Can the UN be Reformed?

 

There are many criticisms of the United Nation in today’s world. Its most recent attempts at global peacemaking have been regarded as failures by multiple nations and governments. Nobody can deny that the United Nations has its flaws. However, the question in today’s world is whether or not the United Nations can be reformed in a way that will benefit global peacemaking. I believe the answer is yes, the United Nations can be reformed.

As of right now, the United Nations has seemed to turn into a sort of power-play, especially for the Nations on the Security Council. These nations (United States, Russia, Great Britain, China, and France) were the victors of World War II (Strikwerda). They have the utmost power and control within the United Nations today. This can prove to be extremely problematic because there are other countries that have qualifications that would make them fit to be on the security council. These countries include Japan, India, and potentially even Germany. The nations that are currently on the Security Council are there for reasons that are outdated. I believe that one part of reforming the United Nations should be focusing on the restructuring of the Security Council. There should be qualifications and criteria set in place for which countries can be a part of the security council. These qualifications could include population, economy, technological advancement, or other criteria that could be used to prove that a country belongs on the security council. In addition to putting criteria for who can belong on the Security Council, I also believe that there should be some sort of rotation within the Security Council. Every few years or so, countries can switch out roles. Countries who were once part of the security council would step down and other countries would step in. While this could have adverse effects, it would guarantee that not only five powers would have the majority of control. 

Another way to reform the United Nations is to increase the authority that it has while still allowing for nations to have their own sovereignty. Some people like Bill Clinton suggested giving the United Nations more power and even its own standing military force (Boot). There needs to be some sort of consequences to those nations who disregard United Nations rules and sanctions. Whether this should be done militarily is another matter, but it is one solution to the current problems that the United Nations is facing. Shawcross said that “these mandarins fail to grasp that men with guns do not respect men with nothing but flapping gums” (Boot). This means that people who are fighting militarily will not listen to those who take more diplomatic approaches to peacemaking. Turning the United Nations into a military presence could mean real consequences for those nations who go against the laws and sanctions of the United Nations. To reform the United Nations, it needs to be given more power and more authority. Today, the United Nations isn’t take particularly seriously. This is one of the main changes that needs to be done within international politics. The United Nations needs to have more authority within the international scope. Those who work for the United Nations should also be properly trained. There are accounts of U.N. peacekeepers is Rwanda standing by as Hutu slaughtered some 800,000 Tutsi (Boot). This is most likely not the only account of the U.N. peacekeepers standing by while violence happens. Peacekeepers should be trained to intervene in these situations, which goes along with the United Nations having its own military.

Overall, the United Nations has many faults. Many of these faults can be fixable with the cooperation of all nations involved. Creating a new balance of power with nations in the Security Council is one way that the United Nations can be reformed. Another way is to provide a standing military and proper training that will give the United Nations more power and authority. There are steps that can be taken to reform the United Nations.

 

Works Cited

  1. Boot, Max, and William Shawcross. “Paving the Road to Hell: The Failure of U.N. Peacekeeping.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 79, no. 2, 2000, p. 143., doi:10.2307/20049647.

  2. Strikwerda, Carl. “Can the U.N. Be Reformed?” Peace and War in a Global World. Peace and War in a Global World, 4 Nov. 2018, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown College.