The EU and Asia in the United Nations Security Council
22 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012
Date Written: December 2011
This contribution addresses the political and legal aspects of European and Asian membership and practice in the UNSC. First, it highlights the difficulties of the European Union (EU) becoming a fully-fledged actor in the UN. In particular, it examines how attempts to utilize the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as a gateway to enhancing the European international status have largely failed. Further, European divisions on UNSC reform show that most Member States still reason from a national perspective as far as this organ is concerned. Asia appears to be even more divided: its regional organisations have not been empowered to play a significant role within the UN and the continent faces heavy intra-regional divisions. Secondly, this contribution considers the voting behaviour of European and Asian countries in the UNSC. Here, it will be submitted that diverging interpretations of the concepts of sovereignty and peace and security explain these differences to a certain extent. However, in order to fully grasp the attitudes of the sole Asian P5 member - China - one must recognize that its primary driver is its perceived national interest and quest for domestic stability.
Keywords: Asia, European Union, United Nations, United Nations Security Council, ASEAN, China
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