Israel-Palastine Conflict: The Unjust UNSC Structure
By: Nurudeen Dauda
To start with, in my thought, the “unjust” “structure”or “arrangement”of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is essentially the “reason” that the two- state solutions and other UN resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian conflict is increasingly becoming practically unimplementable.
In my thought, the way the UNSC is structured currently lacks the “objectivity”and the “sense of belonging” to various continental interests in order to function as a body representing global diverse interests. Unless and until this “lopsided” and or “unjust” arrangement is quickly changed the world has a long, long way to go in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and several other global issues of diverse interests.
The current UNSC structure has fifteen (15) member states where five (5) are permanent and ten (10) are non-permanent. The Five (5) permanent member states with “Veto Powers” are: (1) The US from North America ; (2) The UK from western Europe; (3) France from western Europe; (4) Russia from eastern Europe; (5) China from the Far East Asia.
In simple term , the UNSC “Veto power” means for any resolution to be adopted it must be that none of the five (5) permanent member states objects to it. Once any one of the five (5) permanent member states “objects” to an issue it will not be adopted except where the member abstains instead of voting.
Why should the “vote” of just one member state because of “Veto power” supersedes the “vote” of fourteen (14) other member states in case the remaining four (4) permanent member states with “Veto power”and the ten non-permanent member states with “no Veto Power” are on the same page on an issue? In the present structure, the US; the UK; France; Russia; and China can collectively or individually “Veto” any substantive resolution. WHY?
The remaining ten (10) member states are non-permanent member states which are often rotated among the UN member states outside of the geo-zone with a state that has a “Veto power”, but with “no” power to “Veto” resolutions as the permanent member states have. However, in general term, for any resolution to be adopted, nine (9) of the fifteen (15) member states must vote in favour, with no objection from any of the five (5) permanent members except where they abstain instead of voting.
Chapter VII of the UN Charter sets out the UNSC’s powers to maintain peace. Also the powerful UNSC is the organ empowered by the UN Treaty to enforce a violation of international law which can be achieved through sanctions, peacekeeping operations, or formal
The UNSC determines what is a
threat to peace, or breach of peace, or act of aggression by any member state against one another or against many states. The council may through resolution apply military or non-military action against any state in order to restore international peace and security, but where any of the five permanent member states use its “Veto” against the resolution it will be useless. However, it is obvious that the permanent members of the Security Council often stand in the way of action against them or their close allies.
There are two most recent issues for resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian war for “ceasefire” and “Humanitarian pause” proposed by Russia and Brazil which failed because of the Veto power of the US.
The Security Council failed to adopt a resolution put forth by Russia which would have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine crisis. The resolution got the support of China a permanent member and Gabon, Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates three non- permanent members, France, Japan, the US, and the UK voted against it, and the remaining six members abstained from
The Security Council also failed to adopt a resolution put forth by Brazil which would have called for humanitarian pauses to allow full, safe and unhindered access for UN agencies and their partners, due to a veto cast the United States. The US cast a veto, despite having the support of 12 Council members, with two permanent members (China, France), with two other permanent members (United Kingdom,
Russian Federation) abstaining.
Martin Luther King Jr., once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
It is apt to remind the world that when injustice reaches its “zenith” there is certainly no stability up there. May the entire world realize that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Nurudeen writes from Kaduna
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