Members of ICERD, Wikimedia Commons.

The New Straits Times-Nov 5

Treaties are tricky, especially multilateral ones. Take the case of the United Nations Charter, a multilateral treaty by another name. Many developing countries which signed up thought they were in for a treat but ended being tricked. Of the some 200 countries in the world, 193 are members of the UN General Assembly, UNGA as it has come to be called. UNGA is at most a paper tiger; its resolutions do not have the force of law.  Another less represented body in the UN — the Security Council — which houses the rich and powerful five of the world — has made sure that only the UNSC’s resolutions have the force of law. Five nations — US, Britain, France, Russia and China — decide what is good or not good for the world. Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die, as the English poet Lord Tennyson put it.

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First published in: The New Straits Times