View Full Version : Should the five permanent seats in the UN Security Council hold veto power?

11-24-2005, 09:27 AM
The United Nations, established in 1954, has two main organs: The General Assembly and the Security Council. While the former is able to pass general resolutions urging action to be taken by member states, these resolutions cannot be forcibly applied. The latter, on the other hand, is granted the power to use force for purposes other than self-defense.

As a result, when a massive international conflict breaks out, it is the responsibility of the Security Council to make reach a quick consensus on how best to solve it. To accomplish this, the Council is made up of only 15 member states -- 10 of which are "rotating members" from different regions of the world. The remaining five seats are taken by the "permanent members", or P5 -- The United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China. Any member of the P5 has the power to veto any resolution on the Security Council floor.

In theory, this would make the Council a very efficient body. The small number of members ensures that less time is needed for democratic deliberation, whereas the P5 veto supposedly weeds out any undesirable resolutions, allowing the Council to reach the correct solution more quickly.

However, this is not necessarily how this works in practice. Throughout the course of history, veto power has been abused on a variety of occasions for the personal benefit of one of the P5 powers. The Security Council will often ignore conflicts that directly affect one of the permanent members -- as they will simply veto any resolution, preventing any action from being taken. NATO, led by the US and UK, was forced to intervene against Yugoslavia without Security Council authorization, as it appeared obvious that any formal resolutions would have been shot down by Russia or China. Similarly, the Security Council was powerless to stop Russia's invasion of Chechnya as Russia threatened to veto any resolutions calling for such action.

So the question I propose to all of you, in our first official debate, is whether or not veto power should be maintained. It is important to consider the entirety of the situation before answering. If we remove it, while it can no longer be abused, it could take much longer to reach consensus -- and the Security Council has proved itself impotent enough as it is. If we keep it, however, such abuses may continue in the future.

This was the motion for the final in the 2005 World Schools Debating Championships between Australia, who proposed that the veto power be dropped, and England, who obviously opposed it.

11-24-2005, 12:31 PM
The primary responsibility for the Security Council was a maintenance of international peace and security.

US invaded Iraq in alliance with Britain is an example of Veto thread. Of course Russia, UK, and US will want to hunt down Iraq. But doesnt this defeat the purpose of a Security Council ? where is the happy relationship and peace of the world? Not surprisingly, the US and the UK claimed they start a way on Iraq because of the international law.

Since 2000, the US used veto's power non stop. China and France have not use the Veto.

If we remove the veto, what harm will it bring when it will take months to reach consensus? Wont it bring more long term benefits then an abuse?

I strongly disagree with the power of Veto.

11-29-2005, 07:48 PM
lol, this was a fiery thread. Post people.