The debate over the equality of states in public international law has generated and promulgted a number of issues.It has consumed myriad number of intellectual assertions and depositions. These arguments have in no small measure aided and advanced the understanding of the whole subject matter differently .
The Naturalists school of thought as opposed to the positivists and even Grotius , affirmed the conviction that all states must be equal in international law irrespective of their size ,population ,economic or military power or degree of civilisation and other qualities. This reasoning is thou critical,but logical and I submit to affirm it .
I have found a number of contradictions in the assertions and views that sought to legitimise the disproportionate preference and privileges with which certain states are granted .The UN (193 Countries) only affirms her commitment of equality in the General Assembly, but in the Security Council , she falls below the expectation of the equality indices . The decision and the justification that created the five Permanent Members of the Security Council (U.k,U.S.A,U.S.S.R,CHINA ,FRANCE) is both preposterous and destitute in merit . As many authorities and individual academics would dispute ,the premise of this reasoning being to stabilise global peace and security motivated by military power and nuclear possession is but not logical to suffice emerging circumstances and realities in the world . With the recent trend of advancement in science and technology and industrialisation , there’s even a more possibility that some developed states would competitively overtake the Five Permanent Members of the Security Council in terms of military capacity and strength,and if so be the case , would that mean that the overtaken states be withdrawn from the council or the number increases ?
In fact , their justification contradicts the unending conflicts and upheavals that continue to stunt the geographies of Africa and Asia , but because these counties are not in Europe or America, so it would not compromise global peace and security and as well , threatens economic and trade activities. We must note however ,that even as we debate this issue , there’s upheaval in Cameroons and DR. Congo. There’s instability in South Sudan,Somalia and Sudan but the Five Permanent Members of the Security Council are mute over it. They have fallen short of their obligation in stabilizing peace in Africa therin . This monopoly of global power control and curtailing is but sufficiently misguided. It’s an affirmation and approval of arrogant complacency .
Inasmuch as the 5 Permanent Members are vested with this solem power ,then they must also be placed under the same degree of responsibility and obligation to make all reasonable efforts sufficent to address conflicts that emerge in different parts of the world . By this way ,then the privilege that they enjoy would be proportionate to the degree of responsibility that they bear.
The frame work of this idea decision is in itself incomplete and complacent. It must be reviewed so that it becomes sufficient in the maintenance of global peace and security . I am not however , incognisant and unaware of the complexities that may entangle any plan of achieving absolute global peace and security .
The whole spirit of International Law is smothered by international politics. There’s only one major reason that justifies the 5 Permanent Members of the Security Council anointed to those seats, and that reason is of economic and political interest .
The UN must engage the General Assembly, lawyers ,Academics and Experts to review this decision created by Article 27 of the Charter . The decision is logically destitute in merit and reasoning and that’s why it’s often vulnerable to scholastic and political dispute . The understanding that the UN must seek is to think of reconceptualizing how practically they would reconstitute that 5 seats with appropriate measures that would ensure that there’s equal representation either by geography , term limit or rotation or whatever the General Assembly may deem fit and appropriate . It requires much legal and scholastic debate for it’s only by that way ,we can stabilise global peace and security .
As Puffendof in International Law would argue:”the dwaf is much a human being as a giant ” and that by analogy,seeks to create proportionate equality.
BY: Ousman Jassey
Faculty Of Law
University Of The Gambia