1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In 1945, with the ending of World War II, a pattern of winners and losers occurred. That same year, the United Nations was founded, and the founders aimed for the organization to play a central role as the leading forum for managing threats to international order (Bourantonis 2005: 4). To do this they needed the victorious countries of the war to play an active part in the organization. The Security Council was therefore established, as the organ with primary responsibility for international peace and security. In the Council, the five great powers in the aftermath of the war, The United States, The Republic of China, The Soviet Union, France and The United Kingdom were given permanent seats and the right to veto any Council decision in which they disagreed. In addition to the permanent five, known as the P5, there were six non-permanent members, distributed among the other members of the United Nations according to a certain pattern. The non-permanent members did not have the right to veto decisions. It soon became clear that the ones that mattered in the Security Council were the P5. Through their permanent seats and their veto power, they were able to control the Council.
The quest for reform started already about ten years after the United Nations was founded. In 1965, after years of efforts, four non-permanent seats were added to the Security Council. The membership now counted 15 members, including the P5. The P5 in the Security Council agreed to a reform in 1965, even though this reform to some extent diminished the power of the P5 (Leigh-Phippard 1998: 428). Although the quest for reform had been met and the geographical representation to some extent had improved, it did not take long before the debate flared up again. However, apart from small adjustments in working methods and membership, the Security Council has largely remained unchanged since 1965. The process of reforming it has been in a deadlock for decades, despite years of debate and several demands for reform. Although the reform debate might be in a deadlock, it is certainly not dead.
After World War II, the United Nations was set up to end all wars, enhance respect for international law and promote human rights and peoples’ well-being. The U.N was established as an association of nations which accepted the values of civilized life and agreed to co-operate together for the good of all. According to Tomuschart (2002:45), the U.N was founded as it is enshrined in the Charter, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
As stipulated in its Charter, the principal function of the U.N is to maintain international peace and security. Other roles include international cooperation, coordinating social, economic and cultural covenants as well as international conventions and other humanitarian problems, notably, in areas of promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms. The U.N mainly comprises of the Security Council (UNSC), General Assembly UNGA, the Secretariat and specialized agencies. As Sydney (2001:40) argues, The United Nations General Assembly consists of all the small and large, greedy and generous, allied and neutral, democratic and tyrannical, arrogant and diffident member states of the United Nation. When the U.N was established, the core responsibility for maintaining international peace and security was entrusted to the UNSC. This organ is made up of five veto power wielding permanent member countries, the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China, requiring it to act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the U.N.
According to Rourke (1995:363), in the U.N Security Council, any of the permanent members can, by its single vote, veto a policy statement or action favoured by the other 14 members,…
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security (UN 2010a). Furthermore, is it designed to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations (UN 2010b).
According to (Bailey and Daws 1998: 226), the United Nations and Security Council is “so organized as to be able to function continuously, and a representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters.
The Presidency of the Council rotates monthly, according to the English alphabetical listing of its member States” (UN 2010a). The Council consists of fifteen members. Apart from the permanent five there are ten elective members, each of them elected by the General Assembly for a period of two years and five of them on election each year. The ten elective seats are distributed between the regions. The distribution of seats in the Security Council was not as equal due to the capacity and economic involvement of the member states.
It is obvious that amendments through subsequent practice cannot impinge upon the number of SC members. It is also difficult to conceive of practice giving rise to a custom limiting the right of veto.
Since the establishment of the U.N, global politics has been facing major systematic challenges. Throughout this period, the UNSC did not fully live up to peoples’ expectations as a guarantor of international peace and security. The incessant calls for reform result from the fact that the UNSC today still reflects the global power structure of 1945, though its non-veto membership was expanded from eleven to fifteen in 1965. The four World War II victors have held on to their privileged status. They are permanent and can veto any UNSC decision that affects their respective interests. Considering the current geopolitical context, it is no longer possible to conceive of and implement an international peace and security which is restricted to the maintenance of order. Hence, in a bid to adjust the UNSC to new global governance and geo-political realities, consistent calls for reform have become louder.
Since it has often been argued that the use of the veto has blocked the ability of the Council to take effective, timely action to safeguard peace and prevent the massive loss of life (Lund 2010: 4). Only the P5 of the Council have the opportunity to cast a veto (and only on non-procedural matters). When this is done the member exercising the veto is not required to explain for what reasons the negative vote (the veto) has been cast. The report from the High-level Panel states that even outside the use of the formal veto, the ability of the P5 to keep critical issues of peace and security of the Security Council`s agenda has further undermined confidence in the body`s work. Furthermore, the institution of the veto has anachronistic character that is unsuitable for the institution in an increasingly democratic age, but sees no practical way of changing the existing members veto powers (UN 2004 art. 256).
At the end of this research, I should be able to examine the way and manner how the power its being wielded among the members of the council and to provide a formidable recommendations that could address the use of veto in the council.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
i. To examine how the unilateralist approaches to global changes exercised by veto- wielding countries militates against the objectives of the UNSC.
ii. To assist decision-makers in Governments, international organizations and members of international community on how these reforms will affect the activities in areas of foreign policy and diplomacy.
iii. To examine whether or not the inclusion of new permanent veto-wielding members will result in powerful states being limited in taking a unilateral military action without the express endorsement of the UNSC.
iv. To answer how the veto powers affected the reform processes and to what extent the outcomes can be explained by the veto player theory.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
My research question is as follows:
1. How has the veto powers in the Security Council affected the reform process in these three cases?
2. To what extent can the outcomes been explained by the Veto Player Theory?
3. To what extent can military action be taken to influence any veto power among the new member states without the endorsement of the UNSC?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE TO THE STUDY
Following the structure of the United Nations, the major objective of the body, was to ensure that all Member States recognize that the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and agree to be bound by its decisions. It is therefore of vital importance, not only to the Organization, but to the world, to understand that the Council is equipped in order to carry out its responsibilities by creating enabling