Global Policy Forum

Erdoğan Says All Countries Should Be Permanent Members of UNSC

Most initiatives to reform the UN Security Council have focused on increasing the number of permanent members in order to better represent today’s geopolitical balance of power. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now proposes to go beyond the division between “permanent” and “non-permanent” members by arguing that “if there should be permanent members, then all members of the UN should be permanent members, because the UN Charter says, big or small, all member countries are equal.” For this reason, he considers that “permanent” membership should rotate among countries on an annual basis.

November 9, 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took his long-standing call for reform of the United Nations a step further on Friday, saying all nations should become permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC).Erdoğan, frustrated with the deadlock at the 15-nation UNSC over Syria, has repeatedly called for a reform of the world body. On Thursday, he said the fate of the world “cannot be left to what comes out of the mouth of the five permanent members,” complaining that the stalemate of the UN encourages President Bashar al-Assad's regime to continue using violence to suppress rebellion against his rule.Responding to questions on his call for reform on Friday at a panel session in Bali, Indonesia, Erdoğan said he was opposed to world countries being divided into “permanent” and “non-permanent” members. “I believe this categorization is wrong. If there should be permanent members, then all members of the UN should be permanent members, because the UN Charter says, big or small, all member countries are equal,” he stated.According to Erdoğan, permanent membership could rotate among countries on an annual basis.The UNSC comprises 15 members, five of which are permanent members with the right to veto any resolution put forward by the UN powerhouse. The remaining 10 are non-permanent members, each holding two-year rotating terms. Two permanent members of the UNSC, Russia and China, have blocked attempts by the US, France and Britain to harshly condemn the Assad regime for violence in Syria three times, fearing it could lead to a Libya-style military intervention there.Turkey, which has been lobbying for months for greater international involvement in the 19-month Syrian crisis, has repeatedly criticized the UN's inaction, although it avoids pointing the finger at either Russia or China over the stalemate.Erdoğan commented that the current permanent members of the UNSC represent only three continents: America, Europe and Asia. “Are the other continents represented? No. Are all faith groups represented? No. Then you cannot expect justice from here, because most of the time decisions are based on ideological stances,” he said.The prime minister singled out the case of Israel, saying no sanctions could be imposed on this country for violating past UN decisions simply because there is no mechanism to enforce UN decisions. Likewise, 133 world countries are ready to recognize Palestinian statehood, but it is not endorsed by the UN because Israel does not want it, Erdoğan noted, apparently referring to the US's veto of such attempts.“133 countries agree to this but one permanent member says no. Why do we have to put it off because one country says no?” asked Erdoğan.

Support for Germany in IMF row

Erdoğan also backed Germany in its disagreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the crisis in the eurozone. The IMF has been pressing Germany to do more to help recovery in the eurozone. “The German people ask, ‘Why should I channel my money into [saving] countries that have failed to fulfill [the EU's] Maastricht criteria? Countries should be able to stand on their own two feet',” Erdoğan said. “When you look at it from the viewpoint of fairness, the German people's stance is just and right.”He said even though IMF funds are provided to crisis-hit countries as a recipe for recovery, working with the IMF in fact causes serious difficulties for such countries. Erdoğan called for urgent reform of the IMF, as well as in other international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.