RE: “What the next UNSG needs to focus on” (The New Times, April 18).
Here are the facts: the distribution of voting power within the various components of the UN system reflects the principle of proportionality. In the General Assembly the disproportionate weight is given to small states.
However, this is counterbalanced by special importance given to great powers elsewhere in the system.
The UN was not designed to represent the triumph of the unrealistic concept of equality, but rather as a compromise between claims of small states for status and formal power to participate in decision-making processes.
It should be emphasised that formal voting power is significantly supplemented by informal capacity to affect decisions, a capacity which tends to accrue to states in rough proportion to their actual power.
The fact that Rwanda has voting power equal to that of Russia certainly does not mean that its influence is equal to that of Russia. The lack of realism reflected in the rule of equal voting power for all members of the Assembly is matched by the lack of realism exhibited by those who ignore the fact that the major are major states.