International relations today are more complicated than ever. The days of viewing the international system dominated by the “good” and “bad” nation-states are over. With the growing deepening of democracy across the world and the assertion of more voices – both at state and non-state levels – drawing any instant conclusion in the realm of international politics is far more difficult today.
The current state of world affairs can be understood when we try to answer these questions: Has the international community lost all its capacity to tackle events that shake the world? Or why is there no success visible in finding a solution to problems like in Syria despite the relentless blood-spilling?
The UN has lost its edge today
The anarchic international system had always required a distinct peace initiative to save itself from annihilation. An international contract emerged after the clash of aggressive nation-states resulted in the First World War. But the League of Nations didn’t last long, leading to the Second World War. The impact of that war was so severe that even the victorious countries were badly affected.
The United Nations, formed after the Second World War, was assigned the role of an international agency to prevent further devastation. It did a great job during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the Cold War nearly turned hot. But today, the less is said about the UN, the better. The agency looks helpless against new international realities and is often ignored by the big powers.
Permanent 5 are more rivals in a club today
The reason for this is not difficult to understand. The UN’s Security Council, considered its most powerful organ, has become a divided house today with its members working overtime to back their own selfish interests and care little for a consensus to serve a cause. The composition of the Security Council has become anachronistic today as it is more suitable to the situation which had prevailed post-World War II. Its members had a common ground till the defeat of the Nazis and Fascists but thereafter, their own interests and egos started to clash.
Today, when we see the Russians and Chinese, who have little or no respect for the Americans and refuse to cooperate on the Syrian question just because they have their own economic, strategic or ideological reasons to serve, the feeling sets in – this is no more a world where compassion works.
More important countries need to be in Security Council
The growing multi-polarity of the international system also makes the current ‘Permanent Five' and their veto' system of the Security Council meaningless. Today, the world is globalized more than ever before. There are nations that are making bigger impact on the world stage today. For example, Germany, India, Japan, Nigeria, etc. These countries' growth stories have made them the new destinations of the 21st century. Yet, they do not have a place in the Security Council which has countries like the UK and France, who have their plateful of problems – be it #Brexit or repeated terror attacks – and little time for world issues. China today considers itself no less a big power and ruthlessly chases its own economic ambitions more than giving human rights a sympathetic look. As for the US and Russia – the latter certainly hasn’t forgotten the Cold War humiliation and is trying to revive its nationalistic ambitions. The US, on the other hand, has slowed down a bit in the Barack Obama era after its misadventures abroad backfired.
The international security system fails miserably to tackle the threat of #Terrorism because of these reasons. Not only, it little represents the new world order but the distrust between the ‘guardians’ of the system has made it vulnerable to the evil-doers. Terrorists today function in full coordination across continents. But not all continents are represented in the Security Council. It’s time to turn things around. #Middle East