5 problems facing UN as it nears 70th anniversary
By EDITH M. LEDERER
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world has changed dramatically since the United Nations was established after World War II but the organization has not adapted to reflect the 21st century.
While the U.N. has had its share of successes, its aging structure has struggled with new threats like Ebola and terrorist groups that control large areas of its member countries. U.N. members have been discussing change for decades, but agreement has proven impossible because of competing interests.
As it approaches its 70th anniversary next year, here are five problems facing the United Nations:
OUTDATED POWER STRUCTURE
The same five countries – the victors of WWII – have been the power players since 1945: the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France. They are the only permanent members of the powerful, 15-seat Security Council. Each has veto power, which has led to near-paralysis at the council on some major crises like Syria and Ukraine.
Critics say the council simply doesn’t represent the world today. At its inception, the U.N. had 51 member states. It now has 193, many of them clamoring for more clout. All countries are represented in the General Assembly, but that body can only pass non-binding resolutions.
Often mentioned as countries deserving of permanent Security Council seats are Germany, Japan, India, South Africa, Nigeria, and Brazil. But there are no signs the big five intend to give up any power or share it with more countries.