United Nation Charter


AMENDMENT AND REFORM OF THE U.N. CHARTER


Procedure for Amendment

Article 108 provides that amendments to the present Charter shall come into force for all Members of the United Nations when they have been adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly and ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional process by two-thirds of the Members of the U.N., including all the permanent members of the Security Council.

Thus no amendment can be made unless agreed by all the permanent members of the Council. In other words, a single permanent member of the Security Council can undo the efforts of all other Members to make an amendment of the Charter.
Article 109 envisages a general conference of the Members of the U.N. for the purpose of reviewing the Charter and most of the Controversy regarding the amendment centres round this provision. The main problem that confronts the organization in regard to changes in the charter is inherent in Article 109 itself. For the purposes solely of amendment of the Charter this whole article is redundant.

Further, the trust at the UN has been to strike to implement thus article. This movement is doomed to failure – short of a new global disaster so awesome that it forces the emergence of a general will among nations to rethink and redesign the type of world system within they should try to live at peace.

Article 109 provides that a General Conference of the Members of the UN for the purposes of reviewing the present charter may be held at a date and place to be fixed by a two-thirds vote of the Members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any nine Members of the S.C. Each members of the U.N. shall have one vote in conference.

Any alteration of the present Charter recommended by a two-third vote of the conference shall take effect when ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by two-third of the Members of the U.N. including all the permanent members of the S.C.

If such a conference has not been held before the tenth annual session of the General Assembly following the coming into force of the present Charter, the proposal to call such a conference shall be placed in the Agenda of that session of the General Assembly and the Conference shall be held if so desired by a majority vote of the members of the General Assembly and by vote of any seven Members of the Security Council.

Reform of the Charter

In view of failures of the U.N., particularly in the field of peace and Security, some critics have suggested the need of reform of the U.N. Charter. The Charter is like a constitution and should be amended from time to time to adopt it to the changing times and circumstances.

Such amendment would upgrade economic and financial matters, as well as social questions including the growing field of human rights. There is no guarantee that this would lead to great results but it should, in a measure, increase the chances of beneficial results.

Yet another proposal which merits consideration is to delete all reference to “enemy states” in the Charter. It has also been proposed “to strengthen the capacity of the U.N. to be an influence in making and keeping peace” and for this “the representative character of the S.C.” should be improved.

Beside the above suggestions, many other suggestions for amending the Charter have been made by author and jurist. These include to make a clearly definition of the term “domestic jurisdiction”, some restrictions on the exercise of veto by permanent members of the S.C., strengthening the legislative activities of the General Assembly, amendment of Article 99 or addition of Article 99 to empower the Secretary general bring to the attention of the Security Council matters relating to human rights, expanding and strengthening of the role of the I.C.J., etc.

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