The United Nations was founded in 1945 with the aim of preventing another world war. When considered from this point of view, the organisation seems to have largely fulfilled its founding mission until today. However, there is no doubt that aside from the world wars it just experienced in those years, this union is not prepared for the possible different conflict environments. Although some of the UN interventions were successful in the past 71 years, many incidents across the globe left the UN severely debilitated.
Nations coming together under the principle of “peace” is undoubtedly a wonderful endeavour. With the total number of members that has reached 193, the UN managed to bring the majority of the world together under its roof. However, as if showing a blatant disregard for the UN law, the world has become an arena of constant conflict.
According to the 2016 Global Peace Index, merely 10 countries remain in the world, which have not seen any conflict in the last 10 years. Just in 2015, terrorism claimed the lives of 32,715 people worldwide. Bearing the responsibility of maintaining the world peace, the United Nations apparently must focus on not only global wars, but the local ones as well.
Considering the current conditions of the world, the UN has to go beyond its founding purpose. And in order for the UN to do so, various innovations, a sort of reformations, should be introduced.
The entire world is now of the mutual opinion that these reformations should start with “the Security Council”. In the United Nations, the General Assembly functions as an advisory committee and it is represented by all the member countries. However, taking on the “primary responsibility of preserving the international peace and security” in accordance with the Article 24, the Security Council consists of five permanent members, each of whom possesses veto power, and 10 non-permanent members that are elected to serve for two-year terms. The aforementioned right of veto makes it highly difficult for these countries with usually conflicting interests to reach unanimous decisions. The security measures necessitated by the 7th Chapter of the Treaty are apparently not taken within the countries of conflict. Due to this fact, the UN merely remains an organisation who cannot go beyond providing relief aid to the conflict zones, especially in these days.
As the said debility within the UN has reached indisputable levels, various reformation efforts that will remedy this problem have lately become the topic of discussion. Increasing the number of the Security Council members is presently among the most popular proposals. It suggests the inclusion of highly populated and economically powerful countries among the permanent council members while limiting the power of veto.
Also, an alternative system should definitely be devised, which will oblige intervention in the regions where heavy conflicts and human right violations occur. There must be resolutions exempt from the power of veto that should be implemented in such extraordinary situations witnessed in the world. The EU Treaty of Lisbon is an example of this. The treaty ensures rapid and active decision taking for the member countries in extraordinary situations through majority voting instead of unanimous voting. But it seems that, in order for this mechanism to be effectively integrated into the UN, the number of Security Council members definitely needs to be increased. Because as it is well known, the UN is an organisation incorporating political fractions that are broader and more diverse than those of the EU. Therefore, in order for the majority voting to produce a just result, it is crucial that the majority is represented by more than three countries.
In decisions taken by the Security Council concerning a country, the countries of the relevant region having a right to speak is a fair argument put forward especially by Turkey. Countries under risk such as Turkey, neighbours of which are ravaged by civil war and terrorism, can certainly offer more effective and substantial solutions to the problems of their neighbouring countries. At this point, it should be remembered that these countries not only share a regional geography, but also common ethnic identities, indigenous peoples, and terrorist elements. Doubtlessly, these countries are better accustomed with their neighbours and can devise more rationalistic strategies regarding the structure of the region.
Each continent being represented by a permanent member is also among the suggestions. Just as the world is bigger than five countries, it is certainly not limited to three continents.
In these days that are way past the Second World War, the UN must adapt to the standards and conflicts of the 21st century. Democratisation appears to be the first condition of this reformation initiative. Because the decision-makers of such an exceptional organisation refraining from democratisation not only affects the UN, but the entire world. This situation hampers providing any remedies to the disasters countries suffer while allowing violent groups to exploit this lack of solution and enjoy the convenience brought about by the absence of an opposing force.
It should not be forgotten that weapons are not the sole instruments of terrorism and violence. Violent groups pursue erroneous beliefs and take advantage of peaceful people’s silence. Having established with the goal of global peace, what the UN should do is to believe in the fact that peace has a greater impact than violence and war, and wage a struggle of science and knowledge against erroneous ideas and beliefs with a spirit of solidarity. A peace council that fails to take decisions will always be considered weakness. If countries are genuinely united in the name of peace, they should fulfil the requirements of this union through right reforms and decisions.
Adnan Oktar's peace in Gulf Times: