The United Nations Security Council, with the role of maintaining international peace and security, is probably the UN’s most important institution, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.
It has 15 members, five of them with an absolute right of veto. The permanent members are the relevant victors of the Second World War - the United States, UK, Russia, France and China. It can ask member-states to engage in peacekeeping missions.
The role of the Security Council is widely frustrated by the differing interests of members, not only those of the veto powers. In theory, the UNSC should be the relevant international institution for resolving armed conflicts, but generally, every side of a conflict has sponsors in the Security Council, frequently each also following its own agenda.
Now it seems that the UNSC has become superfluous. We cannot see any constructive role for it. The US made efforts to receive approval from the UN and the Security Council at the start of the Second Gulf War in 2003. But conflicts in the world have increased in the last 10 years. Syria, Ukraine, Sudan, the Central African Republic are just some of the current examples of war-torn countries. Tensions between China and its East Asian neighbours are increasing. Potential conflicts exist around Russia.
Areas and countries wanting to live in peace in the future will be better off with a robust defence as a basis for their foreign policy rather than trusting international institutions such as the UN Security Council.
Common defence structures can be a good solution in areas like Europe. However peace can only be obtained sustainably if there is a willingness to fight for the values which matter, such as freedom.
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