Research Paper on International Trade: Veto Powers

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1401 Words
Date:  2021-06-24


International law has played a major role in ensuring that there are cooperation and order among countries. It has been a vital force for stability and peace since the Second World War. Therefore it is important to note that we have to differentiate between what law can do and what it cannot do, in this perspective, international law has been a key reason for relative peace in the world so far. To improve its efficiency in ensuring that their perpetual global peace, individual states should ensure that they support the international bodies that have been a task to preserve the international law and order. However, the question running in our minds today is whether the principle of veto available to permanent members of the security- council justified? In my honest opinion, I believe the power of veto is not justified at all.

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Why the Veto Power Is Unfair

The veto power of the UN-security council is unfair; this is because it tends to harm other nations compared to the permanent members. And how does this happen? Well, it is just logic, opinions of the permanent members are likely to be given more attention compared to the opinions of the other countries. According to Cameron (2011), this principle only benefits selfish countries; this was evident during the 1994 Rwandan genocide where the Security Council failed to act due to the hidden vetoes of the US and the France. The French were interested in protecting their friends, the genocidal government while the US were interested in saving money. Approximately a million people lost their lives because permanent members considered an earlier UN intervention contrary to their interests. It is high time we get rid of this principle, and millions of people are dying because of it. In fact, according to a study, about twelve million people have died because of a veto. Therefore we need urgent reforms to be made to ensure that every nation on the globe has its vote. We are tired of seeing the United Security Council permanent members using their veto to the advantage of their allies. The veto power need to be dissolved as soon as possible and power to authorize military expeditions should bestowed to the United Nations General Assembly rather than the Security Council. Permanent members of the Security Council should always be held accountable for their decisions, and most importantly their responsiveness to the international community need to be built up. It is only with the implementation of such approaches that we can be hopeful for a prosperous future for the United Security Council and their members; otherwise, this agency will forever remain an agency of bias and injustice (Cameron, 2011).

Veto power is simply a biased and discriminatory privilege given to five nations to dictate their will to some two hundred nations as they wish. Based on Lowell (2013), It is the most unjust and unfair law of the world which enables a powerful minority to determine the fate of the subjugated majority. This is clearly and insults to the perception and the insight of the international society. This principle has affected a lot of nations and has led to several adverse effects. A clear example is how the permanent members of the Security Council treated Iran. Iran is a good example of an independent country which wants to stride on its path towards self-progress and sufficiency. However, the permanent countries of the Security Council under the veto principle have thwarted its efforts. Since 2006, the United Security Council has imposed nearly four rounds of sanctions against Iran and the reason being Irans failure to halt its Uranium enrichment program. It is ironical if not completely unfair to impose sanctions against an independent country which is attempting to achieve a scientific breakthrough. No evidence have been found showing that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. World superpowers do not tolerate the rise of new scientific and political powers, so they use their veto powers to thwart their efforts. A lot of unfair and unjust resolutions have been passed against the oppressed countries of the globe, from the Africa to Latin America. This has not offered any good but adds to the problems and the pains of these impoverished countries. Another good illustration of the adverse effects of the veto power is the act general lawlessness in the Russian and the Eastern Ukraine nations. The UN, especially the Security Council, has failed to respond to the conflicts in the region. But why? Well, this is due to Russias threat of the veto. And because of this Russias illegal and bold annexation of the Crimea has not been dealt with entirely by the international society. From this, we realize that veto power is doing more harm than good. Therefore we need to make reformations as soon as possible to ensure that such incidences do not occur in the future (Lowell, 2013).

According to a new survey, many people especially the females of the age 15-29 believe that the principle of the veto available to the permanent members of the Security Council is not justified. Furthermore, they want African and South American countries to have a representative in the power of Veto. They believe that their involvement in the Security Council will improve the United Nations ability to resolve international conflicts. From this survey we realize that many people dont agree with the fact that veto power has been given to certain countries, they add that the idea is entirely for individual benefits for these countries and oppressing other nations. If you critically analyze this survey, you will realize that there is some sense of truth in the outcomes of this study. This is because, with absolute veto power in the hands of five permanent members, it means that there is a severe limitation to sovereign power at the international level. According to Moulin (2008) the permanent members chosen by power relationships do not accurately reflect the present world situation (Moulin, 2008).

Despite the negative effects of the Veto power, it is important to note that without veto there could be no Security Council. Based on Lowe (2014) findings, veto power is playing a major role in ensuring that there is peace and stability around the globe. A lot of years have passed by, and we have not seen any African and Latin America states among the permanent members. Neither have we seen a country like India which has an increasingly powerful economy and a vast population and most importantly manages about 16 peacekeeping missions. So is the veto power losing its significance? To avoid this from happening the international community should expand the Security Council and its permanent membership. Another recommendation includes reining in the use of the veto. So far we have experienced the west-east antagonism which has brought back paralysis when it comes to major crises. For instance, Russia has used its veto on nearly more than ten occasions to evade scrutiny over its actions in Ukraine and to protect its allies such as the Syrian Regime from UN pressure. If these fundamental reforms do not occur, the Security Council is doomed as an agency, and we will be in trouble. However, if these changes occur there is bound to be relative peace, justice, contentment and stability around the world. Nations especially the developing ones will get justice and at least fair treatment if one of them joins the permanent membership of the Security Council (Lowe, 2014).


In conclusion, it is important to note that without a veto, dictatorship could occur in most countries. However, significant reforms need to be made to ensure the number of permanent of members of the Security Council is extended so that it accommodates the interests of different countries.


Cameron, C. M. (2011). Models of Veto Bargaining. Veto Bargaining, 83-122. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511613302.005

Fragmentation Of International Law: The Origin Of Normative Conflicts. (2010). Sustainable Development as a Principle of International Law, 195-202. doi:10.1163/ej.9789004166974.i-428.58

International Law-making: The Sources of International Law. (2012). Public International Law. doi:10.4337/9780857939562.00008

Lowell, A. L. (2013). Conflicts of Principle. doi:10.4159/harvard.9780674424098

Lupu, Y. (2015). Legislative Veto Players and the Effects of International Human Rights Agreements. American Journal of Political Science, 59(3), 578-594. doi:10.1111/ajps.12178

Lowe, V. (2014). Veto, Right Of Veto. A Concise Encyclopedia of the United Nations, 845-849. doi:10.1163/ej.9789004180048.i-962.757

Moulin, H. (2008). The Proportional Veto Principle. The Review of Economic Studies, 48(3), 407. doi:10.2307/2297154

Oreilly, R. F. (2005). Veto Points, Veto Players, and International Trade Policy. Comparative Political Studies, 38(6), 652-675. doi:10.1177/0010414004274379

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