Russian Politics, Western Politics

New York Think Tank: UN Security Council Members Should Retain Veto Power (Revised)

Controversy Flares Over UN Security Council Veto Rights

Introduction by Quemado Institute
September 24, 2015
Revised September 25, 2015

Calls for UNSC reform sound great and make people feel good about themselves, but the structure of the body should remain unchanged. — Jonathan Cristol, World Policy Insitute.

Washington’s infuriated neocons are up in arms about Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council, US author Stephen Lendman notes, adding that without Russia the international organization would simply parrot decisions made in Washington. — Sputnik News

During the UN Assembly meetings currently taking place in New York, a group of misguided “Agents of Virtue” are attempting to curtail the automatic veto power now enjoyed by the five Security Council member states. Proposals on the table include stripping veto rights from UNSC members allegedly engaged in “terrorist activities”, “war crimes” or “humanitarian violations.” Yet who is to judge the guilty? Will a special court be appointed to decide which members to penalize? Will a committee be appointed to establish this court? Who will be allowed to join this committee? Will there arise an infinite regression regarding who is allowed to decide who is allowed to decide? And will the US itself become subject to judgment, thereby shooting itself in the foot?

Stephen Lendman is not the only American political expert who opposes disruption of the UN Security Council structure. Johnathan Cristol, geopolitical analyst with the conservative New York think tank World Policy Institute, offers a number of sensible arguements for retaining the present UN Security Council format.

We present Johnathan Cristol’s commentary first, followed by a Sputnik News report highlighting Chicago-based analyst Stephen Lendman’s analysis, and lastly, Stephen Lendman’s analysis itself.

Don’t Reform the Security Council
Guest Article
by Jonathan Cristol

World Policy Institute
September 21, 2015
Posted September 24, 2015

(--John Gilespie/World Policy Institute)

(–John Gilespie/World Policy Institute)

Every year, the opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is accompanied by predictable calls for UN Security Council (UNSC) reform. There is widespread agreement that reform is necessary, but complete disagreement about the specifics. The depth of this disagreement can be seen in the framework agreement for UNSC reform, adopted on Sept. 14. The agreement is 25 pages long, with 123 pages of addenda, and contains an almost infinite number of permutations of changes. It succeeds only in highlighting the impossibility of UNSC reform passing either the UNGA or the UNSC.

The UNSC does not need reform. States support particular reforms either because those reforms are in their national interest, because they know they won’t happen, or because they value diversity and transparency over functionality and efficacy.

Delegates of five permanent UNSC members plus Germany: the P5+1, Vienna, November 2014. (

Delegates of 5 permanent UNSC members plus Germany: the P5+1, Vienna, November, 2014. (–

The most common reason cited for UNSC reform is that it is not reflective of “the geopolitical realities of our current world,” to quote the previous UNGA president, Sam Kahamba Kutesa. But in fact, it is more reflective of the current geopolitical reality than it was at its creation in 1945, when France was in ruins and China was scarcely a regional power. The current “P5” — U.S., Russia, China, U.K., and France — are (still) the most powerful states in world. The U.S. and China are the two largest economies, the U.S. and Russia have the two largest nuclear arsenals, and China is rapidly expanding its military force projection and has already built a worldwide economic empire. The U.K. and France have nuclear arsenals, global cultural reach, and are the 6th and 7th largest economies. More importantly, they are the only five powers that can act with impunity — impunity which does not stem from the veto power, but from “geopolitical reality.”

There are two points of agreement for UNSC reform among the member-states — that the UNSC should be expanded and that it should be more transparent. Even the current P5 publicly support expansion in principle, which is easy to do when you know that your rivals will always oppose the reforms you support and vice versa. Transparency is a trickier one, which the U.K. and France have said is, “a matter for consideration by the Security Council, not the General Assembly.” This highlights a key aspect of reform as without P5 unanimity on reform, reform will not happen. And no state is going to vote to make itself less powerful.

