Guterres has once again emphasized the pressing need for reforms, citing the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Notably, a permanent member of the Security Council, equipped with the power of veto, has engaged in a war with another nation. The Ukraine conflict has profoundly hindered the efficacy of the Security Council, preventing it from fulfilling its primary responsibility of upholding international peace. Consequently, an additional predicament has compounded the existing flaws in the structure of the Security Council.
Hence, Guterres’ remarks encapsulate the prevalent demands within the international arena, highlighting his perception of the current international system as both unjust and ineffective.
A primary point of contention lies in the inherent unfairness of the Security Council, specifically concerning the veto power wielded by the five permanent members. While proponents of the veto right assert its legitimacy within the realm of international law, the root of the matter lies in the obvious elements of discrimination surrounding the composition of permanent members and the conflict of their respective interests. At times, conflicts arise between the self-interests of these nations and their global responsibilities, further underscoring the inherent unfairness and ineffectiveness of the Security Council within its existing structure.
An additional aspect contributing to this inefficiency traces back to the foundation of the post-World War II international system, which rests on the principles of political liberalism and being institution-oriented. Consequently, regardless of external variables, the very structure of the institution itself proves ineffective. This ineffectiveness extends beyond the confines of the Security Council and encompasses other United Nations bodies, including the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice.
Hence, Guterres astutely highlights the prolonged failure of the United Nations to adapt to the contemporary realities of the world, necessitating comprehensive reforms. The primary focal points of criticism revolve around the perceived unfairness and inefficiency plaguing UN institutions, particularly the Security Council, along with its financial system known as “Bretton Woods” or the dollar’s role as the foundation of global financial relations.