United Nations Reform and NAM

One of NAM’s main concerns have been the reform of United Nations on the whole and its ‘Security Council’ in particular which have been reiterated in its summit meetings again and again. The purpose behind its agenda is to make the UN development system more efficient and effective in its support to developing nations to attain the globally agreed development goals which subsequently will enhance organisational efficiency and will be able to realize more concrete development results.

NAM has been demanding immediate transparent, comprehensive and balanced reforms with due regard to the inter-governmental and universal nature of the organisation which lets the voice of every member be heard and respected on equal grounds regardless of their input in the budget of the organization. Need of urgent reforms in the Council which has been tasked with maintaining world peace and security is the need of the hour as agreed upon by the regional blocs and certain other governments.

The United Nation Security Council has constantly been scrutinized for encroaching on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and that of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The UN Charter bestows on the Security Council the primary responsibility of maintaining international security and peace.

But the movement has found the Council interfering in areas of norm-setting, legal definitions and the progressive development of international law which fall under the jurisdiction of the General Assembly on several occasions. NAM aims at strengthening this oversight role of the General Assembly in consideration to Security Council activities as well as the responsibility and power of the Assembly as the principal deliberative, administrative and representative instrument of the UN in all matters, as well as those relating to global peace and sanctuary.

In particular Security Council reform agenda has cropped up in regular intervals in the past focusing on issues like Security Council membership, regional representation in the council, working methods, decision making, agendas and accountability, which they demand to be analyzed thoroughly in order to achieve concrete reforms.

In their UN meetings they have demanded the reforms to be aimed at fixing the past injustices which have been committed against Africa, a continent which lacks representation among the Council’s permanent members. The issue raised is against the colonialist international policies which come out through its five permanent representation and veto powers holders — USA, Russia, China, France and the UK.
Apart from this another priority issue which NAM focuses on is Council’s imposition of sanctions which require more precise definitions along with a legal framework.

Among its other practices which have been under scrutiny is its often criticized practice which involves adoption of resolutions which violate international law and at times violate the Charter of the United Nations itself, resulting in the violation of international law and the Charter of the UN including violations such as crime of aggression and illegal sanctions among others, with immunity by the traditional colonialist powers and the victors of the World War II.

The Security Council’s veto power has been questioned and discussed at length which empowers it to overrule decisions even after being supported by a majority of nation, also the vital issue of including more nations in the Council. The adaptation of the Security Council to the world’s current geopolitical reality is also of importance which the members of the movement feel needs to be integrated. The initiative by the movement have definitely made some impact leading to the General Assembly forming an advisory group comprising of representatives from Belgium, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Papua New Guinea, San Marino and Sierra Leone to discuss and execute changes in the Council.

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