UN Reforms:

GS Paper 2: Important International Institutions.


  • The long-simmering argument about UN reform — notably the function of the Security Council, which does not reflect today’s reality and failed to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — has grown intense.
  • In a scorching appeal for the UN to expel Russia from the Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently questioned plainly, “Are you ready to close the UN?” and abandon international law. “If the answer is no, you must act quickly.”

What exactly is the problem now?

  • Veto powers: The United Nations gave the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council enormous authority. This permits them to defend their own interests while maintaining a strong influence on global events.
  • As a result, Moscow has used its Security Council veto 15 times in votes involving its ally Syria since 2011.
  • Because the UN Charter’s Article 6 enables the General Assembly to exclude a member only on the proposal of the Security Council, the veto power ensures that permanent members can never be removed from the Council.
  • There is a lack of international balance among Security Council members, with no African or Latin American country holding a permanent membership.

Suggestions for reform:

  • The Security Council is being expanded, with both permanent and non-permanent members being added.
  • The veto must be more disciplined: its purpose should not be to “stop progress,” but to “push the five permanent members to sit down and reach an agreement acceptable to everyone.”
  • In circumstances of “mass crimes,” the power of the veto should be limited.
  • Explanation: Any country that casts a veto must explain its decision to the General Assembly.

The United Nations Charter:

  • The Charter was signed on June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, and went into effect on October 24, 1945.
  • It is the United Nations’ founding treaty.
  • The Charter, conceived above all as a method of save future generations from the horror of war, asks on the organisation to maintain international peace and security, promote social growth and higher living standards, enhance international law, and promote human rights.
  • It is a constituent treaty in the form of a charter, and all members are obligated by its terms. According to Article 103 of the Charter, responsibilities to the United Nations have precedence over all other treaty obligations.

The UN’s four key aims are as follows:

  • Keeping the world peace and security.
  • Creating cordial connections between nations.
  • Obtaining international collaboration in the resolution of international challenges.
  • Being at the core of coordinating nations’ efforts in pursuit of these common goals.


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