Sunday, March 20, 2005

Finally, United Nations reform...

Time to turn talk into UN reform

UN headquarters in New York
The UN's most radical reforms ever are

The task of converting ambitious talk about reforming the United Nations into action is now moving into the delicate and difficult decision-making stage.

On Monday the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will lay out his ideas in front of the General Assembly in what could be seen as the start of the negotiations leading to a summit of UN heads of state and governments in September.

My beloved United Nations. I am skeptical of the possibilities of reform that Kofi Annan can secure, but I will not prejudge of the results of this new push. And my skepticism does not come from a distrust of Annan on my part, but a distrust of the big five - China, the US, the UK, France and Russia - and particularly the first two on that list. They have shown their willingness to use their veto powers as a leverage to turn the United Nations into somewhat of a tool of their foreign policy... and I cannot see them relinquishing power.

And in the case of the United States in particular, considering there is at this time a conservative administration in place that does not look favorably on any form of multi-lateralism where they do not have the last word, reform in the UN would be running against their interests, it would seem... or they will ensure that any reform does not imply a more balanced playing field among nations, and we will be back to square one.

But I might simply be overly cynical, because of my past disappointments with the double standatds of the United States and the other permanent members of the Security Council. Maybe this time there will be some common sense in their heads. But with such a guy as John Bolton, I seriously wonder...

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