Africa and the United Nations Millennium Reforms: A Critical Appraisal

ABSTRACT

Since its (United Nations) establishment in 1945, the United Nations has been in a constant state of transition as various international stakeholders seek ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. system. Controversies, such as the unhealthy use of veto by the Permanent 5 (P5), lopsided composition of the Security Council, and instances of waste, fraud and abuse by U.N. staff, have focused renewed attention on the need for change and improvement of the United Nations. Many in the international community, including the African continent, have increased pressure on U.N. member states to implement substantive reforms. This study has been designed to critically appraise Africa and the UN millennium reforms. The objectives of the study are: First, to ascertain the role of the Permanent members of the UN and how it impinges on African chances at benefiting from the current UN reforms. Two, to examine if there is any relationship between the lack of consensus on what should be the goal of reform and the divergent views by members. Three, to ascertain weather the UN reform have consequences for the UN Charter and the Security Council. To achieve the above objectives of the study, we raised the following research questions: One, does the role of the Permanent members of the UN impinge on African chances at benefiting from the current UN reforms? Two, is there any relationship between the lack of consensus on what should be the goal of reform and the divergent views by members? Three, does the UN reforms have consequences for the UN Charter and the Security Council? To investigate the above research questions, the study anchored analysis on the Realist Theory. The framework helps us to understand why we still live with the prejudices and biases of the pre-UN era, many years after the establishment of the UN. It will also help us to explain why the Security Council remains the way it is with its anachronistic tendencies that are unreflective of today’s realities. The study is basically library research hence we relied on documentary method of data collection. We collected data from secondary sources. Such secondary sources are text books; journals; AU, NIIA and UN publications; seminar, conference and workshop papers; magazines, newspapers and internet materials. Descriptive and explanatory methods of analysis were adopted because the study is qualitative method. The study also applied statistical tools where necessary. After a critical analysis of available literature and data, the study revealed as follows: First, the position and activities of the Permanent members on the UN reform impinges on African chances at benefiting from the reform. Second, there is a relationship between the lack of consensus on what should be the goal of reform and the divergent views held by members and finally, the UN reforms have consequences for the UN Charter and the Security Council. Based on the foregoing, the study recommends that a holistic reform of the UN system with special focus on the Security Council must be brought to a conclusive end; and Africa must have at least one slot in the  permanent seat of the Security Council. The members of the UN must of necessity find a middle ground on what should be the goal of the reform and re-create itself to assure that all states without any exception must adhere to the fundamental norms and values enshrined in its Charter. Further, to play an assertive and strategic role in the UN system, African states and leaders must take economic and political integration and demands on the UN beyond lip-service. Fundamentally, there must be a high level political action and commitment and finally, the UN P5 and other member states should be ready to accept whatever challenges that come with the reforms in good faith. Member states are not unaware that reforms are not tea parties. It is like a tumour on the body of a child. If you want to excise the tumour to bring out the pores so that the child will feel better, the child will resist the scalpel, but the child needs the pain. The UN needs whatever challenges that will come with the reforms so that it will emerge stronger and guarantee international peace and security.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page- – – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – — – – — – — – – – — – – – — – – i
Approval Page ——— – — – – – – – – — – – – – — – – – – – — – – – — – – – – –ii
Dedication – – – — – – – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – – — – – – — – – — – – – – — -iii
Acknowledgement – – – – – – — – – — – – – — – — – – — – — – – – — – – – — — iv
Table of Contents- — – – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – — – – — – – — – – – – — – – v
Abstract —— – – – — – – – — – — – – — – — – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – – vii
List of tables and Diagrams – – – – – — – – – — – – — — – – – — – – – – — – – – -ix
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study – — – – – – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – — – – – – — – – – — – – – – — – – – — – – 4
1.3 Objectives of the Study – — – – – – – – – — – – – – — – – – — – – – – — -5
1.4 Significance of Study – – – — – – – – — – — – – – — – – – — – – — – – – -6
1.5 Scope of the Study – — – – – – – – — – – — – – – – – – — – – – — – – – – –8
1.6 Literature Review – — – – – – — – — – — – – – — – – — – – – — – – – — – 8
1.7 Theoretical Framework – — – – – – – – — – – – – – — – – — – – — – – -36
1.8 Hypotheses – – – — – – – – – – – – — – – – – — – – – — – – – – — – – – – -37
1.9 Method of Data Collection and Analysis – — – – – – – – – — – – – – 38
CHAPTER TWO: BACKGROUND TO THE UN MILLENNIUM REFORMS
2.1 The Origin and Demise of the League of Nations — – – – – – – – -41
2.2 From League of Nations to United Nations – – – – — – – – – – – – – -65
2.3 Agitations for Reforms – — – – – – — – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – — – 74
2.4 Reform trends in the United Nations – – — – – – – – — – — – — – – – 81
2.5 Reform Efforts (1980s and Early 1990s) – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – 81
2.6 Reform Efforts (1997 to 2005) — – – – – – — – – — – – — – – – – – – – 82
2.7 Recently Adopted Reforms – – — – – — — – – — – — – – — – — – – – -83
2.8 Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the UN Reforms – – – – – – – -85

CHAPTER THREE: THIRD WORLD AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL POSITIONS ON THE UN
REFORMS
3.1 Reform Perspectives and Priorities – – – — – – – – — – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – -88
3.1.1 The Group of 77 and China’s Position on the UN Reforms – — – – – – – – — – – – 91
3.1.2 European Union’s Position on the UN Reforms — – – – – – — – – – – — – – – – – – -93
3.1.3 America and other Developed Countries View on the UN Reforms – – – – — – 102
3.1.4 The View of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the UN Reform – – 109
3.2 Africa’s Position on the UN Security Council Reforms — – – – – — – – – – – – — 112
CHAPTER FOUR: POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF REFORMS ON THE UN SYSTEM
4.1 Amending the United Nations Charter – — – – – — – — — – — – – — – – – – – – – – -119
4.2 The Impact of Reforms on the UN Security Council – — – – – – – — – – – – – – – 123
4.3 National Self Interest and Competing Priorities – – – – — – — – — — – – – – — – – -135
4.4 Organizational/Bureaucracy Structure and Limited Resources – – — – – – – – – – -137
4.5 External Influence and Current Attitude of the Permanent Members – — – – – – 139
4.6 North-South/Developed and Developing Countries Problems – – — – – – – – – – -142
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary – – — – – – – – – — – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – — – — – – — – – – – — – – – – -147
5.2 Conclusion — — – — – – — – – – – – – —— – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – -160
5.3 Recommendations – – – — – — – — — – — — — — – — – – – — – — – – — – – – – — 170
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDICES