By Puja Kaushal, RMLNLU, Lucknow.

The United Nation was founded in 1945 to save succeeding generations from the courage of war. But still too many people in this world and few places are beginning the year in grief, suffering and miserable conditions caused by conflict and deliberate violence. In short, human beings are far from being safe from the scourge of war, despite the UN’s best efforts. Therefore, a need of change was considered. A change is that all institutions must adapt to cope with new circumstances. Since then there have been many issues relating to the shifts of power and wealth in the world. And at the same time there were also issues regarding to the Security Council (SC). As SC has responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, acting on behalf of all the member states, is still dominated by the same five permanent members that were designated all those years ago, being the five great powers that had just won the war. So, subsequently four proposals have been made to UN.

Apparently all the four recommendations seem to be very efficacious and operative but again on the other hand certainly it gives an impression of being merely fanciful and fragile. As everything has its pros and cons likewise these recommendations also have an expression. This paper critically examines all those four recommendations in brief mentioned below:

  1. Creation of a new category of members: It includes insertion of a new category of member states that says “let the states which aspire to permanent membership accept instead, at least for the time being, election to a new category of membership, which would give them a much longer than the two years served by the non-permanent members, and to which they could be immediately re-elected when that term expires.

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Primarily it seems that it would enable them to become de facto permanent members, but in a more democratic way, since it would depend on them continuing to enjoy the confidence of other member states. It says in further by doing so, it would increase its legitimacy in the proposal. But again it is not as easy as it seems to be. Because for having this proposal there is need to have a two-third majority in the General Assembly and then ratification by two thirds of all UN members, including all five permanent members of the Security Council. Ultimately, we can see the domination of all four member states having veto power. Therefore, it is a kind of discretion on those members only. If they feel good then they approve otherwise not.

  1. An oath by existing members: this provision really sounds to be very superficial in it. As already noted, on too many issues the Security Council is deadlocked by the failure of its permanent members to agree on a course of action, with the result that millions of people are left to suffer while great powers score debating points off each other. As the UN’s founders understood, without the united support of the permanent members, both material and moral, the Council cannot act.

It provides that “States making this pledge will undertake not to use, or threaten to use, their veto in such crises without explaining, clearly and in public, what alternative course of action they propose, as a credible and efficient way to protect the populations in question. This explanation must refer to international peace and security, and not to the national interest of the state casting the veto, since any state casting a veto simply to protect its national interests is abusing the privilege of permanent membership.” This is again not going to be effective because in some or the other way it is considered to be a hindrance/ excessive transparency in smooth and clandestine procedures regulated by the member states and the General Assembly. Therefore, confidentiality would be leaked. Ultimately, it can be refused to adapt.

  1. Raising voice for affected ones: It says, “Members of the Council must use such meetings to ensure that their decisions are informed by full and clear knowledge of the conditions in the country or region concerned, and of the views of those most directly affected.” Because the problem arises when the permanent members too often deliberate behind closed doors, without listening to the voices of those most directly affected by their decisions, and present their elected colleagues with ready-made resolutions leaving little room for debate.

To remedy this, a call can be made on all members of the Security Council to make more regular and systematic use of the “Arria formula” (under which, in the last two decades, Security Council members have had meetings with a wide variety of civil society organizations), to give groups representing people in zones of conflict the greatest possible opportunity to inform and influence Council decisions. Now this provision seems to be appropriate and effective as well. Because, this is the way through which a root of the sufferings can be eradicated. Though it may take time to be in synchronization but again it depends on an aptitude you take towards the problem. As proposal gives a simple to recognize all the genuine problems and issues related to the society at large therefore, it is to be adapted as soon as possible.

  1. Contemporary process for choosing the Secretary General: This proposal deals with the problem related to the “Secretary-General who has to uphold the interests and aspirations of all the world’s peoples. This role requires leadership of the highest caliber. Yet for 70 years the holder of this post has effectively been chosen by the five permanent members of the Security Council, who negotiate among themselves in almost total secrecy. The rest of the world is told little about the process by which candidates are identified, let alone the criteria by which they are judged. This barely follows the letter, and certainly not the spirit, of the UN Charter, which says the Secretary-General should be appointed by the General Assembly, and only on the recommendation of the Security Council.”

To root out the problem mentioned above, according to this proposal, a call can be made on the General Assembly to insist that the Security Council recommend more than one candidate for appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after a timely, equitable and transparent search for the best qualified candidates, irrespective of gender or regional origin. It was also suggested that the next Secretary-General be appointed for a single, non-renewable term of seven years, in order to strengthen his or her independence and avoid the perception that he or she is guided by electoral concerns. She or he must not be under pressure, either before or after being appointed, to give posts in the Secretariat to people of any particular nationality in return for political support, since this is clearly contrary to the spirit of the Charter.

Again this proposal is seemed to be proficient and apt as it goes beyond the realistic era of issues to the use/ misuse of powers by the five permanent members and General assembly. Though it is going to take time but if adapted well then of course it will give the best.

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