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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Sharp elbows over new Security Council seats 

European "unity" is fracturing over, ironically, the United Nations. Specifically, Germany is after 60 years in the closet awakening as nation that wishes to project power. Its own unilateralist era having passed, we hope, for good, its ambition is to express that power as a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Italy isn't so sure it likes the idea, and that really annoys the Germans.

The Germans think they have a shot at a new seat because Kofi Annan has put forth a proposal to reform the Security Council by adding new "permanent" members with veto power. Germany, along with India, Brazil, Japan and an African player to be named later have proposed to join as permanent members under a plan endorsed by Britain and France, but rejected by Italy (among others). Germany is appalled on behalf of all Europe:
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Europe would lose out if it was the only region not to have a new representative on an enlarged council.

Of course, Germany's plan would leave Europe with four seats (counting Russia as European, which I'm sure the Germans don't but I certainly do) out of ten, which seems a bit rich compared to all the Americas with two seats and the great masses of Asia with three.

It seems to me that the first requirement for membership in the Security Council should be the ability, and the willingness, to provide security. And not just in your own country, or in the nations on your borders, but anywhere in the world where evil men may do their work. We should ignore petty politically collect regional sensibilities, and deny a permanent seat to any country that can't put at least 30,000 soldiers on the ground anywhere in the world on reasonably short notice. The Germans, by their own testimony, cannot do this.

2 Comments:

By Blogger Thrasymachus, at Sun Sep 26, 10:45:00 AM:

I suggest that every member of the United Nations and 50 of the largest NGOs all be made permanent members of the Security Counsel and that they all have veto power.

This will end this monkey business once and for all.  

By Blogger Thrasymachus, at Sun Sep 26, 10:45:00 AM:

I suggest that every member of the United Nations and 50 of the largest NGOs all be made permanent members of the Security Counsel and that they all have veto power.

This will end this monkey business once and for all.  

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