UNSC expansion could take many forms. There could be an addition of permanent members with the veto power or permanent members without the veto power. There could be an addition of rotating seats with the veto power or an expansion of the non-permanent members, as happened in 1966 when the number of non-permanent members expanded from six to ten. In the end, it is hard enough to get agreement of the P5 plus 4 of the 10 non-permanent members that to add additional members, even without the veto, makes sense only if the goal of the organization is diversity and not functionality.

UNSC transparency is the major concern of the smaller states that would never be considered for a permanent seat on the UNSC and have no major ally in such (faux-) contention for a permanent seat. Here too, national interest gets in the way of efficacy and functionality. The only way for the UNSC to allow for effective, open, and full debates are for its deliberations to be held in secret and off-the-record. Were the UNSC to hold hearings and to deliberate in public, it would turn into another venue for showboating and grandstanding, and serious discussions of peace and security would fully return to the ad hoc bi- and multilateral talks that predated the UN System.

China builds artificial island, Gaven Reefs, Spratly Islands, South China Sea (--

China builds artificial island, Gaven Reefs, Spratly Islands, South China Sea, October 2014 (–

And this result of reform is key: The dilution of the power of the P5 would succeed in making the UNSC more reflective of the UNGA, but it would also pave the way for more ad hoc side-meetings, informal arrangements, and unilateral action. The reason that a P5 state can take whatever action it wants — invade Iraq, annex Eastern Ukraine, build artificial islands to expand territorial waters, intervene in West Africa, and so forth — is not because it can veto any UNSC resolution directed against it. The P5 states can get away with anything because no other states have the power to stop them. Nuclear weapons, force projection capabilities, and global economic strength provide a lot more cover than does the veto power.

The P5 are the exact right states to exercise veto power over matters of international peace and security. E.H. Carr wrote in 1933, “the constant intrusion… of power renders almost meaningless any conception of equality between members of the international community,” and this lack of equality is why it is the most dominant states on the map can and should dominate the conference rooms in Turtle Bay. Even now the current set-up allows for small, geographically diverse states to override the P5; resolutions must have nine of 15 votes total to pass. The fact that the P5 can do what they want anyway, is exactly why they should be the P5 in the first place. And there is no other state that could realistically be added with a veto power.

The UNSC is absolutely a sub-optimal structure for maintaining international peace and security. But in the reality in which we all exist, this sub-optimal structure is optimal. Calls for UNSC reform sound great and make people feel good about themselves, but the structure of the body should remain unchanged. It isn’t that the UNSC allows the P5 to act with impunity, it is that the states that can act with impunity comprise the P5, and it is only with their unanimity that anything substantive can be achieved.



Jonathan Cristol is a fellow at the World Policy Institute and a senior fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College.




World Policy Institute: Founded in New York City in 1961 as the Fund for Education Concerning World Peace through World Law, the World Policy Institute has its origins in the post-World War II movement of moderate internationalists. Its founders, the banker Harry B. Hollins and the banker and public servant C. Douglas Dillon, inspired by the World Federalist thinker Grenville Clark, sought to develop international policies to prevent future carnage and devastation…. In 2007, the World Policy Institute was re-incorporated as a free-standing institution, which works in active collaboration with like-minded organizations around the world. In January 2009, Foreign Policy magazine ranked WPI as the 16th most influential US think tank, out of 1777 in the United States and 5465 worldwide. –World Policy Institute mission statement. (Critical independent assessments of the World Policy Institute proved difficult to find in the time available. Quemado Institute has posted this article solely based on its intrinsic merit.)

Friday, September 25, 2015 Update:

Two articles below illustrate the ongoing friction inside UN circles regarding Security Council veto power. The movement toward revision is focused unfairly against Russia. By amending veto power, Washington would essentially be shooting itself in the foot, an activity of which it has grown fond.

Russia’s UN Security Council Veto Power a Thorn
in Washington’s Flesh

September 25, 2015

Vitaly Churkin (-- AP/ Bebeto Matthews)

Vitaly Churkin (– AP/ Bebeto Matthews)

Washington’s infuriated neocons are up in arms about Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council, US author Stephen Lendman notes, adding that without Russia the international organization would simply parrot decisions made in Washington.

