Biden administration’s destructive UN strategy would weaken America and our allies
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President Joe Biden said in his message along the lines of his short-sighted call to eliminate obstruction in the Senate because it does not fit his legislative agenda. To the United Nations General Assembly His administration has proposed reforms to expand the UN Security Council and add more permanent members with veto power to make the council “more inclusive.”
Biden administration officials We’ve been talking for several weeks about these reforms, apparently because Russia and China are vetoing US-backed Security Council resolutions on Ukraine, the Middle East, and North Korea. However, although this proposal has long-standing support from most members of the United Nations and the foreign policy establishment, it is certainly not going anywhere.
The United Nations Security Council is made up of 15 members. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia are the five permanent members with veto power. The regional blocs elect the other ten members for two-year terms. US Ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield recently described this arrangement as an “unsustainable and outdated status quo”.
Thomas Greenfield proposed not only an expansion of the council and the addition of members but also informal restrictions on when a veto could be used and a voluntary provision for permanent members to explain the veto to the UN General Assembly. If implemented, these proposals could develop into a formal limitation of the Security Council’s veto and possibly a way for the General Assembly to override the veto.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge how important the US Security Council veto is to protecting our interests and those of our allies on the council. Of the 266 vetoes cast so far, 122 have been by the Soviet Union and Russia. The United States threw 82, often on anti-Israel resolutions.
Given the continuing hostility against the United States and Israel by many members of the United Nations, the United States will veto the Security Council in the future. And the Security Council’s veto continues to serve an important purpose: to prevent the five permanent members – all nuclear-weapon states – from passing resolutions against each other and to strengthen consensus.
This is not the first time that a presidential administration has attempted to undermine the UN Security Council’s veto. As a CIA analyst at the United Nations in the 1990s, I worked with Clinton administration officials who had their own proposals to do so. However, they went nowhere because the other permanent members were willing to veto any changes in the council.
Although Biden’s proposal to reform the UN Security Council is dangerous and radical, he died on arrival because it would be rejected by China and Russia, who both admire the council for what it is. His proposal to reform the Security Council would bring greater global awareness of the incompetence of the Biden administration’s leadership and foreign policy.