Reviving the Obligatory Abstention Rule in the UN Security Council: Reform from the Inside Out
The decision-making protocol for the United Nations (UN) Security Council follows the Charter of the United Nations, which states that decisions of the Council “shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.” This so-called veto power bestowed by the UN Charter on the Council’s five permanent states has acted as a significant impediment in the Council’s ability to address recent conflicts in Syria, Gaza, Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine. This article proposes a plausible method to change this process, which would require no amendment to the Charter and would be reasonably simple to implement through the initiative of a single Council member – the revival of the Charter’s obligatory abstention rule.
Keywords: United Nations Security Council; Charter of the United Nations; Syria; Gaza; Georgia; Crimea; Eastern Ukraine; International Law
Research Type: Journal Article