POL_202_UN_Reform_Update - POL 202 United Nations Unit...

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POL 202 United Nations Unit Upgrade UN Reform Weak States and Scofflaws Have No Business on the Security Council It's time for the U.N. to take its most important body seriously. By PAUL KENNEDY, The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2008 Mr. Kennedy, a history professor at Yale, is the author, among other books, of "The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations (Vintage, 2007). As the global financial crisis grinds on, many are unaware that the 192 members of the United Nations General Assembly will today cast a first-stage ballot over which five of their number should replace the outgoing nations as two-year rotating members of the Security Council. Many are also unaware that the likes of Iran, Iceland, and Austria are lobbying hard for seats on the Council. Yet this is a matter of some import, and not just to those like myself who feel that we are going to need significant strengthening of our international structures to face the many turmoils of the 21st century. By the U.N.'s rules, a majority of nine votes out of the 15 on the Security Council is required for agreement on procedural matters. On all other matters, such as issues like imposing sanctions or authorizing a peace-enforcement mission, the permanent five have to "concur" (meaning, in practice, not veto), but a majority of at least nine votes is also still required for a resolution to pass. Simple arithmetic tells us, then, that the non- permanent members' votes do count, and in some cases -- the question of action against Iraq in early 2003, for example -- have counted decisively. The big boys cannot alone decide an urgent Security Council matter. Because of this special voting privilege, the drafters of the U.N. Charter were careful to specify what sort of countries would qualify as rotating members. Since this fact seems to have escaped the attention of pretender-governments and their regional backers, it is worth recalling what those preconditions were.
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course POLI 202 taught by Professor Bee-yatch during the Spring '11 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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POL_202_UN_Reform_Update - POL 202 United Nations Unit...

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