- "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Index of book
- Preface of "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Book - Order Form
- Introduction - The Meaning of Democracy
- Roman Britain to Magna Carta - 1215
- Parliament to the Divine Right of Kings 1216 to 1603
- Monarchy to a Republic and back 1603-1685
- Bill of Rights to the American War of Independence - 1685 to 1780
- Pitt the Younger to Catholic Emancipation - 1780 to 1830
- The Great Reform Act and its aftermath - 1830 to 1860
- The Second Reform Act to the end of the Century 1860 to 1900
- The Twentieth Century - Votes for women at last - 1900 to 1928
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Reform the United Nations
There is a need for regulation and accountability at a global level. The obvious candidate for doing this is the United Nations, but the United Nations needs drastic reform. Its structure created after the Second World War is out of date. The most powerful part of it is the Security Council, which is supposed to deal with security problems in the World.
The UN Charter grants the five permanent members vetoes over constitutional reform of the United Nations. Even if every other member of the General Assembly votes to change the way the Institution works, their decision can be over-ruled by a single permanent member. Any one of the five can also block the appointment of the UN Secretary-General, the election of judges to the International Court of Justice, and the admission of a new member to the United Nations.
By 2003 France had wielded the veto eighteen times, Britain thirty-two times the United States seventy-six times and China four times. The USSR vetoed more than half the UN resolutions before it collapsed in 1989. Since then it has used the veto sparingly.
The veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council is in conflict with the principle stated in the preamble to “The Charter of the United Nations” that all nations have equal rights. There is no way in which genuine reform can be made to the United Nations until the veto power is removed and the Security Council itself is reformed.
The Security Council should be elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations, but that also needs reform. It is a case of chicken and egg, and probably a package of reforms is required all at the same time.
The veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations should be abolished and decisions taken by a two-thirds majority vote.
The 15 members of the Security Council should be elected by the General Assembly with no country having more than one member. To be eligible for membership of the Security Council a country must meet certain democratic criteria and pay its due proportion of United Nations costs based on GDP of member nations.