“The veto power”, held by the five permanent members of the Security Council has always been debated. Why do the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France have veto power? Does this undermine the democratic values of the United Nations, or does it ensure the UN maintains the support of these five powerful nations? It’s likely that veto power will exist for many years to come. When the United Nations was established, the idea that some countries should have veto power prevailed partly because of the UN Charter’s condition that decisions made by the UN Security Council (UNSC) must be unanimous, and partly because of the lessons learned from the failure of the League of Nations, that an international organization cannot work without powerful member nations. Veto power would ensure that world hegemonies, such as the United States and Russia, would remain interested in the United Nations. Veto power is the permanent members of the Security Council’s power to prevent the adoption of a draft resolution. If a resolution is presented to the Security Council and one of the members of the council disagrees, veto power is used to prevent the implementation of the resolution. Although it is clear that the veto power had accomplished its mission of ensuring the interest of the most powerful nations of the world, there continues to be much controversy over veto power and demands for its abolishment. The lack of equity in the veto power caused many to desire its elimination. If the United Nations is truly representative of all the nations of the world, then why do only some countries that hold that power? Others argue that if veto power was eliminated the requirements of the UN Charter would not be met. If it is not possible to abolish the veto power, then why not expand its uses? Why can’t emerging powers like India, Brazil and even Germany have the veto power? This would ensure more fairness on the part of the United Nations and truly cater to the needs of the world. On the other hand, if veto power was handed to more nations, it would be more difficult to adopt resolutions. This was also one of the reasons that ensured the failure of the League of Nations. There are many sides to this debate. What would future generations decide about veto power in the U.N.?
By: Lulwa Al-Theyab