Washington absurdly claims that Russian vetoes are jeopardizing the UN Security Council’s legitimacy, turning a blind eye to the fact that the US itself used its veto power dozens of times, US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman emphasizes, nailing US policy makers for their utter hypocrisy and double-standard approach. Indeed, Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council “challenges [Washington’s] hegemonic agenda, blocking efforts to authorize war on Syria among other important actions,” Lendman pointed out in his article for Global Research.

“US UN envoy Samantha Power is one of numerous neocons infesting the Obama administration, an advocate of endless wars dressed up as humanitarian intervention. She criticized Russian vetoes, saying they force America to “forum-shop” to further its agenda. ‘If a particular body reveals itself to be dysfunctional, then people are going to go elsewhere,’ she claimed,” the US author noted.

In accordance with the UN Charter provisions, five countries, namely the US, Britain, China, France and the USSR (now the Russian Federation), were granted special status in the UN. Being the UN Security Council permanent members they obtained the power to veto the council’s measures. Interestingly enough, while the Russian Federation has used its veto power only 13 times, Washington has used its veto in the Security Council 79 times, according to UN records. And that is not all. America’s longstanding allies, Britain and France, have used their right to veto the Security Council’s measures, 29 and 16 times respectively, sometimes playing directly into hands of the US.

“Ahead of the UN’s 70th anniversary next month, US-installed Ukrainian fascists want Moscow stripped of its right to dissent during this month’s General Assembly session. It’ll take more than a GA vote to alter the UN Charter. It requires a two-thirds majority of member states — including all P5 countries with veto power. It’s unlikely any will choose to limit their own authority,” Lendman elaborated.

The US author stressed that Russia’s veto is an important tool able to counterbalance Washington’s imperial warmongering. Lendman cited Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, who said: “The Security Council will lose its relevance [without Russia’s veto power]… [and] simply… rubber-stamp decisions… made in Washington, Paris, London, Brussels.” The American columnist added that US administrations under either Republicans or Democrats are “the greatest threat to world peace.”

“It’ll take more than Security Council actions to reign in their madness,” Lendman concluded.

Stephen Lendman’s Original Commentary:

Understanding the UN Security Council Veto Power:
America Threatens Russia
by Stephen Lendman

Global Research
September 24, 2015

Article 27 of the UN Charter states:

1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote. 2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members. 3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.

Five countries were granted special status: America, Britain, China, France and the former Soviet Union – now the Russian Federation. They’re permanent Security Council members with special voting power known as the “right to veto” SC measures.

During the post-Soviet era, Washington used its veto power scores of times, Russia only eight “no” votes. Ahead of the UN’s 70th anniversary next month, US-installed Ukrainian fascists want Moscow stripped of its right to dissent during this month’s General Assembly session. It’ll take more than a GA vote to alter the UN Charter. It requires a two-thirds majority of member states – including all P5 countries with veto power. It’s unlikely any will choose to limit their own authority.

Samantha Power (

Samantha Power (–

Washington nonsensically claims Russian vetoes threaten the Security Council’s legitimacy. It challenges its hegemonic agenda, blocking efforts to authorize war on Syria among other important actions. US UN envoy Samantha Power is one of numerous neocons infesting the Obama administration, an advocate of endless wars dressed up as humanitarian intervention. She criticized Russian vetoes, saying they force America to “forum-shop” to further its agenda. “If a particular body reveals itself to be dysfunctional, then people are going to go elsewhere,” she claimed. And if that happened for more than Syria and Ukraine and you started to see across the board paralysis…it would certainly jeopardize the security council’s status and credibility and its function as a go-to international security arbiter. It would definitely jeopardize that over time.

Vitaly Churkin, Samantha Power (--AFP/Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)

Vitaly Churkin, Samantha Power (–AFP/Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)

Russia’s veto power is an important tool able to prevent Washington from getting legitimacy for its imperial wars. “The Security Council will lose its relevance” without it, Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained. It would “simply…rubber-stamp decisions…made in Washington, Paris, London, (and) Brussels…(It would prevent SC members from) do(ing) the important work of bringing about consensus decisions.”

