Paradox of rogue Russia’s continued influence in the UN Security Council


Russian President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO | AFP

Our world order is in bad shape in 2024: for Russia has gone rogue, and the United Nations won’t put an end to it.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, it flat-out breached the UN Charter. There were no obfuscations about a civil war. Russia sent in hundreds of thousands of its own troops, marched and tanked across its neighbour’s lands, and claimed the occupied territories as its own.

This has meant Russia needed to exit the UN, keep its rules, or the UN Charter be abandoned. So far, it has been the Charter that has been given up on.

Some people claim there is no choice, that there is no way to unseat Russia from the UN Security Council that leads it. They are wrong.

The five permanent UNSC seats were created by its founders: China, France, the UK, the US, and the USSR.

In 1991, the USSR ceased to exist.

Russia took over by grace and favour, with the council choosing to accept Russia’s credentials to use the USSR seat. But credentials are a simple matter to change. If any nation contests Russia’s credentials, all 15 UNSC members vote on whether to accept them. There is no veto, just a majority, meaning the UNSC can perfectly easily end Russia’s use of the old Soviet seat.

The reason it hasn’t is because Russia is considered dangerous. With the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, apologists say it would be more threatening of the UNSC than on it.

This week, former Russian president Medvedev wrote that if Russia lost the war in Ukraine, it would use its entire arsenal on Kyiv, Berlin, London, and Washington. That scale of nuclear explosions would block out the world’s sunlight for decades, creating a frozen planet, without food.

So two years of appeasement, leaving Russia in its illegitimate UNSC seat, means we can give it Ukraine as a human sacrifice, or it will annihilate the human race — and that’s what unchecked power does.

The clique now running Russia —since we haven’t seen a person who can pass AI facial recognition as Putin for a very long time — will do anything to survive in power without him.

Last week, Russia’s leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny died of ‘death’ a day after appearing healthily in court, and the Russian authorities won’t release his body to his family. They have arrested anyone who even laid a flower for him: because that’s what the UN stands for now.

It stands for nothing. No national sovereignty, no international peace or global security, and no human rights. It just stands for Russia, set to be its president again, as a favour, in July this year.

The writer is a development communication specialist.

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