View Poll Results: What should become of the veto power?

Voters
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  • American: Keep the veto power as it is.

    22 25.29%
  • American: Reform the veto power.

    9 10.34%
  • American: Abolish the veto power.

    9 10.34%
  • Other: Keep the veto power as it is.

    17 19.54%
  • Other: Reform the veto power.

    14 16.09%
  • Other: Abolish the veto power.

    16 18.39%
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  1. #1

    United Nations Veto Power Reform

    One contentious issue that arises every so often in regard to the United Nations is the veto power of the five permanent Security Council members. In theory the veto power exists to help prevent conflicts. For instance, if the General Assembly or Security Council votes on a certain resolution, but that resolution is detrimental to one of the five powers, then that that country can veto the resolution, thus preventing an international crisis.

    Some have criticized the veto power as actually leading to more conflicts, however, and possibly in some cases even preventing "much needed" intervention. Proponents of this idea point to the Vietnam War and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as well as the current civil war in Syria, as examples of this perceived flaw. Supporters of the veto power would argue that in some of these instances, United Nations invention would have actually led to an escalation of the conflict, such as retaliation from the great powers.

    While I can understand both sides of the argument, I am leaning more in favor of maintaining the veto power. I believe that it is absolutely imperative that the United States not allow itself to fall victim to the United Nations, which doesn't necessarily share our values or have our best interest at heart. For instance, many countries (and even some people in first-world countries) are opposed to Israel. Without veto power, these countries could intervene on the side of the Palestinians, which certainly isn't in the best interest of the United States and/or Israel. Other examples of where the veto power may very well be necessary are crisis such as the Falkland Islands dispute, Korean dispute and others. Not only that, but when the United Nations fails, there is always the option of acting without the United Nations, so it doesn't affect us at all militarily.

    I also have grave concerns over what could happen to human rights and civil liberties should America (and our allies) lose our veto power. For instance, there are a number of authoritarian countries out there, some of which have been trying to infringe upon freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the right to privacy, etc. and have in some cases even taken to trying to get such resolutions passed in the United Nations. Take for instance the controversial Arms Trade Treaty that the United States and our allies have successfully blocked from gaining ground. There's also evidence that some extremist groups would try to use the United Nations as a means to push for more power on a global stage, especially after the controversial United Nations Conference against Racism, which was boycotted by a number of countries (including the United States) for allegedly being hijacked by extremist groups and actually promoting racism (rather than combating it).

    With these concerns, I do not believe that it would be in the best interest of the American people or our allies that we abolish the veto power. As for the option of reforming the veto power, I would have to hear out each proposal on an individual basis before coming to a decision. What do you believe should be done with the veto power in the United Nations, if anything?
    Last edited by Nakura Chambers; 2013-09-05 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
    The way to look at it is this, if there was no veto power how many more places would have had the bejesus bombed out of them over the years, the Russian stance with Syria right now is confusing but ultimately it can lead to a situation where rather than military action it might give the respite to start negotiation that's needed. Now in this case it's doubtful given how massive an ass-hat Asaad is, but by the same measure, Russia figures right now that he might just be the lesser of two evils and well, having seen Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan it might not actually be too bad a shout because all of those turned out perfectly fine didn't they!
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  3. #3
    Some sort of reform is absolutely needed. More often than not, the use of a Veto makes the UN look utterly powerless and by extension, utterly useless, in combating real issues aka North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and pretty much every other conflict that has been a proxy battle between the US and Russia (or China).

    As it stands, when it comes to the purposes of international security issues, the UN is a lame duck that is incapable of producing action. The Syria crisis has been going on for over a year but the UN cannot do anything because Assad is backed by Russia who can veto any proposed action.

    Quote Originally Posted by koodledrum View Post
    The way to look at it is this, if there was no veto power how many more places would have had the bejesus bombed out of them over the years, the Russian stance with Syria right now is confusing but ultimately it can lead to a situation where rather than military action it might give the respite to start negotiation that's needed. Now in this case it's doubtful given how massive an ass-hat Asaad is, but by the same measure, Russia figures right now that he might just be the lesser of two evils and well, having seen Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan it might not actually be too bad a shout because all of those turned out perfectly fine didn't they!
    The problem being that in the months and years that the UN is hamstrung by the Veto nations playing tug of war, countless thousands continue to die and whichever regime is involved gets all the time they need to either a) enforce their will or b) fuck things up enough that even if they are removed, chaos is almost guaranteed for months or years to come.

    You deal with leaders and regimes as they come. If you have a guy willingly killing his own population to stay in power, you don't shrug your shoulders and go "Well, the next guy might be worse, so we will just play the long game and wait and see what happens".
    Last edited by Siaer; 2013-09-05 at 01:45 PM.

