A committee with commitment issues
Though eventful, Day Two in the Security Council did not yield great results
It should not come as a surprise that a Crisis Committee faces just that: crises. And those have been numerous in yesterday’s UN Security Council. From the unforeseen death of the US president through to a sudden meteor strike in Norway that looked suspiciously like an atomic bomb, there was barely time to catch a breath.
However, one is left with the suspicion that the delegations let themselves be sidetracked by minor dissensions, such as the dispute between Canada and Denmark about Hans Island. Even though both countries have shared this territorial dispute – that still sours the Danish-Canadian relations to this day – for about a century now, it is hardly important given the urgency of the matter(s) at hand.
It almost appears as if the representatives of the different Member States gladly welcome any side scene to walk their way around the problems that they should face head on instead. The global community expects the delegates to deal with the incident aboard the USS Jacksonville and the resulting consequences and to develop concrete solutions for this trigger event. So far, the Security Council is drafting its third working paper which presents no actual improvement to its predecessors. There is a lot of asking, promoting, and encouraging but sadly no decision-making. In short, the wording of the most recent working paper is too mellow and therefore runs the risk to fall short. Due to their binding nature, the wording of Security Council Resolutions is vital for their effectiveness.
One of the – sadly numerous and also missed – points that merit special attention is the possibility to involve existing international bodies to help limit the military presence in the Arctic, such as the United Nations Peacekeeping or Blue Helmets. The deployment of Blue Helmets could be of use to create and ensure conditions of lasting peace in the Arctic region.
All things considered much work needs to be done by the members of the Security Council in order to draft an outcome document that is not deprived of useful effect but gives concrete solutions to concrete problems instead.