Loosening the UN’s neck tie and its impasse

The League of Nations was established to prevent the world falling into another eclipse of reason after World War I and go to war. Article 22 of the League of Nations had legalized the statute "to appoint a mandate, … to the countries who had gained independence after the war but lacking the ability to govern themselves, until the time when the peoples regain the ability to govern themselves". Even though it was presented as benevolent aid, this was actually the first legal decree for the exploitation of "weak" countries.

Not long - only 19 years - were enough to see the failure of the League of Nations. The emergence of a gigantic war for territorial control, World War II, not only broke up the League, but also showed that the policies they had adopted were faulty. After World War II, where 53 million people lost their lives, a decision for a more meaningful union was required. Thereupon, "The United Nations" was founded.

Uniting nations under one roof in the name of peace is an initiative we will always appreciate. The alliance opens the door to unions that can prevent great and rooted eclipses of reason, while at the same time it restrains countries through certain laws, urging them to follow the rules.

But an institution like the United Nations, based on such an ideal, should not be stonewalled by its own red tape in order to fulfill the duties it seeks to undertake. Uncrossable lines, unadaptable decisions, unresolved wars and shameful accusations are preventing the UN from carrying out its mission today. The establishment of this union most likely prevented a World War III; yet the world is now in a spiral of terror writhing in regional wars.

The UN Security Council, for the first time in nine years, was able to take a joint decision in September 2017 for "condemning the Myanmar army". This condemnation did not provide a solution for Arakan Muslims, nor did it stop the ongoing massacre there. This is a pitiful situation for an important institution that has been established for ensuring the world peace.

Leaders of the 193 member states of the UN, who attended the 72nd General Assembly this year, demanded reforms, stating that the United Nations was founded in 1945 and can no longer meet today's demands. One of the leaders most vocal about reforms, US President Donald Trump has stated that the United Nations has not reached its full potential in recent years due to bureaucracy and mismanagement, despite the fact that the UN budget has increased 140% and the number of staff has more than doubled since 2000.

UN General Secretary António Gutteres summed up this great conundrum the UN had fallen into when he said, "… the only thing that I lose sleep over is the bureaucracy."

Turkish President Erdogan summarized the necessity for reform in the structure of the UN as follows: "We recommend that the entire Security Council to be comprised of representatives from 20 countries with the same rights and authorities. This is no longer a Post-Second World War world. We hope that a United Nations Security Council, saying “Today we need the UN more than ever. But reform, it still necessary.”all the countries of the world are involved will be the conscience of mankind." Brazilian President Michel Temer demanded the expansion of the UN Security Council, saying "Today, we need the U.N. more than ever. But reform is still necessary.”

While the veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council prevents any meaningful decisions from being taken about the various ongoing wars throughout the world, the terms of establishment of the UN, that is, its own bureaucracy does not allow itself to be reformed. Refugees, the inevitable result of wars, are just one of the big problems the UN has not been able to provide a solution for. While some world leaders are only happy to congratulate the countries that have opened their doors to refugees such as Turkey and Lebanon, they cannot do anything about the UN not taking any action regarding this issue.

Some shameful and deeply disconcerting accusations about the UN’s peacekeeping forces, which have been on the agenda for the past few years, have led to profound suspicions about the credibility of humanitarian interventions. In September 2017, at a meeting in New York at Sweden's suggestion, 75 countries signed a contract to prevent sexual assaults against women and children by soldiers and civilians serving in the UN.

In today's world, in which war and terror are constantly emerging, perhaps the most powerless image is that of nations trapped within their own rules. It is a big problem that the UN, which should have been the hope of the world, is faltering in such a bureaucratic impasse, and that the giant nations that make up this institution are constantly talking about reform without being able to take any steps in this matter. Just as how the constitutions of nation states are shaped, regulated or even revamped based on history and the current state of affairs, the UN charter also needs to be regulated in the same way. Abolishing the right of veto, giving precedence to the decisions of the regional powers in problematic regions and taking rapid and effective measures once a suspected genocide is proven, are all urgent changes that need to be made in the UN Charter. Additionally, taking urgent measures to prevent any shameful crimes from taking place that will tarnish the UN's name is also essential. In this regard, it is important to put UN peacekeeping forces through specialized training and let them know that they will face deterrent punishment in this respect.

The world needs the alliance such as UN that will ensure global peace. While it was very good that we have such an important institution in our midst, it is up to us to render it genuinely effective.

Adnan Oktar's piece in The Jakarta Post:


2017-10-04 23:17:16

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