  4. #4
    To be honest with you I am surprised anyone pays attention to the UN anymore. They are completely useless and solve nothing. You could get rid of it today and noone would give a shit.
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  5. #5
    The Unstoppable Force RICH816's Avatar
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    The UN is a shower of shit, we would be better off without it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH8472 View Post
    The UN is a shower of shit, we would be better off without it.
    I agree no one listens to them.

  7. #7
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    You seriously think that the fate of Israel has US best interest at heart? Oh your so silly.
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  8. #8
    Abolishing veto power would never go through, it would just be vetoed.
    I'm a European federalist. Now you know.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomatketchup View Post
    Abolishing veto power would never go through, it would just be vetoed.
    It wouldn't even get that far. The vote about voting about the veto power would be vetoed.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH8472 View Post
    The UN is a shower of shit, we would be better off without it.
    Absolutely, I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise. But in the meantime, what would you propose?

  11. #11
    The Unstoppable Force RICH816's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakura Chambers View Post
    Absolutely, I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise. But in the meantime, what would you propose?
    There is no "in the meantime", scrap the system, it is broken and cannot be fixed.

  12. #12
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    I'd prefer we scrap the UN altogether and form a coalition either losely based on NATO or an entirely new body made up of strictly and provably democratic states. Then we might be able to take unilateral action that could change the world for the better or at least make it a little freer.
    If the UN fails to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights universally throughout its member-states then it has ultimately failed as an organisation and needs to be drastically reformed or disbanded.

  13. #13
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    The fact of the matter is that without veto power, the UN would become even less meaningful than it is today, as great powers would simply stop taking part in the UN anymore when they disagreed.
    Last edited by Reeve; 2013-09-05 at 04:14 PM.
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  14. #14
    The UN is fine for peacetime efforts such as disaster relief, but for anything involving armed conflict(or potential thereof)it's completely toothless.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH8472 View Post
    The UN is a shower of shit, we would be better off without it.
    I'm assuming you're just unaware of the huge amount of humanitarian work they do.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    I'm assuming you're just unaware of the huge amount of humanitarian work they do.
    I think he is referring to anything military.

  17. #17
    The Unstoppable Force RICH816's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    I'm assuming you're just unaware of the huge amount of humanitarian work they do.
    I am aware, I just think they can do better if they scrapped the UN and came up with another system. Most of the humanitarian work they do basically involves paying dirt poor countries to police even poorer ones. The top 5 powers barely supply any troops at all.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH8472 View Post
    I am aware, I just think they can do better if they scrapped the UN and came up with another system. Most of the humanitarian work they do basically involves paying dirt poor countries to police even poorer ones. The top 5 powers barely supply any troops at all.
    The UN is actively making sure there aren't hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees starving to death in the desert right now. Of all the actors on the world stage, the UN is the only body actually doing any good in the Syrian conflict right now. If you want to say they're useless that's fine, but its factually wrong.

    This doesn't even touch on disaster relief, education programs, vaccination efforts, economic development. Shit the Expanded Program on Immunization alone increase childhood vaccination TB, polio and measles world wide from 5% to 79%. There was a 60% drop in measles deaths world wide in large part due to that program. That's far less useless than another organization that exists to kill people.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The problem here is you think the UN is supposed to just be another military organization (that exists for Western purposes) with some non-killing-people-stuff slapped on.
    Last edited by Wells; 2013-09-05 at 03:34 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nixx View Post
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RICH8472 View Post
    I am aware, I just think they can do better if they scrapped the UN and came up with another system. Most of the humanitarian work they do basically involves paying dirt poor countries to police even poorer ones. The top 5 powers barely supply any troops at all.
    Which just means that the flaw lies with the top five powers, and not the UN, which has been instrumental in avoiding really large-scale conflicts since it's founding. On the subject of the veto power, it is clear that the current system does not work. Either all countries should have it (in which case nothing would ever get done, and the UN would become as useless as some uneducated people imagines it is today) or no-one should have it...in which case the US and Russia might withdraw from it. But seeing as the US at least show very little intrest in actually conforming to international agreements and UN resolutions, that might not be a too huge loss.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    The fact of the matter is that without veto power, the UN would become even less meaningful as it is today, as great powers would simply stop taking part in the UN anymore when they disagreed.
    Pretty much this, plus the main "mission" of UN was to prevent another conflict between the great powers such as WW1 and WW2. Which is exactly what the veto power safeguards, as such it is working as intended and it is working reasonably well.
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