The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres admitted that the UN Security Council in its present form is does not seem to be able to resolve international problems, including the conflict in Syria.
“The Cold War is back with a vengeance, but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present,” Guterres told the U.N. Security Council when asked whether, in his opinion, the US, UK and France air strikes in Syria in response to reports of a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Duma were legitimate.
Guterres said that the United Nations “have rules for dealing with such situations, and they are understandable.” In the current confrontation, which he described as a new cold war, however, he saw crucial differences from the similar period in the 20th century.
The UN head stressed that governments should “act responsibly in these dangerous circumstances” and reminded that unlike in the twentieth century, the Syrian conflict involves an array of players, including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia as opposed to “two homogeneously controlled blocks” in the past.
At the moment, the UN, Guterres believes, is “very fragmented” and is incapable of resolving serious international conflicts like Syrian Gordian knot involving several different armies and militant forces from all over the world.
“In Syria, we see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and international militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organizations,” Guterres said. “It is obviously naive to believe that the UN can magically solve all these problems,” he said.
Guterres earlier admitted that there is “a structural problem” in the Security Council and that the top international security body is no longer representing the world as the veto has become a tool that is used far too often to stall the resolution of conflicts.
The Cold War is back — with a vengeance but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present. My remarks to the Security Council: https://t.co/ISRvKL1bgs
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 13, 2018
Antonio Guterres has earlier stated on many occasions that the UN needs an all-encompassing reform.