Putin is expected to meet with Obama when both leaders address the General Assembly later this month. Churkin expects no major breakthroughs. If agreement is reached on anything, it’ll be an achievement, he explained. He dismissed the hype about alleged Russian military buildup in Syria as baseless Western propaganda. Russia fully observes international law. “There’s no secret about” its legitimate activities.

Putin’s initiative for world unity to confront Islamic State terrorists is the most effective way to defeat it, Churkin explained – impossible as long as Washington wants war.

US administrations under Republicans and Democrats are the greatest threat to world peace. It’ll take more than Security Council actions to reign in their madness.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Quemado Institute Editorial

Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan: A Sales Pitch for Elitist Rubbish - Commentaries by Marwin Bishara and Karl Pomeroy - January 29, 2020

Quemado Institute Editorial

Deep State Treason, Trump's Foreign Policy and the Warless World - Impeachment Inquiry: A Question of Who Should Be Running the Show - By Sharyl Attkisson of The Hill - Conclusion by Karl Pomeroy - December 8, 2019


Transcript: Assad's Historic Interview on US, Russian, Turkish and Israeli Roles in Syria - Oct 31, 2019 - "As for Trump, he is the best American President, not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president." -- Bashar al-Assad

Quemado Institute Reports

BOLIVIA COUP: U.S. Regime Change Operations Explained - By 21stCenturyWireTV - November 11, 2019

Quemado Institute Reports

Rightful President Evo Morales Forced to Flee Bolivia - Truth about the Bolivian Election - By Anthos Helpa - November 13, 2019

Censorship Page

Assange Lawyers’ Links to US Government and Bill Browder Raises Questions - The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases - By Lucy Komisar - Off-Guardian - November 8, 2019

Quemado Institute Editorial

Trump Works for Peace Despite US-UK Globalist Tyranny - Commentaries by Matthew Ehret and Tim Kirby - Strategic Culture Foundation - May 28, 2019

New Directions

VIDEO:.Greta Thunberg in Stockholm November 2018: The Disarming Case to Act Right Now on Climate Change -

Syria Page

VIDEO: Assad from Idlib frontline: Erdogan is a thief and a slave to the US (Subtitles) - Syriana Analysis - October 22, 2019

Censorship Page

VIDEO - UNREAL: Facebook Encouraged Users To MURDER Conservatives - By Laura Loomer - July 12, 2019

Quemado Institute Editorial

Venezuela in Crisis: Is Maduro the People's Choice? - By Karl Pomeroy - May 10, 2019

Quemado Institute Editorial

UK Deep State, Canadian FM Chrystia Freeland, and New World Order Decay - The Strange Case of Chrystia Freeland and the Failure of the ‘Super Elite’ - by Matthew Ehret - Strategic Culture Foundation - May 16, 2019

Quemado Institute Editorial

Julian Assange Arrest: Why the Global Elite Implements Censorship - Defending Julian Assange; Defending the Truth - By Robert J. Burrowes - Information Clearing House - April 20, 2019

Quemado Institute Editorial

Assange Prosecution: Specter of Doom or Beacon of Hope? Opinions of Caitlin Johnstone and Robert Bridge - The End of Truth . . . Or Is It? - April 24, 2019

Quemado Institute Reports

The Hub of World Evil: The British Deep State - By Harun Yahya - - May 16, 2019

Opinion Page

Liberalism's Hypocrisy: A Case Study of American Senator Bernie Sanders - By Alexander Azadgan - - May 16, 2019

Quemado Institute World

Is 5G Technology a Mass Public Health Experiment? - The IFit Zone - April 28, 2019

Quemado Institute Reports

Do you really want to know who runs the world? - The global elite march in four essential columns - State of the Nation - April 26, 2019

Quemado Institute Opinion

Perennial Persecution of Russia: Gun Activist Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months for No Crime Because She’s Russian - State of the Nation - April 28, 2019

