Ankara, 13 Rabi’ul Akhir 1436/3 February 2015 (MINA) – The U.N. Security Council’s non-permanent members too should have authority in making decisions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
Addressing the Justice Academy of Turkey in Ankara, Erdogan said, “Currently, there are five permanent and ten non-permanent members. Do the latter have any authority whatsoever? None,” World Bulletin quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting. Tuesday.
He said that the council’s permanent members asked opinions of the non-permanent ones “just for the sake of it. But the non-permanent members have no effect on influencing the end result. This must change.”
The Security Council consists of 15 members, with Russia, the U.K., the U.S., France and China serving as the body’s five permanent members. The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms by the U.N. General Assembly.
Erdogan also repeated his statement that “the world is bigger than five,” in reference to the Council’s permanent members who can veto any resolution.
The “power of veto” enables any of the five countries to prevent the adoption of any substantive draft resolution, no matter how much international support it may garner.
“You cannot make 196 countries to live with the decisions made by any of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Nobody has the right to do this,” he said.
The Turkish president had earlier suggested that the permanent members should be changed periodically, taking into account different ethnicities and religions.
Erdogan also criticized the lack of Muslim voices in the council.
“When we look at it in terms of religion, we see that all religions except Islam are represented. Is this justice? No.”
Erdogan also raised African countries’ lack of representation. “Europe is there. Asia is there. The Americas are there. What about Africa? Isn’t it our right to question this in the name of justice and conscience?”
He also complained about the failure of the international community to help Turkey burden the financial cost of Syrian refugees on its territory.
“Right now there are around 1.7 million (Syrian) refugees in my country. Lebanon has the same number. And Jordan has around one million while Europe has only 130,000.
“The money we have so far spent on the refugees in Turkey is $5.5 billion. The money we have received from other countries? $250 million. Is this what you call justice?” Erdogan asked.
President Erdogan says the Syrian civil war has resulted in the death of 350,000 people and displaced almost half of the country’s population since it started in 2011.
Turkey has adopted an open-door policy for civilians fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq.
About 3.2 million Syrian refugees are being currently hosted by Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, according to the U.N. refugee agency. (T/P002/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)