‘The UN is not on the side of the righteous’: communications director Altun
Türkiye’s communications directorate held a roundtable in London on Thursday to stress the critical need for reform of the United Nations Security Council.
The UN Security Council urgently needs reform to preserve international security and peace, provide solutions to global conflicts and save lives, a panel of scholars and academics said in discussions. Organized by the Communications Directorate of Türkiye and titled “Reform of the United Nations Security Council: A New Approach to Rebuilding the International Order”, the conference heard speeches from a variety of senior scholars and scholars with knowledge good international relations who all see the need for the reform of global governance.
“We have seen time and time again that the UN, in its current form, adds stalemate to global problems rather than solutions. We have seen how processes can be stalled when one of the warring parties to the crisis is a permanent member of the UN The UN, with this structure, is not on the side of the weak, the victims or the righteous but rather on the side of its five powerful permanent members. With its current structure, the UN is unable to speak against the oppressor.” The main reason for this is the problems of the institutional structure of the organization. It is a fact that Asian, Latin American and African countries are blatantly excluded from representation in the UN Security Council,” said communications director Fahrettin Altun.
“Our proposed solution, on the other hand, is to adopt the perspective expressed in the phrase ‘The world is bigger than five’, which focuses on the restructuring of the UN Security Council. Peace and stability demand a fairer and more resilient global UN system that reflects justice, multiculturalism and mutual respect,” he added.
Contributors to the event included Prof. Çağrı Erhan, Rector of Altinbas University, Prof. Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney, Faculty Member of Istanbul Nisantasi University, Oliver McTernan of Forward Thinking Think Tank and Paul EM Reynolds, author, analyst and former lecturer. . Both Erhan and Güney are members of Türkiye’s Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Council.
“The world is bigger than five”
The initiative to reform the Security Council, as well as the whole of the United Nations, began 10 years ago when the Turkish government expressed its concerns about the lack of fairness and equality within of the Security Council and in particular concerning the special status of its five permanent (P5) members – the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France – who have a right of veto concerns the votes at the council and the discussions to be held at the general meeting.
Although other nations within the UN can be made non-permanent members of the Security Council, such as Turkey was four times between 1951 and 2010, they have limited power and influence to bring about real change. , as all outcomes are decided by the P5, and as such an atmosphere of deadlock has reigned within the council which has largely impeded the resolution of global conflicts and crises since its founding in 1945.
Panelists often quoted a famous saying on the question from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said, “The world is bigger than five” – a reference to the five permanent members of the Security Council. As such, they called for a major overhaul of how global governance is conducted through the UN and for an alternative approach that would protect the interests of the international community, not individual states.
“Any institution is as good or as bad, effective or ineffective as the people who serve it. But I think it is equally true to say that the structures and rules of an institution can become self-defeating in carrying out its goals and objectives. And that I certainly think is true when it comes to the United Nations,” McTernan said.
“When the UN was founded, it was based on a wonderful idea and an ambitious vision born out of the realization of the horrors and depravity that mankind was capable of inflicting on one another. Now the question we face today is whether the UN has succeeded in realizing this vision? The answer very much depends on what part of the world you have seen this vision come to fruition. If you live in Europe, then yes. But that’s certainly not true in many other parts of the world,” he added.
Practical steps to reform the UN
In light of these perceived inequalities and impasse, it has been argued that the council exists to safeguard not the interests of the international community and global security, but the interests of powerful individual states that maintain their hold and control. influence due to their highly advanced economies and ownership. nuclear arsenals.
The UN’s hypocrisy and double standards have been repeatedly pointed out, with many comparing the international overreaction to Russia’s attack on Ukraine to the silence and neglect of other non-European conflicts and atrocities such than the indiscriminate attacks by Israeli forces on the occupied Gaza Strip. Panelists blamed this on the power imbalance within the Security Council.
Turkey has been at the forefront of demanding such changes. These include the introduction of term limits for P5 members on the council, as experienced by non-permanent members, and the removal of the veto power, which has prevented the UN from providing much-needed assistance. in the whole world.
The initiative will be broadcast to audiences around the world with similar events being held in France, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Its aim is to raise awareness and foster an atmosphere of critical thinking and solution-oriented ideas that would help reform the UN in a realistic and practical way.