Questions about reforming the UN

By Press Office
August 28, 2013

Arguments about policy on Syria have highlighted, among other things, the question of UN structure, functioning and voting power.

Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian was recently interviewed about this by Ana Maria Lucas in the influential Lebanese Now magazine.

She writes:

The continuous deadlock due to the lack of cohesion in the UN Security Council points to an older problem: reforming the United Nations so that its actions could be more effective. According to Harry Hagopian, a UK-based international lawyer and political advisor, the idea of reforming the UN’s institutions has been advanced for a long time, but progress on that aspect is very slow because of the debate between those who support expanding the role of the UN and those who want to reduce it.

“The UNSC reform – as the most influential political body – has been a hot topic since 1945 when the UN was established post-World War II and the victors decided on the [five permanent and ten] non-permanent members,” Hagopian said. “So we are not re-inventing the wheel, but we lack the political will.”

Hagopian believes that the UN needs to be more transparent, representative, and efficient. “Questions obviously need to be asked about the legitimacy and nature of the veto power by the P5 in the UN Security Council,” he said. “On the broader question of the UN General Assembly, does it not surprise you that 128 countries that have a world population of less than 8 per cent can actually garner a two-thirds majority in this assembly? In other words, the discourse is between representation on the one hand and impact on the other, and [this] takes us back to those arguments on those factors that define membership and votes,” Hagopian explained.

* The full article can be found here:

Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris. He is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor (

Formerly an Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches, he is now an international fellow, Sorbonne III University, Paris, consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK), Ecumenical consultant to the Primate of Armenian Church in UK & Ireland, and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is Follow him on Twitter here: @harryhagopian

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