Landing the Big One

Landing the Big One

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A New and Improved (?) UN Proposed

The NY Times has an article describing the proposals made by a commission appointed after"after bruising division over the Iraq war left the United Nations feeling ill-equipped to meet modern challenges represented by terrorism, failed states, nuclear proliferation, poverty and violence."

Highlights: Increasing the Security Council from 15 members to 24. Veto power would still be limited to the 5 original permanent members. The Wall Street Journal reports "The panel also said pre-emptive military attacks are legitimate if authorized by the council." (WSJ, What's News, 12/1/2004)

The panel also urged a more aggressive approach to interventions when states fail in their primary responsibility to protect their own citizens. "There is a collective international responsibility to protect, exercisable by the Security Council authorizing military intervention as a last resort in the event of genocide and other large-scale killing, ethnic cleansing or serious violations of international humanitarian law which sovereign governments have proved powerless or unwilling to prevent," the report said.

Other proposals include streamlining the bureauracy and retiring some "dead wood" to make room for advancement for younger UN bureaucrats.

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters posts "UN Proposes New Paths To Greater Irrelevancy" and has this take on the "pre-emptive strike" issue:
In other words, bring your case to the Security Council, where we will take your time-critical situation and debate it endlessly. If you're still alive when we finally get around to a vote, we'll authorize the use of force, as long as France, Russia, and China don't veto it. If they do -- well, it sucks to be you.
His conclusion:
The fundamental problem with the UN comes from its constituency of oppressors and kleptocrats. Any structural changes in their committees and regulations only amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is essentially what The Truth Laid Bear's said about the UN, with which I agree, as was set out in an earlier post. As TTLB wrote:
The U.N. is a grand shell game. It looks like democracy; it acts like democracy. It has all the trappings of democracy; votes and debate and all those wonderful, wonderful procedures. But at its very heart, the votes come from member governments, and many of those aren’t democracies at all. And there, the system breaks down.

"Collective international responsibility" means that some countries have to step forward to volunteer to take action (and provide troops, money and logistical support - because the UN doesn't have any of its own). Otherwise, just more words.

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