In every conversation I have with the citizens, politicians and journalists of Germany, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands, the countries where I very often spend time, an issue with regard to the world's present situation is always mentioned. All Europeans active in politics, except for Britain and France, are disturbed by the exercise of the veto power at the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) that is abused in line with the interests of the permanent members. They think that the five countries on the UNSC are responsible for the U.N. turning into a paper tiger in terms of world peace. And they are not wrong, since the U.S., Russia and China especially have abused their veto power according to their interests and implicitly condoned numerous dictators, despotic regimes, civil wars and atrocities throughout recent history.
Syria is the latest example to that. If Russia had not used its veto, refugees could now be living in their own country, waiting for the end of the civil war in northern Syria under the protection of the U.N. They would not be confronting the problems of taking refuge while the countries where refugees fled to would not have to deal with the problems they are tackling today.
The latest instance has once again proved that the world has to be bigger than five. The draft resolution that was presented to the UNSC by Egypt as a result of Turkey's endeavors, which called on U.S. President Donald Trump to rescind his decision of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, was vetoed by the U.S. as expected. Support for the draft from the other 14 members did not change the result. The votes of permanent members Russia, China, Britain and France, and the non-permanent members Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay did not suffice to revoke the decision that would stir up chaos in the Middle East and around the world, which would only favor the U.S. and Israel. The veto power was abused once again in this latest incident.
A group of countries, including Turkey, have been exerting the utmost effort to carry the issue to the UNSC's agenda, urging the passage of the resolution with a two-thirds majority in this platform. Hopefully, they will succeed in getting this introduced.
How long will the world condone such blatant injustice?
For years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been saying at various platforms, including the U.N., that the world is bigger than five and reform of the U.N. is urgently needed. The recent developments with regard to Jerusalem prove Erdoğan is right about this.
Citizens of many EU countries, particularly Germany, are of the same opinion as Erdoğan. This is also true for other regions of the world aside from Europe. But the EU is required to take an active stance for U.N. reform by convincing France in an environment in which Britain is no longer around, since the veto power of Trump's U.S. is likely to threaten the interests of the EU.
It is enough to take a look at the 68-page U.S. National Security Strategy that has been unveiled for the first time, 11 months after Trump's inauguration. The new strategy document is described as a clear and applicable way against the most dangerous and permanent threats and heralds the policy of valuing U.S. interests above all else – or in other words, "America first" – which signifies what might actually happen.
Although Trump addresses Russia and China as the main rivals while claiming that the U.S. is to become a great power again, the EU should not take comfort in Trump's statements since the bloc is also among the main rivals of Trump's U.S. Therefore, the EU cannot lean on the U.S. The EU has to deal with the U.S., Russia and China either on its own or along with new powerful allies such as Turkey.
Currently in Jerusalem, the U.S. is sabotaging the EU's Middle East policy. And this is just the beginning. For this reason, Erdoğan's mantra that the world is bigger than five must be upheld, especially by the EU. It is high time for the EU to be more active in this respect.
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