News From Novorossiya

Volodimir Zelensky, Ukraine President-elect - Contrasting views from Fort Russ and Essence of Time - April 28, 2019

Quemado institute World

(Click image then scroll) Wireless Industry Confesses: “No Studies Show 5G is Safe” - State of the Nation - April 28, 2019

Quemado Institute Opinion

Jared Kushner, Not Maria Butina, Is America’s Real Foreign Agent - News Front - April 26, 2019

Quemado Institute World

-- (Click then scroll to title) -- 5G APOCALYPSE - THE EXTINCTION EVENT - Full-length Video by Sacha Stone - The most urgent issue facing man today is the imminent onslaught of 5G technology. - March 23, 2019

Quemado Institute Reports

(Click then scroll to title.) Notre Dame Fire an Elitist Plot? - The Back Story You Won’t Even Read in the Alt Media - By Robert Steele - State of the Nation - April 16, 2019

Quemado Institute World

5G Technology Not for Arizona - Open Letter to the Arizona State Government - (Image: Stealth 5G cell tower, Tucson Arizona) - April 14, 2019

News from Novorossiya

Tuesday November 27, 2018 - Breaking News from DONETSK and LUGANSK Today

Quemado Institute Culture

Puccini's Most Beautiful Aria - Adriana Martino sings "Quando men vo", Scala, 1965 - From the 1965 movie production of the opera La Boheme, directed by renowned Italian film-maker Franco Zefirelli, under the musical direction of Herbert Von Karajan.

Quemado Institute Modern Physics

Diffusion Gravity and the Quantum Vacuum: Can Virtual Particles Act as Mediators? - Diffusion Gravity: An Heuristic Approach - by DH Fulton - March 30, 2019

Quemado Journal of Gravitational Physics Official Website Link

Investigations in nonstandard theories of gravity and cosmology.

Quemado Institute Editorial

Yellow Vest Protests: France Rejects New World Order Globalists - People Demand Nationalism, Exit from EU, and the Ousting of Ex-Rothschild Banker Emanual Macron - By Karl Pomeroy - December 14, 2018

News from Novorossiya

EVIDENCE: Kerch Incident Was Planned Provocation – Pretext for US Aid, Martial Law, War in Donbass - 21st Century Wire - November 26, 2018

Quemado Institute – World

(Click then scroll to title.) The Catastrophic Consequences Of Climate Engineering - By Dane Wigington - - January 17, 2019

New Directions

Tune in with Life - Burton Backcountry Snowboarding - VIDEO - This magnificent snowboarding episode takes you to the deep mountains of British Columbia, Switzerland and beyond - January 27, 2019

Quemado Institute Opinion

Must View VIDEOS of California Firestorm Analysis: California Fires and the Fallout of the Purposeful Destruction of a State - State of the Nation - November 27, 2018

News from Novorossiya

Editorial on Donbass Elections, Donetsk Leadership and Quemado Institute Future Coverage / By Karl Pomeroy, Quemado Institute Chief Editor / Quemado Institute / November 4, 2018

Quemado Institute World

We Told You That Once The Establishment Silenced Assange, The Rest Of The Media Would Be Next: We Were Right - By Elizabeth Vos - Disobedient Media - August 17, 2018

New Directions

Peace Park 2014 – Awesome(!) - Snowboarding VIDEO - January 27, 2019 - Individualism+Creativity=Joy

Quemado Institute Report

Quagmire Gets Deeper as Globalists Push for War – Finian Cunningham, James George Jatras, Brian Cloughley - Strategic Culture Foundation - August 13, 2018

Quemado Institute Opinion

Freedom of speech in the United States was finally strangled. Who is next? -By Andrey Afanasyev - - August 17, 2018

Quemado Institute World

Julian Assange in Immense Danger - James Cogan - May 14, 2018 - Ecuador Hints It May Hand Over Assange

News from Novorossiya

"There is every reason to believe Kiev regime behind Zakharchenko’s murder." -- Maria Zakharova on the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko - TASS - August 31, 2018

Day of Sorrow August 31 2018

Donetsk People’s Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, one of the greatest of world leaders, was assassinated today, August 31, 2018, no doubt by Ukrainian saboteurs. He gave his life willingly for the freedom of his country. Let us know he has not died in vain.

