Elena Panina: UN Security Council enlargement needed to move towards a just world order

Elena Panina: UN Security Council enlargement needed to move towards a just world order

Andrey Denisov, Russian Ambassador to China, has made a crucial statement at a session of the UN Global Peace Forum in Beijing. The Russian side supports expansion of the UN Security Council by increasing the participation of African, Asian and Latin American countries and supports the inclusion of India and Brazil as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

This signal from the Russian side is important in two ways. First, Moscow is sending a message that the world has changed, and it is time to take into account the fact that the role and influence of many countries, which until recently were considered the ‘third world’, has grown considerably. Second, Russia will not tolerate a situation in which the US uses the UN to further its hegemonic aims.

There are currently fifteen member states on the UNSC, of which five permanent members – Russia, China, the US, the UK and France – have veto power. The remaining ten positions on the UN Security Council are allocated based on the following proportions: two each from Western European and Latin American states, one each from Eastern Europe, and the remaining five from African and Asian states.

The non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected on a two-year rotation basis. In practice, this leads to the biggest, richest and most powerful countries being elected to the UN Security Council. For example, from 1992 to 2022, Japan had an almost permanent presence in the UN Security Council on an ‘Asian quota’ basis, leaving it only briefly.

Today, the “collective West”, which includes the US and its allies, can automatically guarantee itself six of the fifteen votes in the UN Security Council. At least one more vote of support for the Western bloc could come from allies in other parts of the world, such as Japan or South Korea. As a result, the proverbial “golden billion” have a decisive influence on the position of the UN Security Council. It only needs one more additional vote from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to achieve a majority, which is not a problem.

This arrangement is obviously unfair now, and will be even more unfair in the near future. In ten years’ time, the populations of Asia and Africa will have increased by at least a billion and a half, and the BRICS economies will account for more than half of the global economy. For its part, the influence of the West will diminish year by year and crisis trends will increase, especially in Western Europe.

It turns out that the UN Security Council is formed according to outdated, archaic criteria. They do not account for demographic and economic changes that have occurred in the world in the last half century. The representation of the countries that obey the will of the USA is several times greater than that of the rest of humanity.

Therefore, if the body, which is a permanent working instrument of the UN, is to truly fulfil its task of ensuring collective security throughout the world, the representation of Asian and African countries must be significantly increased.

It is logical that the West, despite all the talk of combating racism and discrimination, has turned a blind eye to any proposal for a fair restructuring of the UN Security Council. Instead, it only proposes to expand the institution of permanent members to include Germany, Japan. In recent years the US has also been prepared to agree to grant similar status to India, but continues to demonstrate its negativity towards Brazil.

Russia is not against granting permanent membership status to India and Brazil in the UN Security Council – this would indeed be fair and reflect the current demographic and economic realities.

However, inclusion of Germany and Japan in that body seems paradoxical. Today, revanchism is gaining momentum in these countries. If the German chancellor claims that his country no longer feels “historical guilt” for the outbreak of World War II and wants to create the largest army in Europe, in fact a new Wehrmacht, it is a direct threat to peace and international stability. The same can be said of the militarist ambitions of contemporary Japan, which are fuelled by the United States. It is easy to imagine what kind of “agents of collective international security” Germany and Japan could become in the UN Security Council. Moreover, both countries represent the collective West, which already dominates the UN Security Council today.

For 75 years after the end of the Second World War, the UN Security Council was an essential element of the global architecture of international relations, and generally fulfilled its mission of ‘maintaining international peace and security’. Today, however, the UNSC has largely ceased to fulfil this role, not least because of the disproportionate representation of the US and its vassals in it, due to their unscrupulous diktat.

Therefore, reform of the UN Security Council is bound to happen – but only on an equitable basis, with a view to creating a wider representation of those who are sidelined. Then there will be hope that the decades-tested UNSC mechanism will be able to fulfil its tasks.

Elena Panina, Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute, specially for News Front

Due to censorship and blocking of all media and alternative views, stay tuned to our Telegram channel