UN Challenges

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As Russia’s military forces kept up their punishing campaign to capture Ukraine’s capital with fighting and artillery fire in Kyiv’s suburbs Monday after an airstrike on a military base near the Polish border brought the war dangerously close to NATO’s doorstep. The UN is confronting the most serious challenge to the international world order that the organization rests upon since its founding 76 years ago. The Russia-Ukraine war is threatening to upend the UN as we know it, potentially ushering at the end of multilateralism. There is an attempt by Ukraine and its allies at the UN to strip the Russian Federation of its Security Council seat, and some go as far as asking that the General Assembly expel Russia from the UN altogether.  Experts are skeptical that the Ukrainian move will succeed for many reasons, but the foremost among them is the veto power of Russia, which could be joined by China in preventing expulsion. This does not deter the Ukrainians, though, from continuing their campaign to expel Russia from the UN and strip it of its permanent seat at the Security Council. Although there is also a procedure for admitting or expelling a member of the UN, These rules are spelled in articles 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the UN charter. Article 5 stipulates that a member of the UN “against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

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