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December 02, 2004

Japan Wants Equal Veto Rights In Reformed Security Council

Not that it matters; it's an irrelevant institution on its way out.

But I gave this some thought a while ago. Assume a larger security council; you wouldn't want everyone to have a veto power. Too many agendas would mean the UNSC does even less than it does now, with frequent vetoes.

But why does the power of veto need to be unilateral? And why does that power have to be equal among all members?

The US, UK, Japan, and perhaps some other enlightened nations could be given veto powers of two. Meaning that they did have the right to veto, but only when seconded in that veto by any other member of the security council.

In other words, you have a veto, but not an unqualified veto-- you always need to persuade someone else to join your veto for it to actually become a veto.

Now, I know that really the US should have a unilateral veto power, but let's face it, that will never happen. They're jealous of our real-world power as it is and it is hateful to them to recognize that power in the UN. Besides, we can always get either Britain or Japan to join on one of our vetoes.

Lesser states could be given veto powers of three, meaning their vetoes would have to be seconded by two other council members to become a veto. I'm thinking Russia, China, Germany, Austraila (yeah, they deserve to be in the first tier, but no one will go for that) and (uggggh) France.

Even lesser states would have veto powers of four.

You could expand the UNSC by quite a bit-- up to twenty members -- and you wouldn't have to fear that some piddling little country could easily veto an action. And yet that country could possibly veto a resolution, so long as it could find three fellow SC members willing to second its veto.

Meanwhile, most of the power would remain where it should be -- outside the UN entirely with the more powerful countries on the UNSC.

Heck, you could even make a case that the need to persuade another country to support your veto would improve international dialogue at the UN. I mean, I'm not going to make that stupid-shit case, but you're welcome to do so if you like.

Just an idea.

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posted by Ace at 04:30 AM

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