05 October 2011

Security Council

So yesterday, Russia and China vetoed a very mild United Nations resolution including sanctions threats on Syria. The resolution was a typical concoction by Western countries, aimed at the Syrian military regime. Nothing too harsh, mind you, not just to appease Moscow and Beijing, but also for reasons linked to the complex Syrian internal mix-up as well as the regional maze of interests. Yet, this is hardly a typical Eastern fault. A no less reasonable request by a Permanent Observer non-member (the Palestinian Authority) to get full membership is most likely to be rejected by a similar veto by the USA (at least). In both cases, it is not the resolution in question which is at fault, and said resolutions do not even go against the interests of the vetoer. Their writers made sure they removed anything seriously threatening from them. No, in both cases, the veto is more a matter of affirming or confirming supremacy in the global order. In both cases, while the European Union has been involved (and despite its two veto powers in the Security Council), its absence of common Foreign policy prevented it to have any significant say.

This underlines two things: the catastrophic layout of the EU institutions is costing it its own interests and the Security Council of the UN has long passed its own utility. It is an outdated system, with outdated rules which are not even fairly representing a balance of powers any more. In the EU case, it is an unfortunate case of shooting its own feet. The member states have been so busy clipping the wings of the common institutions, that they are now consistently hurting their own local petty interests, just because they can't ever have time to agree on any matter. Even in the rather successful Libyan affair, the effort was mostly NATO related and centered on two member states (the UK and France) backed by an external party (the USA). In the UN case, the problem is older, but not deeper. The United Nations has textual ambitions of being an organisation promoting peace and people's rights. It has turned up, being a status quo freezer, systematically promoting the interests of the Security Council permanent members, at the expense, sometimes, of their own populations.

I could say it is time for changes, but I highly doubt it will happen any time soon.

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