By Mohammad Mazhari

UN needs structural changes: Iranian professor

June 28, 2020 - 7:29

TEHRAN - An Iranian professor of political science is of the opinion that the United Nations should undergo structural changes.

“I believe that the UN needs structural changes,” Imad Abshenas tells the Tehran Times.

Abshenas says, "The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that its mission is to establish peace and security in the world, and this is the main goal for which it was founded, and this is what was stated in the preamble to its charter and in its first article." 

On the history of the UN and its competence in settling conflicts throughout the globe, the professor and senior journalist said, "The UN was unsuccessful not only in the past decade but in its whole history. Although the UN's main aim is to maintain peace in the world, we have seen that since World War II until now, the UN was not successful in resolving the conflicts." 

“Either the veto should be taken away, or the UN should expand the members who have veto power.”Abshenas said the UN has not been able to settle disputes in many parts of the world. For example, he said, conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are still raging.

"When it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan, we see that the country was invaded by the U.S. and UK without UN Security Council permission, and they didn't care about the UN's alerts in attacking Iraq. In Afghanistan, also, after 20 years, the UN cannot help settle the conflict."

"Since the United Nations was established, it was expected to play a pivotal role in maintaining global stability and security, by adopting a holistic vision to international conflicts,… But now the UN is under control of powerful countries with the veto power in the Security Council and the authority to stop any resolution.”

Answering a question about whether the UN is biased when it deals with powerful countries, he said, “The UN is under the influence of Western powers, especially the U.S., in all its activities. In many cases, this influence is considerable; for example, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, when it comes to Israel, none of the resolutions of the Security Council Israel was abided by while all the resolutions were passed on other countries should be abided by. So, it is undeniable that the UN is biased, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Commenting on the idea of democratization of the UN through expanding the number of permanent members, Abshenas noted, "There are many countries which are not represented in the Security Council, including Islamic states and non-allied countries which their interest is not taken into account. In contrast, only the allied countries have power in the Security Council. If this procedure and the unfair system don't change, I doubt the UN can reach its goals and never establish peace in the world."

On veto power and its role in crippling UN diplomatic responses to global and regional crises, he said, "The world has witnessed the misuse of veto power in the past decade, where the U.S. exploited it to support Israel in many cases and stopped many resolutions that were against its allies. At the same time, other countries also used the veto power for their own interests. Due to that, none of UN resolutions were affected; either the veto should be taken away, or the UN should expand the members who have veto power. From my point of view, the expansion of the UN Security Council to include more permanent members, along with potentially expanding the non-permanent seats, is necessary."

He further said, “After World War II, the UN has been crippled in many of its missions and not only in the Security Council. For example, lately, the U.S. could cripple UNICEF, UNESCO, and even the World Health Organization by stopping financial support to this organization, just because these organizations' policies did not comply with U.S. demands. I believe that the UN needs structural changes, and it should move out of New York to a country that is not biased to any side. Then U.S. officials cannot use their visas to pressure the foreign delegations coming to the U.S.”