The five permanent members of the UN Security Council have veto power. However, the organization has been repeatedly criticized for providing this power since its inception.
However, considering the use of different states in international politics and in the global arena, the veto power cannot be analyzed only from the point of view of criticism.
The veto power of the five permanent member states has also been criticized due to serving the national interest. In the world leadership and power struggle, the permanent member states have become opposing forces who use the veto power to secure their bloc.
What is veto?
Veto is a Latin word that means I am opposed or I do not agree.
Currently, the power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council is the most popular, where the five members can use their veto power to reject any proposal. However, the opposite can also happen where member states use their veto power to support a resolution.
The history of veto power is not new. The veto power existed in the ancient Roman Empire, where consuls and tribunes of the Roman Empire used their power to rescind any law.
However, the heads of state of various modern states have also exercised a veto. One example is the United States and India. The president of the United States has the power to veto various laws and repeal them.
On the other hand, the President of India can send a bill back to Parliament without signing it, which is called inevitable veto power. In some cases, the President of India can suspend a bill indefinitely, also known as a pocket veto.
Veto power and un
After World War II, 1945, the United Nations stepped in to ensure world peace. At the same time, the United Nations Security Council was formed, with the five Allies winning permanent membership.
The five member states are the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France. In addition, 10 temporary members are elected from certain regions for 2 years. In January each year, five new states begin their two-year term.
For the first time, the Dumbarton Conference began drafting a Security Council. The conference was followed by several other conferences, on the issue of this power.
Eventually, through the Yalta Conference, the United States came to the fore in favor of vetoing the United Kingdom and Russia. Later, France and China were given the power. On January 17, 1945, the first Security Council conference was held.
criticism against veto
The power to veto is one of the most criticized issues at the UN. Since the inception of the Security Council, there have been claims that permanent members abuse power in their own interests. However, many have now commented that it is a threat to human rights.
The London-based human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the veto power in the 2015 annual report. It called 2014 the most “unfortunate year” for refugees. The organization also stated that the permanent member states using their veto power to increase the unfortunate of refugees.
In fact, 2014 was the world’s worst refugee crisis. Russia’s veto power at the time prevented the United Nations from halting the war in Syria and providing effective humanitarian aid.
There are also examples of unprecedented abuses of power, where veto-wielding China itself continues to persecute the Uighur minority in its own country.
Where is the problem?
The main goal of the Security Council is to ensure military security in the international arena. Any resolution enacted by this body of the United Nations is binding on the member states.
When the five permanent members were given this power to veto after World War II, they were basically allies. And the purpose of giving this power was to work together and protect human rights.
But with the onset of the Cold War, the United States and Russia began to rule the world. At that time, the Soviet Union vetoed almost all US proposals for opposition and national interest. US also used to do the same.
Over time, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of anti-US and anti-Chinese forces have reinstated the same problem.
In 2015, France called on other veto-wielding states not to use veto power on genocide and other human rights violations.
One thing is very clear in the statement of the French representative. And that is that even if the member states are given this power, there is no obligation to use it in all matters.
Rather, it can be used to protect human rights without using veto power as a stepping stone to humanity. For example, if human rights are violated somewhere, it can also be used to expedite punitive measures against that state.
What should be the role of states?
Many are talking about changing the number of states with this power. It is heard that the next states will be given membership to the states that can lead. But it can never be an effective solution where all the states have the same character and that is to think of national interest.
Many experts say that lifting this power will solve all the problems. If this can be done, it is definitely a good thing, where the majority of the 15 members of the Security Council will have the upper hand.
But since the power has not been lifted yet and it is not certain whether it will happen at all, the use of veto for humanitarian purpose may be called for five permanent members.