The Security Council as a war preventor

THE RIGHT OF VETO / The Security Council was established to prevent war. They can call on the parties to conflicts for negotiations, talks and other peaceful measures, and if this fails, they have the option of using sanctions or the use of military force.

The veto power of the five permanent members has often prevented sanctions or interventions. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on opposite sides of several so-called proxy wars, and proposed solutions were sabotaged. The Security Council was therefore somewhat paralyzed from the Korean War in 1950 until the fall of the wall in 1989.

The need for a safety advice

After World War II, the world needed a stabilizing and balancing organization that could maintain the animal-bought peace and prevent a third world war. The five permanent members – the only ones with a veto – gained their seats through the victory in World War II. The United States, Britain, and the then Soviet Union joined; President Roosevelt's vision of "four global policemen" included China, and to provide a counterpoint or buffer against German or Soviet aggression, France was added.

The participation of the great powers in local conflicts and their alliance system has caused two world wars. By putting the great powers together in the Security Council, all five could, through the veto, protect their interests in a diplomatic way that did not require warfare. In addition to the five permanent members, the Security Council also has ten seats in other UN countries. These ten are elected for two-year periods each year. Although these members do not have the right to veto, they are given the opportunity to set the agenda for the council through a monthly presidency.

Right of veto

Admittedly, the veto limits interventions in conflicts, yet the Security Council keeps some of the world's most powerful countries in check. World War I broke out because the great powers were captured in war through the alliance system.

A veto can stop the world's largest military powers and nuclear weapons holders from engaging directly. The Security Council and its permanent members have freedom in a controlled environment. The five can protect their interests and allies from sanctions and interventions, but in return, the other permanent members can also protect theirs – and all of us in the same sling.

Peace Council on Norway in the Security Council

The Norwegian Peace Council held a members' meeting in November 2020 to discuss how Norway should use its voice in the Security Council. They see Norway's place in the Security Council as an opportunity to promote and strengthen international work for peace, security and reconciliation – in line with Norway's stated goals in the Security Council. The Peace Council is a co-operative body for Norwegian peace organizations, with 18 member organizations, and chose to conclude with, for example, the following important issues for Norway's participation: • Work for stricter rules on arms exports • Work for a ban on warfare with drones and other deadly autonomous weapons • Promote understanding of the connection between military activity, climate and the environment • Work for increased participation of women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations
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