Monday, 05 March 2012

Citing Syria, UN Assembly Boss Says End Security Council Veto Power

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After the governments of Russia and China used their permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council to torpedo a resolution calling for regime change in Syria, UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser (left) is demanding an end to the ability of major powers to veto global action.

Nasser, who represents the Islamic regime ruling Qatar, told the UK Independent newspaper that allowing the governments of France, the United States, Britain, Russia, and China to block UN demands represented a danger to world peace. He also called for radical reforms of the international body to facilitate concerted action in the fields of health, security, human rights, crises, and more.

"We need a very effective UN and very effective UN Security Council," he told the paper for an article published today. "If this system is not doing what it's supposed to do, then we need to look for another system."

Citing the Security Council veto of a resolution aimed at forcing Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to step down, Nasser said the system was outdated and no longer credible. The Chinese and Russian governments said they blocked the UN measure last month to avoid another bloody “regime change” operation like NATO’s war on Libya

“We oppose anyone interfering in Syria's internal affairs under the pretext of 'humanitarian' issues,” noted a statement posted on the communist Chinese dictatorship’s foreign ministry website, calling for an immediate cease-fire and talks between the regime and the armed opposition. "China does not approve of armed interference or pushing for 'regime change' in Syria and believes that use or threat of sanctions does not help to resolve the issue.”

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The Russian government, which has trade ties and a key naval base in Syria, offered similar statements. The secular Assad regime, meanwhile, insists it is battling a conspiracy consisting of “armed gangs” and “terrorists” on the ground directed from abroad.

Nasser claimed that because of the Security Council disagreement and the use of a veto, the UN sent the “wrong message” to the Syrian government. And that, according to Nasser, is why the regime there is refusing to cooperate as it aims to quash a rebellion against Assad backed by Western governments, assorted Islamists, and al Qaeda.

Thousands have already been killed on both sides in Syria as the conflict grows, according to official estimates. And despite the recent approval of a new Constitution, the bloodshed is expected to continue as Western powers arm the opposition. Advocates of intervention say the UN must step in.

"The world has changed; the UN should also reform itself to deal with the issues of today,” Nasser told the newspaper. “Sixty years ago who could imagine we'll be discussing climate change, food security, or the world would reach seven billion people, so we need to see a more active and effective UN.”

The Security Council is composed of five permanent member governments with veto power and 10 rotating governments without the ability to veto resolutions. The UN General Assembly, on the other hand — a collection of mostly despotic regimes of various persuasions — includes representatives of almost every national government on Earth including more than a few mass-murdering dictators.

Nasser hopes to give the General Assembly, which backed the anti-Assad resolution, more authority. Under the current system, its resolutions are non-binding, while the Security Council purports to have legally binding powers.

“In the Security Council today we see many important and powerful countries, emerging powers in the world, which are also playing good positive roles; they want to see themselves given the right recognition for what they are,” Nasser explained. “If the Security Council reflected the whole world in a fair way, then we would see a more effective council."

Of course, the Qatari regime is hardly the first to call for reforms to the UN Security Council. Senior officials have even suggested that the body should have its own “rapid reaction force” — a military wing that could enforce the entity’s demands around the world at a moment’s notice.

Numerous governments including those ruling Germany, India, Brazil, and Japan have also called for drastic reform, hoping to acquire permanent seats in the body. So far, however, efforts at remaking the Security Council have largely failed.

But following the failure of the UN’s resolution on Syria, advocates of a more powerful world regime unconstrained by vetoes are once again on the march. A columnist for Reuters, for example, made remarks similar to Nasser’s just a few days earlier, citing a fellow at the infamous, global governance-promoting, Council on Foreign Relations.

“Why the make-up of the council and the way it operates has remained unchanged since 1945 is a question that merits more vigorous public debate than there has been in the past,” wrote Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann, pointing out that the U.S. government regularly uses its veto to protect the Israeli government. “The case for re-thinking the system becomes stronger every time a veto frustrates the will of the majority.”

The wealthy Islamist dictatorship ruling over Qatar — headed by an all-powerful king known by the title of “Emir” — has long been demanding that Syrian despot Assad relinquish power. Along with its broadcasting wing Al Jazeera, the Qatari government also played a key role in helping NATO and an assortment of Islamists overthrow Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi last year. That mission was purportedly authorized by a UN resolution.

Still, the Obama administration and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been at the forefront pushing for regime change in Syria. After the Security Council veto, Clinton vowed to redouble her efforts outside the UN to overthrow Assad — a former U.S. ally in the terror war relied upon to torture suspects delivered by American officials. Christians in Syria fear that if Assad falls, genocide will follow.

Even as calls to further empower the UN and its innumerable tentacles continue to grow — it is seeking the power to impose taxes, regulate the economy, control the Internet, define mental health standards, overthrow governments, and much moreopposition is building, too, especially in America. Activists andlawmakers have been pushing to de-fund the global body and withdraw the U.S. government’s membership for years. And the momentum is still on the rise.

Critics of the reforms proposed by Nasser and other advocates of a more activist global entity argue that removing America’s veto — without the U.S. government completely extricating itself from the UN — would be extraordinarily dangerous. But according to analysts, major reforms are unlikely to happen any time soon. 

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