When the idea of a potential world organization first emerged in 1943, arbitration was soon to be made between maintaining effective power within the scope of a few powers, and the necessity to gain the support from small and medium States. The only possible answer to this dilemma was to initiate a process of legitimization, by which the most important nations, with their permanent seats and rights of veto, would acquire legitimacy coming from less influential States. Still, these countries opposed firmly, during Dumberton Oaks Conference, the idea of having some happy few retaining enormous powers. Indeed, never have an international organization had so much power as the Security Council of the United Nations: it we briefly take a glance at the legal documents, we will observe that the Charter grants the Council wide latitude to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression (Art. 39) and the authority to require all kinds of supporting action from the member states when such an international threat, breach, or act has been found (Arts. 40, 41, 42, 36).
[...] Quite paradoxically, some analysts argue that, since the United States avoided submitting their intervention to the Security Council by fear a being vetoed, the legitimacy of the United Nations was saved even though its ineffectiveness was cruelly displayed. It seems to me that such an understanding of what occurred is false, because simplistic: legitimacy at the international level has, necessarily, to be monopolistic. It cannot be challenged by any other legitimacy, otherwise it is the whole UN system of unique international authority and guarantor of world peace that falls apart. [...]
[...] Has the Security Council the Legitimacy to Change Regimes: the Iraqi Case Iraq's coalition of the willing was formed precisely on a democratic basis, from which legitimacy was supposedly inferred: because all (or almost) States that went to war against Iraq were well-established democracies firmly backed by their populations, they felt that the coalition had the legitimate authority to act on its own, without requiring the consent of the United Nations . This situation has increased the gap between rightful membership, based on human rights and democratic goals, and rightful conduct, which de facto does not take place on a democratic basis for obvious effectiveness reasons, in order to promote a consensus that is viewed as the only possible source of legitimacy at an international level. [...]
[...] We could here defend and complete Beetham's work by putting his research in accordance with power legitimacy issues inside the UN: Criteria of Legitimacy Form of Non-Legitimate Inside the UN Power Conformity to rules Illegitimacy (breach of Sanctioned by the (legal appreciation) rules) Security Council (Gulf War but member states are interpreting the Charter at their convenience when there is a consensus between Justifiability of rules Legitimacy deficit Third World and then in terms of shared (discrepancy between Southern criticism of beliefs rules and supporting the UN structure: beliefs, absence of denunciation of veto shared beliefs) right and right to interfere (resolution Legitimation through Delegitimation Absence of enforcement expressed consent (withdrawal of consent) measures (sanctions against Iran ) and possibility to overcome UN opposition (war in Iraq) the Authority of the Security Council's Decisions Surrounded by the Vicious/Virtuous Circle of Legitimacy and Efficiency 1. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, precisely in order to retrieve efficiency criteria and not exclusively legitimacy criteria in the action of the Security Council, the report includes some sort of a reference to an absolute moral reference, with what might be considered as the assertion of principles for a new Just War doctrine: In considering whether to authorize or endorse the use of military force, the Security Council should always address - whatever other considerations it may take into account - at least the following five basic criteria of legitimacy: Seriousness of threat. [...]
[...] Common interest can only be achieved inside the Security Council when the particular interests of the most powerful States are met: this provides efficiency to the whole international system, and it is this ability to produce efficient and problem-solving outputs that legitimate the power of these countries inside the UN. Yet there is no paternalism here, because subordinate States are perfectly able to identify themselves their national interests: and precisely, their interests are submitted to powerful States' interests, but only for a while and in a specific field. [...]
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