Challenges and Opportunities of Achieving Consensus on a UN Reform Proposal

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Reforms and changes in the United Nations have always been fraught with obstacles that must be overcome amidst competing national interests of member states. There are challenges that must be addressed and opportunities that must be seized for member states to come into consensus on a proposal that would have repercussions and consequences to international and national policies and norms, which would affect domestic, regional and international relations. The UN Emergency Peace Service proposal, which aims to effectively and quickly respond to genocide and other humanitarian crimes, is no exception. Challenges abound, but not without opportunities to move forward. Challenges to bring about a UNEPS are generally hinged on the issues of…show more content…
The NAM has the biggest number of member states and there is power in number. These countries use their number to block proposals and because a two-third majority vote is needed in the General Assembly, the NAM is a huge challenge that has to be overcome. While not all members of the bloc categorically oppose the proposal because of their ties with other bloc members through bilateral and/or multilateral agreements, pressure from the bloc and regional organisations is significant enough for them to abide by group decision. The position of a country, particularly a small and weak state, in the bloc negotiations may altogether be supplanted by the position of regional or bloc powers. The Philippines, for example, as it stepped down as a non-permanent member of the Security Council became sceptical of the principle of the ‘responsibility to protect’ . Although the Philippines eventually supported it, it opposed non-consensual deployment of UNEPS citing the right to state sovereignty and non-interference to internal affairs in deference to strong members of the bloc and regional powers. It recognises its responsibility to protect its citizens from R2P crimes, but not to act beyond which the Charter authorizes. The Philippines’ representative to the United Nations, HE Hilario Davide, in his speech at the thematic debate at the General Assembly last July 2009 expressed the country’s support to the principle of R2P as

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