In recent years, the UN Security Council (herein referred to as SC) has had its effectiveness challenged. Criticisms have ranged from the SC’s structures being out-dated and unfit for purpose, to the SC’s failures to act in cases of genocide, war, and humanitarian crisis. This essay will discuss key failures of the SC, the structure of the SC itself, and will assess the SC’s overall effectiveness as an organisation.
Arguably the most prominent failure in the history of the SC is that of the failure to prevent the genocide in Rwanda. After ten Belgium forces were killed in fighting in …show more content…
The existence of a veto ensures that any progress towards a resolution by the SC is locked down and frozen until the individual interests of P5 states are satisfied, and said interests don’t always match up to the resolution of any problem in question. The only significant disadvantage for P5 members to veto is negative attention through public and press scrutiny both in their own countries and internationally. Though this too can be avoided through the use of a ‘pocket veto’, whereby a P5 member threatens to use a veto to stop an issue even coming to the SC table. The largest and most recent example of this is with the Syrian conflict, and Russia’s threaten to veto any resolution that came to the SC which proposed aiding the citizens against the Syrian government’s various abuses of human rights. This threat ensured that no effective resolution ever came to the table, and the subsequent inaction by the UN in Syria has been criticised heavily, with some critics positing that Syria is the ‘new Rwanda’. Another key example of the ‘pocket veto’ is with the Sri Lankan Civil War. Sri Lanka was an important ally to Russia and China, and both of them opposed any discussion of the Sri Lankan army’s human rights abuses, despite significant opposition and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s personal pleas for