Monday, September 14, 2015

Sherif Elgebeily on the UN Security Council's Role in the Current Refugee Crisis (SCMP)

Sherif Elgebeily (CCPL)
South China Morning Post, 15 September 2015
Imagine the entire population of Hong Kong fleeing their homes in the space of six months. Last year, an average of 42,500 people daily were "displaced" - either as internally displaced persons or refugees - and the UN puts the total worldwide number at 58 million at the end of the year.
     Meanwhile, the UN Security Council today supports or ignores the regimes that are creating the problem. Put simply, its failure to reach a consensus on its central duty to maintain peace and security is a cause of the global refugee crisis: refugees are a product of war and political instability.
     To pass, council resolutions must win a minimum of nine affirmative votes out of a total of 15. This is to ensure that no unilateral military action can be taken by a state except in instances of self-defence.
     The trouble is, this system does not work in reality. In order to pass, a resolution must also not engender a veto by any of the five permanent members - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China. Over the years, this has translated into the importation of their national foreign policies into the council. Inaction on Syria, for example, is the result in part of China's domestic policy of non-intervention, which has led to its repeated use of the veto on resolutions relating to the crisis... Click here to read the full article.

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