Guardian: In a world facing many grave challenges across many spheres, people look to the United Nations to play a key role in resolving them.
Yet there is broad appreciation that the UN is failing in vital areas, not least on peace and security. It is at its best in the development and humanitarian domain, where it works with and for people and gets results. But its seeming inability to act to end the protracted crises that have driven untold human misery – including the forced displacement of an unprecedented 65.6 million people – is an indictment of the organisation. It badly needs structures and ways of working that will address this century’s crises, not those of 1945.
Some of its constraints are structural, like the veto power on the security council given to five nations when the charter was written in 1945. That prevents effective action on peace and security – even when an overwhelming majority of the security council and member states wants it. That veto should be removed, and replaced by a qualified voting system that allows, at the least, for decisions to be taken on a near-unanimous basis.