General Question

noly's avatar

Is that fair to have only 5 United Nations Member States with veto power?

Asked by noly (232points) May 11th, 2011

I always wondered how do others United Nations Member States feel when dealing with the five permanent members of the security council. How can such a policy be justified until that day?

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19 Answers

WasCy's avatar

Is it fair that White always moves first in chess? Is it fair that Spades outrank Hearts in Bridge?

It’s the rules of the game. If you want new rules, then invent a new game. I have no doubt that at some point in the future the rules of the UN will be changed, maybe to strip Russia of a permanent seat at the Security Council, or to award seats to Germany and/or Japan (after all memories of WW II are exorcised, of course). Maybe before that even happens the UN will be rendered irrelevant by other developments, such as an East – West or Muslim – non-Muslim conflict that splits it beyond a diplomatic ability to repair it.

The Security Council was developed following the end of WW II in an attempt to prevent WW III. So far, it’s doing exactly what it was intended to do. It’s not there to make the world perfect. That’s your job.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

I don’t know anybody who’s claiming it’s fair. If you look closely, you’ll find it’s difficult to discover any situation in life that’s truly fair.

The five veto members are arguably the five most powerful countries on Earth. ‘Nuff said.

jerv's avatar

I feel that the veto power of the “Big Five” is ridiculous. Basically, any action that any of them oppose will go down, and it’s not right that 1 vote can override 191. For instance, Israel can do whatever it wants without worry of UN interference because of the US, and anything related to Tibet will be shot down by China. In effect, ranting veto power makes the UN a toothless, nutless, ineffective organization suitable for noting more than giving immunizations to little kids in Africa.

@quarkquarkquark How about a more democratic thing, like having every vote count equally? Or do you want the 2012 election here should be determined by the corporations instead of by voters; sell ballots for $1 each and let the chips fall where they may, voters be damned?

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quarkquarkquark's avatar

@jerv, I wasn’t defending, I was explaining. Simmer down.

@noly, I mean power in its most reductivist sense: the ability to bend other people to your will. The Big Five can do this primarily with economic power (especially France) but also with military power. These are countries that give out loans, that maintain connections to and influence over former colonies, and that maintain a threat of military action over their enemies and rivals. That’s power.

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King_Pariah's avatar

If everyone had veto power, then nothing would ever get done.

mazingerz88's avatar

No it isn’t. It’s one bitter medicine that needs to be swallowed.

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Hibernate's avatar

No it is not fair.
Just like in the old days where a king had the power to say NO to a government.

tedd's avatar

These are the 5 strongest nations on the planet, and none of them wants to be told what they have to do by any other nation.

It may not be entirely fair, but it makes sense. Besides, who’s going to tell them otherwise?

BarnacleBill's avatar

The five that do the heavy lifting should have the ability to say if something gets lifted or not.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Is it fair that a country like Algeria was the chair of the UN Committee on Human Relations? I mean, WTF???

Hibernate's avatar

Maybe Algeria did a swell job and you weren’t paying attention.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I meant Libya, sorry!

CaptainHarley's avatar

BTW… the world isn’t fair. Better to learn to deal with it.

Hibernate's avatar

Oh okay Then maybe Libya did a good job ^^

I know life isn’t fair.

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