The UN and SC Reform

How many members of the UN
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Aims of the UN
Maintenance of International Peace and Security; Develop friendly relations between states; Achieve co-operation in solving economic, social, cultural or humanitarian problems
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UN Principles (Art 2(1),(2),(4) and (7)
Sovereign equality of states; Peaceful settlement of disputes; Prohibition on the use of force against one another; Prohibition from intervening in domestic situations- doesn't cover enforcement action
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How many organs in the UN?
7, but SC and GA have pre-eminence
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Decision making requires...
Unanimity, a qualified majority voting, or simple majority
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UN General Assembly
All states represented; one state, one vote; qualified majority votes; budget setting- suspension of voting rights for states in arrears
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Main contributions to International Law
Development of treaties under its auspices; adoption of resolutions- definition of aggression and Self Determination
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UN Security Council
Primary responsibility is maintenance of peace and security
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Art 23 - the SC
15 members, including the P5,
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Non-Permanent members of the Council
2 years. 5 African/Asian states, 1 Eastern European state, 2 Latin American states and 2 Western European/other states.
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Art 27- Veto
The use of the veto waned after the Cold War: only 17 vetoes directly related to conflict management were invoked between January 1990 and July 2004, in contrast to the 193 over the preceding 45 years
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Use of vetoes in the 1990s (9)
only nine vetoes were cast in the entire decade of the 1990s: two by China – over Guatemala and Macedonia, but both relating to ties with Taiwan by these two governments; two by Russia – over Cyprus and former Yugoslavia; and five by the US
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Veto during the Cold War
The USSR clocked up an impressive 68 vetoes with the US in second place with 61 vetoes
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USSR and US during Cold War
Both states blocked resolutions on their Cold War activities. The use of the veto during the Cold War is a story of the pursuit of national interests - even in the face of contrary world opinion and reasoned judicial decisions.
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GB use of veto-
over southern Africa – including South Africa and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). and resolutions on the independence of Namibia.
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China and Russia used veto regarding Myanmar
Both states were concerned that the Security Council was overstepping its international peace and security mandate by unduly interfering in the internal affairs of Myanmar. Similar to blocking a comparable resolution on Zimbabwe
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principle of non-interference – came to a head in 2012 with the Libyan situation
UN previously endorsed idea of responsibility to protect from atrocity. Russia&China refrained from veto-prioritising humanitarianism
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France proposition following deadlock over Syria
'code of conduct' for P5- not to use veto in cases of humanitarian crises
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Perceived problems of the council
Legitimacy deficit, unrepresentative, inconsistency, unfairness surrounding the veto power
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High level panel report (para 245)
“the paucity of representation from the broad membership diminishes support for Security Council decisions”
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Reform of the veto
Difficulties achieving abolition. Other possibilities; restriction of issues applicable to, need for 2 or more vetoes, quotas on use, GA power to override veto
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Art 108: amendments Art 23(1): criteria for membership ~size- balance between efficiency and representation
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Who should benefit?
Contributions to international peace and security: - military power, financial input, peacekeeping
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Measuring representation
Populations? Regional powers? Culture/religion/language? Regional rivalries
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Time Factor
Scope for a periodic review
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Compromise options
Semi-permanent seats; rotating seats; regional organisations seats; more non-permanent members
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Semi-permanent seats
Opposition to G4 becoming permanent. Since 1992, Italy and other members of the group have instead proposed semi-permanent seats or the expansion of the number of temporary seats.
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Permanent regional rotating seats
for the countries in the regions to decide how their new permanent seat should be allocated. This could be to one single country; it could be to a few countries on a rotational basis; etc. Each region decides for itself
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Regional organisations seats
give permanent seats to regional organizations or blocs rather than individual countries. This could make the Council more representative without having to enlarge the Council too much.
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Proponents for regional organisations seats proposal
Italy, see the European Union as the first potential candidate for a regional seat on the Council seat representing the interests of a large number of states.
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Opponents for regional organisations seats proposal
UN Charter does not recognize regional organizations as eligible for membership in the UN
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Aims of the UN


Maintenance of International Peace and Security; Develop friendly relations between states; Achieve co-operation in solving economic, social, cultural or humanitarian problems

Card 3


UN Principles (Art 2(1),(2),(4) and (7)


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Card 4


How many organs in the UN?


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Card 5


Decision making requires...


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