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White Elephants, - Anton Kuchukhidze


The issue of reforming international organizations for peace and stability in Europe and the world is overdue and needs to be addressed immediately. Anton Kuchukhidze, an expert at the United Ukraine Analytical Center, writes about this in his article for The Gaze. The text of the article can be found below.


The need to reform the United Nations has not lost its relevance for decades. The second wave of Russian aggression against Ukraine has once again raised the question of the effectiveness of the UN's work in two areas, including peace and security, for which this structure was created. And also in ensuring food security. Neither the first nor the second task has been fulfilled by the "World Government".


Speaking recently at a meeting of the UN Security Council, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for reforming the UN to give the UN General Assembly a real opportunity to override the vetoes of Security Council members. "The veto should not serve as a weapon for those who are obsessed with hatred and war," he said. In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the war had demonstrated the need to expand the number of permanent members of the Security Council beyond the current five states that had gained their privileged position after World War II.


The President of Ukraine noted that the fact that Russia, the aggressor state in Ukraine, also has a veto to prevent the Security Council from doing anything to end the war, makes the existence of the UN nonsense, as it makes it impossible to prevent aggression through early response and impose collective sanctions against the aggressor country that is a member of the Security Council. That is why, in his opinion, the way to establish peace in Ukraine and prevent further wars of aggression is through a fundamental reform of the UN.


The World Is Ready for Change

The need to reform the collective security institution within the UN has been repeatedly expressed by representatives of the establishment of different countries. Reform of the UN Security Council has been a long-standing demand of countries around the world, including developing countries that are underrepresented in this body. Moreover, its structure does not reflect the current world order. And the paralysis caused by the excessive use of the permanent members' veto power hinders the main goal of maintaining international peace and security.


Over the past year, the United States has repeatedly expressed support for Security Council reform. This is an issue that drives a wedge between Russia, China, and the "Global South," in particular the BRICS countries - Brazil, South Africa, and India. For their part, Moscow and Beijing have historically opposed any changes to the status quo that would affect their veto power.


As US President Joseph Biden noted in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 21, 2022, the United States has consistently advocated for an increase in the number of permanent and non-permanent representatives to the UN Security Council. In his speech, the US President mentioned, in particular, the need to include countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in the Security Council. In September 2023, Biden reiterated these points, noting that the US position remains unchanged and consistent.


By the way, during her visit to the United States in September this year, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also called for "fundamental reforms" at the UN to reflect the current situation in the world. The German foreign minister supports the idea of expanding the permanent members of the Security Council and considers it necessary to include Brazil, India, Germany, and Japan.


In his speech at the Munich Security Conference, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged that the West is losing the "Global South" and is not doing enough to respond to accusations of double standards. One way to solve the problems of the Global South would be to reform the UN, especially since Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, is trying to destroy the UN charter. "Let's be honest: one permanent member of the Security Council decided to destroy the rules that it is supposed to protect. So, we have to reform the Security Council," the French President emphasized.


In July 2023, Barbara Woodward, the United Kingdom's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said in a media commentary that the United Kingdom calls for an expansion of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council and considers it necessary to include India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan, as well as representatives of Africa. In her statement, she also referred to the position proclaimed in June this year by British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the Chatham House 2023 London Conference on revitalizing the multilateral system of UN reform with the involvement of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the process. "No single player can carry out multilateral reform alone. That is why we want to work with the broadest possible coalition. To work through existing mechanisms to build on what we have achieved and to do it collectively," said Cleverly.


In his blog on the website of the European External Action Service, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell publicly called for the reform of the UN Security Council, in which Russia has a veto. Borrell believes that Russia has violated the UN Charter with its war of aggression against Ukraine.


At the same time, the European Union seeks to modernize and strengthen the world order based on the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as to preserve the UN. "In order to restore the unique legitimacy of the UN, it is urgent to make the Security Council more representative to reflect the changes that have taken place in the world and, in particular, to give Africa a voice. We cannot return to a world where "might is right". This would jeopardize the security of all countries, especially those that are developing," said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.


More than a year ago, Ukraine initiated the process of depriving the Russian Federation of its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and this summer, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba once again emphasized that the future reform of the UN Security Council should include an essential component - the decision to deprive Russia of its illegally obtained permanent membership status and the associated veto power. And it is Ukraine that should join the UN Security Council on a permanent basis, replacing the Russian Federation.


The "Impotent" Сlub

It is worth noting that it is not only the UN that is showing its failure as an international security instrument. Most transboundary organizations have tried and are trying to withdraw from their statutory activities when the need for their assistance arises during the Ukraine-Russia war.


For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not provided and does not seem to be going to provide assistance to the victims of the flooding of Kherson region, which occurred due to the explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by the Russian occupiers. Worse, it appears that the ICRC is simply stealing the money it is supposedly raising to help the victims in Ukraine. At least, the ICRC has not received any response from the Ukrainian edition of Forbes to its request for information about the fate of the funds raised.


Such "human rights" organizations as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, making little or no secret of their preferences, worked for Russia, accusing the Ukrainian Armed Forces of alleged human rights violations, and of deliberately endangering civilians by deploying troops in residential areas. It got to the point where the director of Amnesty International in Ukraine resigned, accusing the organization of repeating Kremlin propaganda, and the President of Ukraine said that the organization was trying to "shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim."


European security institutions, in particular the OSCE mission, were generally infiltrated by Russian agents. In 2014-2022, OSCE reports often contained stories about violations of the ceasefire by the Ukrainian armed forces, but almost never did they mention Russian non-compliance. At best, the organization's representatives simply wrote that they heard some shots from an unknown direction, but did not see who was shooting. Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, OSCE representatives have completely disappeared from Ukraine. Apparently, in order to continue not to see or hear anything about the war, just as they have been doing for eight years in a row.


Therefore, the issue of reforming international organizations for peace and stability in Europe and the world is overdue and needs to be addressed immediately.


Source: "The Gaze"


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