The growing irrelevance of the United Nations

The growing irrelevance of the United Nations


Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has raised valid questions about the current structure of the United Nations. You would hardly disagree with him that this framework is not a good representation of the current world. Africa and Latin America, for example, do not have permanent representation on the Security Council. On the other hand, the anomaly will also emerge this year that the most populous country in the world (ie India) will not be a permanent member of the Security Council. Jaishankar said in an interview with an Austrian TV channel that the countries that have been granted permanent membership do not want to share their “joy” with others. These are all valid things that have been said for decades. The demand to reform the structure of the United Nations to make it more representative is also decades old. But these demands seem to be going nowhere. Meanwhile, calls for structural reform by countries such as India, Japan, Germany and Brazil have failed to find support in the rest of the world because of the perception in those parts that these countries are campaigning to promote their own interests.
One of the reasons behind this perception is the behavior of these countries. It is creditable that these countries, in an effort to serve their own interests, have not hesitated to make a quick comparison without regard to the greater global interest. Meanwhile, two and a quarter decades ago, America not only adopted but also publicly announced the principle of unilateral action based on threat perception. Thereafter, almost every permanent member state took steps in its own interest, ignoring the United Nations. When the permanent members ignore the role of the United Nations in this way, the hope of meaningful intervention by this forum in the resolution of any problem is inevitable. The role of the United Nations in the Ukraine crisis has gone to the margins. In such a situation, Jaishankar’s reasonable questions will hardly be able to attract the attention of the world, because at present the real concern of every sensible person is the increasing irrelevance of the United Nations.


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