“A Fairer World is Possible” is penned by the Turkish President, in which he argues about how global peace can be attained by reforming the UN and other international organisations.
Across global platforms, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been long known for his emphasis on global justice with his famous connotation “The World is bigger than five”.
Now the president has even written a book about it, urging the international community to look beyond the five permanent members of the UN — the US, the UK, France, Russia and China.
The book is titled, A Fairer World is Possible, a testimony to Erdogan’s determination to seek global justice for oppressed people like Syrians, who have been brutalised by the Assad regime, and Palestinians, who have long been humiliated under the repressive rule of Israel.
Erdogan thinks that the current structure of the UN Security Council is one of the main reasons for existing injustices around the world. The five permanent members are countries from Asia, Europe and Americas, but there is no representation for African interests, Erdogan writes.
Also, Erdogan draws attention to the fact that there is no Muslim representation in the Security Council. Except for China, all other member countries have Christian-majority populations while Muslims represent nearly one-fourth of the world population, he says.
Though Western countries, which are the majority in the Security Council, promote multiculturalism, the council’s composition does not represent a multicultural structure, Erdogan writes.
The council is also not a true representative of the world demography as the total populations of the five permanent members add up to only one-fourth of the global population, Erdogan notes.
“We want the Security Council to be restructured in a fair way, which could represent different continents, faiths, ethnic groups and cultures as much as possible. If it happened, that would be a revolutionary step to solve international issues and reconstitute global peace,” Erdogan says.
Erdogan is also “aware” of the fact that some serious international issues, which go back to a hundred years ago following WWI, can not be addressed by just reforming the UN.
But he also underlines that an organisation like the UN, which claims to be the guarantor of global peace and consciousness, “can not continue to operate by defending the current political status and being deaf to the voices of change.”
“If we do not make a revolutionary step toward change, not only our today but also our future will be in grave risk,” he warns.
Erdogan cites many malfunctions of the current international system from increasing tendency to violate hundreds of years-old rules like Pacta Sunt Servanda, which means “agreements must be kept”, to sinking refugee boats by states in the Mediterranean Sea, around which ancient civilisations flourished in the past.
In opposition to those tendencies, he reminds that Turkey hosts the most refugee population in the world, being one of the most generous nations helping both people in need and international aid organisations.
The Turkish president offers a simple alternative system to the current UN structure, which has not thought of a monitoring mechanism for the Security Council by the General Assembly. In the present system, the decisions of the five permanent members can not be judged by the General Assembly. Also, originally, the five members were not elected by the General Assembly.
Erdogan proposes a more democratic international system, where the General Assembly can act as an international parliament to elect members of the Security Council, the way a state assembly chooses its government after a legitimate election.
In Erdogan’s model, the General Assembly acts as the legislative branch of a democratic government as the Security Council becomes the executive branch of the UN system. As a result, Erdogan’s system proposal aims to ensure a check-and-balance mechanism to monitor the Security Council decisions and actions through the General Assembly.
Erdogan imagines a 20-member Security Council, which will be elected by the General Assembly. Unlike the current system, members of the Security Council should not have a permanent mandate, but they should have terms determined by definite time periods, according to Erdogan’s model.
Erdogan’s system also dissolves the veto power of the permanent members because it believes that no single state should have the right to prevent a possible fair political decision or action against countries like Israel, whose aggressive behaviour against Palestinians has been well-documented in recent decades.
While Erdogan’s proposal has revolutionary aspects, the Turkish leader also states that his model aims to trigger an international brainstorming, where different models could be debated to reach a kind of global consensus on a new acceptable model for majority states of the UN. “Our offer can not be claimed to be an ultimate offer,” he writes. Instead, “it’s a humble initiative to establish an international order, which is more stable, peaceful and fair,” he says.
But he is also clear that the current system is not sustainable anymore.
“A privileged system, which has imposed the five permanent members’ national interests [over the rest of the countries] without having any accountability and keeping any responsibility for decades, can not be sustained anymore,” Erdogan concludes.
Erdogan’s 211-page book is currently available in Turkish. But it will also be available in different languages like English, Arabic, German, French, Russian and Spanish soon, according to the Directorate of Communications of the Turkish presidency.
The book’s royalties will be donated to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), according to the directorate.