Sunday, June 09, 2013

John Foster Dulles may not have been that boring

Number of resolutions vetoed by each of the five permanent members of the Security Council between 1946 and 2007
I quote from Wikipedia's article on veto power in the UN Security Council:
The veto is exercised when any permanent member—the so-called "P5"—casts a "negative" vote on a "substantive" draft resolution. Abstention or absence from the vote by a permanent member does not prevent a draft resolution from being adopted.
The veto power was included in the UN charter, as it had been in the charter of the League of Nations, because the major powers would not join unless they could ban discussion of what they felt was their internal affairs. In the case of the United Nations, the United States was one of the nations demanding veto power, without which the president felt that the Senate would not allow the nation to join the UN.

In the Eisenhower administration, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles proposed that the veto power be abolished and that all votes be by simple majority. Apparently he did so because the USSR was vetoing lots of motions. As the graph above shows, Russia no longer feels the need to veto often, but the United States is now using the veto power most.

It is necessary to take the long view in foreign policy, at least in the creation of international institutions!

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