For those who mourn the death of DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko, there is some consolation to be found in the comment section at The Saker.


News from Novorossiya

Ukrainian forces shell DPR with two dozen rounds over past 24 hours – JCCC / Thursday, March 8, 2018

Quemado Institute World

Does S400 Make F35 Obsolete? Full Analysis by Defense Updates - The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II which is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters is undergoing final testing by the United States.

Quemado Institute Report

Syria Strike Fails: US, Britain, France Bomb Damascus Friday April 13 2018 - By Kennedy Applebaum - Based on as-it-happened on-site reports by Twitter source AJSB

Quemado Institute Modern Physics

Quantum Theory of Gravitation - by Vasily Yanchilin - Posted April 12, 2018 - A fascinating new approach to gravity and cosmology, this film is about The Quantum Theory of Gravitation discovered by Russian scientist Vasily Yanchilin.

Quemado Institute Culture Page

Reinhold Messner - World's Greatest Mountaineer - VIDEO Interview set in the Italian Alps

News from Novorossiya

Donbass News - Full Report - December 24, 2017 - SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION

Quemado Institute Syria Page

US supports Kurds in Syria: Turks react - By Mehmet Ersoy - January 27, 2018 - The Operation Olive Branch in northern Syria started five days ago. Five days ago the Afrin region became a possible hotbed of a full-scale . . . CLICK TO READ MORE>>

News from Novorossiya

Kiev launches over 1,200 shells on DPR territory in 24 hours - JCCC - DONi News - November 26, 2017 - The Ukrainian army launched more than 1,200 shells on the front-line localities of the Donetsk People’s Republic over the past 24 hours . . . Click image for more>>

Quemado Institute Editorial

New Lugansk Leadership Offers Hope For Donbass Unity - Eduard Popov - Introduction - LPR Presidential Transition: The Dark Side and the Light Side - By Kennedy Applebaum - Lugansk after the Coup: Towards a Unified Donbass People's Republic? - By Eduard Popov - Fort Russ - November 26, 2017

Quemado institute Syria Page

Russian special forces repel US-planned attack in Syria, denounce USA and issue a stark warning By The Saker - September 21, 2017

Quemado Institute Opinion

(Click then scroll to title.) VIDEO - CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All To Expose the Shadow Government - September 7, 2017

Quemado Institute Editorial

Cataclysm of Planetary Decline: Are Insects Facing Extinction? Apocalyptic Forewarning - By Karl Pomeroy - Quemado Institute - August 30, 2017

Quemado Institute Editorial

Afghanistan Escalation: Full Analysis by Quemado Institute - Donald Trump and the War of the Imperial West - By Karl Pomeroy - August 26, 2017

Quemado Institute Editorial

Google Censorship Under Scrutiny – By Claire Connelly - With introduction by Quemado Institute - Revised September 4, 2017

Novorossiya Daily Sun -Official Website Link-

Official Link To Quemado Institute's Dedicated Donbass News Site

Follow Quemado Institute on



Recent Posts

Censorship Looms Over European Union

Quemado Institute editor Karl Pomeroy received a legal threat today in response to a comment he posted on the Russia Insider website about the rise of the R********d banking family. The comment did not mention race, but was of historical content. The threatener accused Karl of “spreading Nazi propaganda,” then repeated the full text of the German Criminal Code Section 130, which outlaws inciting “hatred against a national, racial, religious group or a group defined by their ethnic origins,” which Karl’s comment did not do. A similar law, it was claimed, is now in force in 11 other European countries and carries a penalty of up to five years. The wording of the law is so vague, it could be applied to any criticism of those in power. If a political analyst can accidentally “violate” this totalitarian decree, there is no freedom of speech or press in Europe.

%d bloggers like this: