Power to veto: The UN and the politics of superpowers

The United Nations General Assembly session October 18, 2012 during the vote for five countries to become non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.Has the UN lost its mojo? PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Whether they imagined of it becoming a “sort of global government” is a different thing altogether, but what is indisputable is that the UN has risen from the initial 51 members to the current 193.
  • Scholars argue have argued that the organisation lacks accountability because there is a lot of power accumulated in a few countries deemed Great Powers at the end of World War II. This lack of accountability is what leads Prof Kagwanja to charge that the UN has turned into “a bunch of oligarchs”.
  • For example, in the combat of international terrorism, the UN has failed to strike a balance between securing the world against terrorism on one hand and need to protect rights of individual suspects on the other.

More than 150 presidents, monarchs and prime ministers have converged in New York since Sunday, September 22, for the 68th annual ordinary session of the General Assembly.


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