The UN and Sisyphus. The absurd has become the birthmark of the largest global organizations

The United Nations criticized on various occasions. And for good reason


Yesterday, the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the UN, the Secretary General of the organization, antónio Guterres, in his speech listed the challenges facing humanity: the escalation of conflicts, intolerance of people against each other, growing inequality, extreme weather conditions, threats to security, including nuclear weapons.

“Global challenges have no national boundaries, he stressed. In order to transform the future, we must overcome the differences we have”.

But to say much easier than done. The contradictions inherent within the organization. The rules of the game set in it does not correspond to the reality in which the world lives today. This is the main problem for the limited effectiveness of UN agencies. First and foremost the Security Council.

The United Nations decades criticized for a variety of reasons — from chronic bureaucracy and enormous financial interests (budget for 2016-2017 — $5.6 billion) to helplessness in the realization of the goals enshrined in its Charter. First of all, the maintenance of peace and security. Enough to read feed of international news to understand how the real situation differs from the good intentions of the program document.

International Institute for strategic studies (IISS), among other things, involved in the analysis of armed conflicts in the world in March of 2016 prepared a report with the numbers of victims of military conflicts previous, 2015, year. 167 thousand people were killed during this period (one third in the war in Syria).

More recent figures there, but these are unable to cause anything but sadness. Ukrainians this is understandable as anyone else. Different forces set fire to the globe from different sides, and the UN with this, by and large, can not do anything. The Security Council, which has a mission to tame the war on the planet has become a place where the fateful decision easy to make only if it does not affect the interests of any of the five permanent members — Britain, China, Russia, USA and France. Otherwise, the procedure turns into a parade of veto.

For the first 10 years of existence of the UN the Soviet Union 79 times exercised this right, it accounted for half of all imposed bans. The representative of Moscow Molotov is so often not given the go solutions, that it became known as Mr. veto. This tradition was passed on to Russia — the successor to the USSR.

In the period from 1991 to 2015, Moscow has used the veto power 13 times. And could be the champion, if Washington is not ahead of her, having made a similar one once more.

If you take the last few years, tinkering with the lock solutions do a disservice to, for example in Syria. From 2011 to 2014, resolution it four times was met with hostility by Russia and China. The war in this region and to this day remains the bloodiest. Yesterday, Russia blocked another chemical-the Syrian issue. China abstained.

The blatant cynicism of this behavior — when the interests of geopolitics outweighed all other considerations — made in France in the end to take the initiative and voluntary collective refusal of the permanent members of the security Council from veto use in cases, when it comes to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The same appeal was made by the head of Amnesty International Salil Shetty, who said that the permanent members of the Security Council to advance their own political interests instead of to take measures for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. However, the then permanent representative to the UN Churkin called the veto the most important mechanism, “which forces to work to find consensus solutions”. Mode of veto was retained.

A month ago Paris again talking about the anachronism of this mechanism. And his idea is to amend the UN Charter, to deprive the permanent members of the security Council the privilege to throw out a “red card” — supported by almost a hundred States. Russia and China once again recalled “the series of veto” on Syria and its horrific consequences. But, alas, had no action. In the “big five” in Paris there is only one ally — London. Not only Moscow but also Washington and Beijing do not want to change the entrenched order. And without their voluntary consent to draw new political face of the security Council impossible.

Is quite a strange situation. The ship is UN not so much is floating, how much is slowly sinking, and his captains think about anything but about his salvation.

Russia as the eternal indulgences, recalls his contribution to the formation of the postwar world. USA make a Declaration on the reform of the UN, which is more like sekvenirovanie its budget and staff reduction.

The idea, of course, sensible (especially considering the fact that the United States provides 22% of the main biennial budget of the organization and 28.5% of the peacekeeping budget), but is unlikely in itself to lead to positive change. The key players pretend that you can do without addressing long-overdue reforms of the conceptual order. Forgetting even those attempts that have been made in this direction.

The idea of a radical restructuring of the security Council began to raise a shield in the beginning. Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed the creation of a high-level Panel on threats, challenges and change, which received the informal name of the “group of wise men”.

The “wise men” prepared the recommendations. In March 2005, Annan announced the plan “In larger freedom”. It contained two alternative methods of implementation. Which one to prefer, was to decide the members of the organization. However, any of them changed the usual formula of the Security Council: 5 permanent members plus 10 nonpermanent.

Option a has called for the introduction in the security Council 6 permanent members and 3 non-permanent. Option — 8 new seats in a new class of members who will be elected in four years, plus one non-permanent seat. In both cases, the total number of Council members increased to 24. All was to be decided at the UN summit in September of the same year. But did not dare to reform the security Council and failed. No models Annan, for no other. For example, the proposed “Uniting for consensus” — Argentina, Italy, Canada, Colombia and Pakistan. In this project it was proposed to leave the number of permanent members unchanged, but the number of non-permanent increase to twenty.

To join the five main arbiters of the fate of the world, expect for different reasons several countries: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan. But the “big five” does not want to expand his company. Motive: this will complicate decision-making. Like what is now happening in the security Council, can be regarded as the norm, which should continue to hold on to.

Commitment to a “frozen” state security Council recalls the ridiculous image worship, which beg for rain, and in the answer receive only the thunder and lightning.

Failure to prevent a bloody confrontation in different regions of the planet by adopting a consolidated decision leads to the fact that reap have their painful consequences. A humanitarian disaster, hundreds of thousands of refugees — all this requires huge funds. Only because geopolitical chess club “solvers” and the infamous veto power allows the conflict to grow by leaps and bounds.

British historian Paul Kennedy in 2006 published his book “Parliament of man” in which he reviewed the activities of the United Nations. He finishes by saying, “the United Nations is not like the great boulder that Sisyphus tried to roll to the mountain, only to find he again and again fell to the foot… But the boulder is only halfway up the mountain, and need a lot of effort to move on.” Kennedy can be called an optimist. Or a follower of albert Camus, philosopher-existentialist, believes that “the struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart”. And that “Sisyphus should imagine happy.” But Camus wrote an essay on the absurd. And talked more about the destiny of man as such. In the situation with the UN is absurd, it seems, was designed to harmonize the world. If in the near future the UN will not be able to reform, then the absurd becomes its main feature. And all the expectations of humanity, can be buried. Today to bury those who died in armed conflicts have not stopped the UN.