UN Role in the Gaza and Ukraine Conflicts: Criticism and its Relevance Today

UN Role in the Gaza and Ukraine Conflicts: Criticism and its Relevance Today

The United Nations (UN) has come under heavy criticism regarding its role in the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine. Many feel that the UN has failed to stop these wars and that its influence has been weakened.

Despite these criticisms, the UN remains an institution of global importance and plays a crucial role in humanitarian aid and conflict resolution around the world.

Call for a humanitarian ceasefire

Since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has consistently called for a humanitarian ceasefire. He has repeatedly warned that the warring parties are ignoring international law and has expressed his desire to see a process leading to a sustained peace for Israelis and Palestinians based on a two-state solution.

In seeking a ceasefire, Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows him to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter he considers a threat to international peace and security. So far, however, Israel has rejected calls for a cease-fire, saying it will continue its offensive until Hamas is defeated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also ruled out the idea of creating a Palestinian state.

Stalemate in the UN Security Council

Despite UN efforts to achieve a cease-fire, the Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution. In December, it adopted a resolution urging more aid for the Gaza Strip, but stopped short of calling for a cease-fire. Two previous resolutions were vetoed by the United States, a staunch supporter of Israel.

This stalemate in the UN Security Council has led to criticism that the organization is paralyzed and dysfunctional. Some experts point out that this is a consequence of the return of rivalries between great powers, such as China and Russia, on the one hand, and the United States and Europe, on the other.

This confrontation has led to a deadlock in decision-making and weakened the UN’s ability to act effectively in conflict situations.

Double standards and lack of representation

UN has been criticized for its lack of impartiality and double standards in its actions. It has been pointed out that some countries, such as the United States and Russia, apply different standards depending on their interests.

For example, the United States has been accused of protecting Israel from international pressure, while Russia has been singled out for committing atrocities in Ukraine while talking about the need to protect civilians in Gaza.

In addition, the lack of representation on the UN Security Council has been highlighted. The five permanent members of the Council, known as the P5, have veto powers and do not reflect current geopolitical realities.

For example, Africa, India and Latin America have no representation in the P5, and there is no country with a predominantly Muslim population in this group. This has led to calls for reform of the UN Security Council to make it more inclusive and representative.

Continued importance of the UN

Despite the criticisms and challenges it faces, the UN remains an institution of global relevance. Within the UN system, there are mechanisms and agencies that play a crucial role in conflict resolution and humanitarian relief. The UN runs schools, provides emergency relief, and brings food and medicine to people most in need in crisis situations.

In addition, the UN is a space where countries can meet and make agreements in the midst of international conflicts. Although the Security Council has faced difficulties in responding to certain conflicts, such as those in Gaza and Ukraine, the UN remains a platform for dialogue and cooperation among nations.

Need for reform and the way forward

Despite its importance, many recognize the need to reform the UN so that it can more effectively address current challenges. Changes have been proposed such as granting a single seat to the European Union, imposing more conditions on P5 veto powers, and allowing qualified majority votes in the General Assembly to overcome the veto of a single permanent member.

However, any reform proposal would require the support of a majority of UN members and all P5 countries. In addition, it would require a real commitment on the part of member states to fulfill their obligations and act impartially.

Conclusion

For several years now the UN has been under criticism for its role in the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, but it remains an institution of global importance. Despite the obstacles and constraints it faces, the UN plays a crucial role in humanitarian aid and conflict resolution around the world.

However, there is a recognized need to reform the organization so that it can more effectively address current challenges and ensure more equitable representation in its structure.