated these privileges in the aftermath of the Second World War are still playing by the same rules in the 21st century. The former colonial powers have share the UN pie and left the other nations with bits hardly good for anything.
The veto was essentially provisioned in the League of Nations in order to prevent any decision against its members. Initially, all the members had the right to veto resolutions. In 1936, the number of members reached 11 which resulted in 15 operational vetoes. The major powers considered that the veto could not be granted to all members since it impedes the process of decision making.
Since then, the veto became the privilege of the UN permanent members which allowed them to oppose the adoption of the substantive resolution draft regardless of the level of support it enjoys among other members.
The United Nations as a universal body that is meant to consolidate collective responsibility and to promote world peace has turned incrementally to an organization operating under the hegemony of the five major powers. It is noteworthy that Russia is responsible for 79 vetoes cast to defend their own national interests disputed by the US. The United States vetoes 32 Security Council resolutions condemning Israel.
The relevance of the Security Council is once again called into question as Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution against the Syrian Regime for the third time. Consequently, all the diplomatic efforts to put term to the bloodshed in Syria suffered a fatal blow. Now the main question remains, why Russia and China are so determined to block any UN resolution against the Syrian regime?
Apparently, the Russians and the Chinese did not relish the interventionist approach undertaken by the NATO to topple Kaddafi in the Libyan conflict. They were left bare handed after the NATO powers boasted their victory on the Libyan ground. Since the Russians and Chinese are quick learners, they want now to assert their presence in the Syrian case and reap the spoils of any military operation against Assad.
Experts stress also that Russia and China are not enthusiastic about resolutions that interfere with domestic affairs, especially those that call for regime change. Being themselves not totally democratic nations, China and Russia have long been unpleased by the interference of the United States in their internal affairs, especially in regards to the Human Rights record.
The legitimacy of the veto in the Security Council is being questioned as it has repeatedly impeded the international community capacity to establish world peace. The international community cannot achieve this goal with undemocratic institutions that consolidate the hegemony of the five permanent members and undermines the notion of fair representation, the backbone of democracy.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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