Sometime in the past two weeks, if I’m not wrong; can’t remember when but I’m sure you can look up the actual date online, the UN elected five new non-permanent members to the Security Council. I could go on about it in a really long sentence, but here’s a simpler break down of the changes:
New non-permanent members: Saudi Arabia, Chad, Nigeria, Lithuania and Chile
Old non-permanent members being replaced: Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo.
The changes will be effective from January 1st, 2014.
There was a kerfuffle, let’s say, about the credibility of some of the new non-permanent members.
“Security Council members are routinely called upon to address critical human rights and humanitarian issues,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based advocacy group that monitors the UN.
“Saudi Arabia and Chad have abysmal records on human rights.” ( UN Watch, Issue 459).
I’m not contesting the statement. I agree with it, and I don’t see any seriously ideological leanings in saying that Saudi Arabia and Chad have abysmal records on human rights. While non-permanent members do not have veto power, they need a two thirds majority to be elected to the Council, which means that a good number of parents on the street have to agree to let their kids play with the newcomers. No chickenpox, no violence, and no chance of influencing them to cut class.
However, let’s take a minute to review. Rewind the tape, play it back and listen again. Hear something off? Maybe that’s because you’ll have to look at the cover art or the credits to see what I’m talking about.
Let’s take a quick look at the permanent members of the Security Council-
The United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
Permanent members since World War II, these five countries were elected to the UNSC based on their alignment and performance in the last great mashup our civilization has seen (although some would argue that that honour goes to the discovery of the Higgs boson). Although I don’t think it’s completely rational for the 5 permanent members to stay the same based on WWII ( do you show your 2nd grade report card to your employers?), I’m not going to get into that now.
Back to the human rights records for now. I hate getting colloquial while talking about a serious topic, but mate, you’ve got China AND Russia with permanent seats AND veto power. Little too late to cite human rights records as a reason to be denied a seat on the UNSC, don’t you think?
As long as the entire UNSC and its associated organs come under scrutiny, it won’t change. You might as well distribute lottery tickets for non-permanent seats to rehabilitated serial killers. It won’t matter, because the ultimate decisions and the real power lies with countries who, arguably, aren’t capable or qualified to make these decisions in the first place. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again- the point of creating the UN out of the ashes of the League of Nations was not to repeat their mistakes. Except that’s what they seem to be doing- repeating their mistakes. Communism seems to be a recurring factor in both these problems, doesn’t it? ( shush, liberal mind.)
I weep for humanity on the inside. Or when I have time to weep for humanity. Right now, I raise my glass to the demise of rational thought and the triumph of useless bureaucracy.