Erdogan blasts Security Council structure

By David Bosco

Speaking in Uganda, Turkish president Recep Erdogan made pointed comments about the structure of the UN Security Council:

Criticising the veto power of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Erdogan said, “The world cannot be given up to five permanent members’ initiative.”

The speech kicked off his four-day official tour of East Africa, in which he will also visit Kenya.

In his speech he said there are no Muslim or African countries among the five permanent members of the UNSC.

“What kind of justice is this? What kind of law is this?” he asked.

Turkey has developed a somewhat idiosyncratic position on Council reform in recent years. Erdogan has harshly criticized the Council’s performance in Syria and has critiqued Russia’s use of the veto in particular. Rather than seeking to join the bloc of countries seen as likely new permanent members (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan), Turkey has insisted that new permanent seats would make the Council less democratic and less effective. Erdogan himself reportedly argued that permanent seats should be abolished and that the Council should feature twenty rotating seats.

About David Bosco

Assistant Professor at American University's School of International Service. Contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Author of Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics and Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World
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