Ukrainian membership in the UN Security Council: success or formality?

Author : Serhiy Tutov

Source : 112 Ukraine

Appointment of Ukraine as a non-permanent member to the Security Council is rather a procedural matter, and stories about great achievement of the Ukrainian diplomacy are exaggerating
10:38, 16 October 2015

On October 15, elections to the UN Security Council took place; Ukraine became non-permanent member of the body with the support of 177 countries in the General Assembly with 118 needed.  Security Council is one of the most powerful bodies of the UN, responsible for global peace and security. It consists of 15 members, including five permanent and ten non-permanent, elected for two-year terms, five each year. This procedure is common, habitual, and routine.

From Europe, three candidates are elected - two from the West and one from the East. For 2014-2015, Lithuania was the member from the Eastern Europe, its term has expired, and Ukraine took the seat. The candidacy of our country was agreed in advance, and it was the only one. In this regard, all the talk about the victory of the Ukrainian diplomacy in the elections to the UN is a certain exaggeration. The bureaucratic apparatus of this organization acts as a well-tuned mechanism and prevents gross distortions and problems. Any attempt to call this process "elections" can cause nothing but a smile. Non-permanent members of the Security Council play the role of wedding generals with the relevant powers.

The Security Council was conceived on the basis of the UN plan for world order, offered by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, named "Four Policemen Plan": the world order must be maintained by the four countries: USA, UK, USSR, and China. Later, this concept with a few changes formed the basis for the creation of the United Nations Security Council. The four countries were joined by France, and later was provided more broad representation of other countries in this body. Until 1971, Chinese seat was occupied by the Republic of China, which controls only Taiwan Island. Since 1991, Russia possesses place of the late Soviet Union as its successor. By the way, Russia is currently the chairman of the Security Council – this status is temporary and transitory. In this connection, recent speech of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister that our country won’t cooperate with Russia if it becomes a member of the Security Council is a little surprising.

All decisions of the Council require 9 of 15 votes, including votes of all the permanent members, each of whom has the right to veto any decision. This right has repeatedly used by Russia, when the Security Council tried to impose sanctions on the Syrian regime. In 2014, on the project of resolution about the illegitimacy of the referendum in the Crimea, proposed by Western countries, Russia also vetoed, and China abstained. The same thing happened during the vote on the establishment of the International Tribunal for MH17 tragedy. An important detail: ignoring of voting by a permanent member is also regarded as veto, according to the rules of the UN.

Today, the entire structure of the UN is under constant and fair criticism, and the largest countries, undoubtedly affecting situation in the world, create parallel unions, excluding the impact of the slow and outdated UN. By the way, such associations exist even within the UN itself, they are called G4, G5, and so on.

There is a former British colony India, with a billion of people. There is the largest Muslim country of Indonesia with 250 million people. There is the largest country in Latin America, Brazil, with a huge potential, territory, and 200 million people. The largest and continuing UN donors - Germany and Japan - cannot tolerate the hidebound, invented 70 years ago. Three African countries - Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa - are constantly count on membership in the Security Council, and the desire of Egypt to become a member of the Council causes the greatest concern and heartfelt experience among Ukrainian diplomats.

President Poroshenko has already victoriously announced about passing of Ukrainian candidacy through the General Assembly, and spoke on future priorities of our country’s activity in the Council. “The improvement of UN peacekeeping, the fight against terrorism and its manifestations, the provision of legally binding security assurances to countries that voluntarily got rid of nuclear weapons - all this will be among the priorities of our future work in the Security Council", stated the President. Foreign Minister Klimkin added, that Ukraine will actively struggle for reaching justice and punishing the guilty in the MH 17 case.

The appointment of Ukraine as a non-permanent member of the Security Council can be considered as routine procedural matters, and stories about the achievement of the Ukrainian diplomacy is a gross exaggeration. Does someone remember that Ukraine has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2000-2001? Even more difficult is to remember the results of this membership. While the media, left without hot news after the ceasefire in the east of the country, of course, must widely light up another victory of Ukrainian diplomacy.

Related: Ukraine became non-permanent member of the UN Security Council

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