United Nations Security Council is the body of the UN charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. It is the only part of the UN with any teeth. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions regimes, and the authorization for military action.
That why it is so insane that Libya who has long been a supporter/practitioner of international terror is now a member of the Council. Even more crazy is who wants to be on the council when Libya’s term is up—IRAN!:
Libya & Iran are UN-acceptable
DAN GILLERMAN Though only three months have passed since Libya joined the Security Council of the United Nations for a two-year term, the verdict already is in. Libya’s membership on the Security Council shames the UN, and severely undermines the council’s ability to maintain international peace and security. Put most simply, Libya does not deserve its seat. It has already justified terrorism, accused Israel of genocide, and blocked the council’s condemnation of the recent murder of eight young Jerusalem students – this in spite of the Security Council’s well-established practice of condemning terrorism wherever and whenever it happens. The truth is no self-respecting members club in Manhattan would accept Libya as a member, and no co-op board would even consider renting it an apartment. Yet the United Nations grants it a seat on the one body responsible for maintaining peace and security in the world. When Libya announced its candidacy for a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council last year, many in the international community responded with skepticism and doubt. After all, little time had passed since the North African state made an apparent about-face on its long-standing support for terrorism, and development of missiles and weapons of mass destruction programs. Indeed, Libya was under United Nations sanctions until 2003 for its role in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, among other terrorist attacks and breaches of international law. But the leading nations of the world wanted to show Libya that moderation has its rewards. Libya’s behavior on the Security Council, however, suggests that such benevolence was quite premature. Article 23 of the United Nations Charter requires that Security Council members should be selected with “due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the organization.” Today, this would surely exclude those who condone terrorism and disrespect human dignity and human rights – sanctions or no sanctions. Some may argue that the damage is done, and the world may as well find a way to deal with Libya for the next two years. But such blind pragmatism misses the point. We need clear and enforceable standards – and we need them now – because coming soon is an even more serious potential threat to the Security Council: Iran. Iran will apparently seek a seat on the Security Council for the 2010-11 term. This is a nation under numerous sanctions, in violation of countless Security Council resolutions, with a proven record of supporting global terrorism – as seen in the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina and Interpol‘s recent call for the arrest of senior Iranian officials in connection with the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, campaign of Holocaust denial and violations of human rights are further cause for alarm. As a member of the Security Council, Iran would not only call into question the credibility of the world’s most important peace and security body, it would render it impotent. The nations of the world cannot afford more inaction and paralysis. Preventing Iran’s accession to the Security Council, though, can only be accomplished through the process of United Nations reform. To date, such reform has generally focused on enlarging the membership of the Security Council. Libya’s behavior shows that quality matters as much as, if not more than, quantity. The Security Council must only be comprised of capable and responsible states, and those with substantial and distinguished records of upholding the principles and objectives of the world body. Without robust guidelines, the Security Council may succumb to the fate of so many other UN organs – marred by political interests and moral indifference, hypocrisy and double standards. Ambassador Gillerman is Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.