SUDAN WATCH: Long awaited UN plan demands more intervention

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Long awaited UN plan demands more intervention

Clive Soley MP mentioned in his blog that Kofi Annan's high level panel reports this week on intervention and failed states.

Today, Gavin writes the Iraq war wounded the UN, but it won’t be fatal and points to the BBC's UN plan demands more intervention which gives a run down on the report.

Seems the route the panel is set to advocate is much more interventionist, moving away from the UN's traditional emphasis that it cannot meddle in the internal affairs of a member state.

It says the UN should be reformed to make intervention in failing states easier. The panel, which examined how the UN could respond better to global threats, also calls for the Security Council to be enlarged. It is thought that if the UN shows greater readiness to act, unilateralism by member states would be less likely.

The report will now be considered by the Secretary General and then by the member states. Any institutional changes are likely to come only slowly but the thrust is clear - the UN must reform or lose its role.

Should the United Nations be reformed to make intervention in failing states easier? Of course it should. Reform or be scrapped is my view. The report raises some great points but it's difficult to imagine how the Security Council can be sorted. Why should any country be willing to give up power for the "greater good"?

Note, the panel wants member states to accept a new obligation - a "responsibility to protect" their own citizens. This is interesting, as it would have applied to the dictators in Khartoum over the past 15 years. But, given Khartoum's genocidal policies and total disregard for human rights, so what if there is a new obligation - what are the UN going to do about it? Nothing, if the set up on the security council does not change.


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