Mon | Jun 14, 2021

The UN needs to change its mandate

Published:Tuesday | May 18, 2021 | 12:06 AM


During the past week, the world watched in horror the conflict taking place between Israel and Palestine. The building housing news agencies such as The Associated Press and the Al Jazeera networks was demolished in an air strike by the Israeli security forces.

In the United Nations Security Council meeting, representatives from Israel and Palestine presented their arguments, but ended with no concrete outcome. Some members even provided solutions ranging from implementing firmer policies to adopting a two-state solution as proposed by the Oslo Accords.

Moreover, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, noted that the United Nations is actively engaging all sides towards a ceasefire and reminded that the bombardment of media houses and civilian targets violates international law. But how effective are these ceasefires?

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been ongoing since 1948 and attempts by various groups, countries and even the United Nations for a resolution have been futile. I recall that historic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat at the White House lawn in 1993.

According to its website, the United Nations operates by a charter and it represents the basis or the foundation on how the United Nations should operate. Moreover, the website reveals that one of the main objectives of the United Nations is the maintenance of international peace and security and to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.

However, one of the roles of the United Nations which involves peacekeeping, which naturally evolved with the passage of time, was not explicitly provided for in the charter, which is quite disturbing. Therefore, the United Nations Security Council should urgently change its mandate to include those specific revisions and to include others that may be effective.

The United Nations could also expand its charter and, in effect, update it to grant the United Nations more power to effectively make its own decisions and disarm groups of member states that have not been adhering to these rules. In other words, it should be able to operate independently and free from outside interferences. Finally, it should continually invoke Chapter V11, Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression, of the charter to make it a permanent feature.