Votes in UN Security Council don’t change anything. Time to accept it

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The thing about the UN Security Council is that it allows the so-called international community to pretend that it has responded to a crisis in some place around the world, by either adopting a strongly-worded resolution or approving a set of sanctions against the nation that is considered to be in breach of international conduct. Like it happened last week when the Security Council unanimously approved a new set of sanctions against North Korea, or DPRK, as it prefers to be known, for conducting its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. (Scoop duly reported about it in the piece “China asks NK to stop abusing ‘the international community’s goodwill’”)

A lot of patting each other on the back since that vote took place happened and supporters of US President Donald Trump have even said that it was his major foreign policy achievement that such unity was achieved in the UN. Russia and China were praised for joining others in approving the new sanctions that will cut North Koreas export by $1 billion.

Since the vote everyone is sort of feeling that they have done their bit for lowering international tension while putting more pressure on the regime in Pyongyang that would now have second thoughts about conducting more tests as part of its nuclear programme.

But guess what? It won’t work. Sanctions never do. Days after the vote in the UN Security Council on the new sanctions against Pyongyang reports coming from DPRK indicate that a new test is being planned and that one of the IBMs might have already been fitted with a nuclear device. So all that posturing and passionate breast beating in the UN Security Council turned out to be a waste of time. Again.

The problem with the UN, as we have already pointed out on Scoop, is that it doesn’t do conflict resolution, it pretends to do it. It is like a big stage on which diplomats from different countries make all sorts of statements that mean nothing, but allow respective governments to demonstrate that they are taking a principled stand against violators of international law and order and are prepared to punish them. But, as a result, it is always the ordinary people who suffer while their political leaders carry on regardless.

Pardon me for asking, but how the hell does the UN expect Kim Jong Un and his generals to suffer by cutting down North Korean exports by a third? Will any of them feel the pressure from the lack of money in the budget? Of course not! They will continue with their nuclear programme but it would be the people of DPRK who will start to feel the pain.


Let me tell you what the supposed motive behind these sanctions and other sanctions is. The idea is to make life difficult for ordinary people so that they would start questioning the wisdom of their rulers and, eventually, rebel and get rid of them. But in all of the history of sanctions this has not happened even once. If anything, it only stiffened the resolve of the people as they objected to the interference of the outside world in their internal affairs. Not to mention that dictatorships increased their suppression of dissent and even more people ended up in prison – or worse.

So the deal is not to pass resolutions, adopt sanctions and think you have solved the problem. The deal is to actually find a way to resolve the situation, without raising the stakes even higher and bringing a military confrontation even closer. Not to mention punishing the wrong people altogether.

As long as DPRK feels it is standing alone against the mighty US military that has parked itself on the South Korean soil and around it, it will continue to develop nukes and make all sorts of aggressive noises. And the best way to sort out the crisis is to provide North Korea with the same defence umbrella as South Korea has, say, by posting Chinese troops on its soil that would guarantee that America would never attack. And then you can hold talks with Pyongyang of winding down its nuclear programme and even disarming it. Not before.

Pretty simple really if you think about it.

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