Inside Story

United Nations: Time for reform?

The crisis in Ukraine casts a spotlight on the work of the UN Security Council.

Last updated: 06 Mar 2014 18:55
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The United Nations Security Council is weighing what to do about the crisis in Ukraine, as diplomatic efforts intensify. 

The United States and Europe are considering hard-hitting sanctions to force President Vladimir Putin to withdraw Russian troops from the Ukrainian region of Crimea. 

The UN Security Council has a more challenging role as Russia has the power to veto any resolution.

Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Council, along with the US, UK, China and France. Critics say the ability to block motions to take action is why there has been virtually no progress in resolving the conflict in Syria.

The United Nations was created in 1945, in the wake of the Second World War, to 'pursue diplomacy, and maintain international peace and security', and to 'save succeeding generations from the scourge of war'. But calls are growing for its charter to be updated.

So, is the UN body united in name only - outdated and divided, a talking shop that is in need of reform?

Presenter: Mike Hanna

Guests: Remi Piet - Assistant Professor at the Department of International Affairs at Qatar University, and author of the book 'Shifting Priorities in Russia's Foreign and Security Policy'.

Carne Ross - Founder and director of the diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat, and a former British diplomat, working for the UN in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Ghassan Shabaneh - Associate Professor of Middle East and International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, and a specialist on the UN's role in state-building.


Al Jazeera
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