United Nations ripe for reform as Security Council “veto” and US funding hold it back

The United States contributes 22% of the general UN budget and 28% of the peacekeeping budget (China comes with 12% and Japan with 8%). This responsibility for the total budget of the United Nations also allows it to assert itself in more than one way. The most obvious being his veto power, which he shares with the four other permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom (also known as the Permanent 5, Big 5 or P5). It is the same veto that is now used by China and Russia to lessen any possible sanction against the Myanmar junta. The successive difficulties also raise the need for reforms within the United Nations, demanded since the beginning of the 1990s.

Myanmar’s military junta seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021. Since that date 1,062 people have been killed, 8,013 have been arrested and 1,984 warrants have been issued (as of September 10, 2021). Over the past seven months, the coup has been condemned in the strongest terms by the Secretary-General, the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Special Envoy and the Special Rapporteur.

But although the Security Council has the power to impose a mandatory embargo on the arms trade, the non-recognition of high-ranking officers of the military junta and the referral of violators to the Court of the International Tribunal, it is not able to impose any of these sanctions on the Myanmar authorities. the ruling junta, any resolution of sanctions against the junta being vetoed by Russia and China.

What started with Facebook posts by fake accounts operated by military officials against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, reached its peak in a very short period of time in 2017. The New York Times claims to have confirmed with senior military officials that their colleagues orchestrated the genocide using the social network, which a majority of Myanmar citizens confuse with the entire Internet.

The newspaper further reported that the Burmese military intelligence service had used Facebook to incite both Buddhists and Muslims about an “imminent attack on the other side.” He used Facebook to broadcast warnings through the Messenger app that “jihad attacks” were going to be carried out.

More than 700,000 Rohingya escaped ethnic cleansing by sea and land to their homeland. Thousands of people resettled in Bangladesh, which also sheltered them in the 1970s. Over the next two years, this forced tragedy was used by the military to overthrow the leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, put her in custody. state of arrest and take control of the country.

During all this, the UN has expressed its concerns and called for an end to the genocide. It has taken no further action against what has been going on since 2017 and should have been observed by its network of agencies present in the country. For the world’s largest network of diplomats, the result is not something the world expected.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the Rohingya as “one of the people, if not the most discriminated against in the world”. Mr. Guterres appointed former Guatemalan Foreign Minister and United Nations Ambassador Gert Rosenthal in 2018, to conduct a “full and independent investigation into United Nations involvement in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018, as well as how whose different parts of the UN system responded to the events that took place during this period.

The report, handed over to Mr. Guterres on May 17, 2019, does not name any individual or agency, but focuses on how the UN operates in Myanmar and how can it learn from what happened in 2017 and after. The biggest challenge for the UN, he said, was to engage the government while challenging it for violating international law.

A month ago, the UN withdrew almost all of its personnel from Afghanistan as the Taliban rose to power. Today, under pressure from four of its permanent members of the Security Council, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan, it is sending its staff back to the country for what is expected to be one of the largest humanitarian aid programs the world has ever seen. seen.

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