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Guess which nation's rep is now head of the UN Security Council? Hint: Not Ukraine

2nd hint: It's the nation we "isolated".


Russia Takes Charge at the U.N. Security Council

The nation that bombs cities and civilians is taking over its presidency in April.

By The Editorial BoardFollow

Updated April 3, 2023 6:22 pm ET


The United Nations has reached another grotesque moral milestone as Vladimir Putin’s Russia has assumed the presidency of the Security Council in April. Yes, the country that is bombing cities and civilians in Ukraine, and threatening nuclear war, takes over the body that is supposed to enforce international norms among nations.


In one sense this is truth in advertising at last. The Security Council has done nothing to sanction Russia since its Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of its neighbor. Russia has wielded its vetoe to prevent that, while China has abstained. So having Russia run the joint as rotating president underscores how feckless the U.N. is in enforcing anything like global order.


This should be clear to everyone by now, but the myth dies hard that something called the “international community” can stop global rogues by acting through a multilateral institution. The liberal internationalists running American foreign policy these days still cling to the detritus of this Wilsonian dream, which may be why Russia’s ascension at the U.N. is getting so little criticism.


Meanwhile, global disorder spreads. North Korea is firing ballistic missiles toward Japan. China has deployed military forces on disputed islands in the South China Sea and threatens to invade Taiwan. Russia is trying to conquer Ukraine, and Iran is aiding Russia with weapons while aiding terrorist militias across the Middle East. The U.N. has proven itself to be helpless in every respect on all of these issues, and these days it can’t even enforce its previous sanctions against Pyongyang.



To the extent there is any deterrence against brutality in this Hobbesian world, it is enforced by coalitions of the willing backed by American hard power. As that hard power has ebbed, rogues have asserted themselves, and such tragedies as Syria, Yemen and Ukraine are the result. If liberals want to prevent a slide to even greater mayhem, they will press the Biden Administration to rebuild the U.S. military—now, before it’s too late.

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