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The Forum > Article Comments > Making the United Nations representative > Comments

Making the United Nations representative : Comments

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, published 13/3/2007

If the United Nations is to continue then it needs to represent all regions of the world.

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Of late our OLO seems to be snowed under with dialectism concerning the United Nations. Certainly so much needed.

It was the German phlilosopher Immanuel Kant who first coined the phrase, a recipe for Perpetual Peace.

After the French Revolution Kant became disgusted with Napoleon declaring himself emperor after successful campaigns in Europe.

Napoleon, in fact, as a young general had only been appointed to lead a military force out to preserve the Enlightenment ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in certain states.

It was after Napoleon's anti-libertinian declaration that Kant wrote his thesis on Perpetual Peace, stressing that from now on neither one personage nor one nation should ever be allowed to rule this world.

As every world historian knows the above dialogue has been thrashed about ever since, Kant's opposing German philosopher Wilhelm Hegel even praising war as a cleanser of the political soul, after Kant had suggested a Federation of strong nations appointed after an ultra-national vote.

It is no surprise about suggestions since that Kant had not been libertinian enough to take in smaller nations as well as the large.

Yet as recently proven with the election of a South Korean as UN President, coupled with leaders of larger nations like the US having the right of Veto, leaves a United Nations as a preserver of global liberty - neutered.

It has been well discussed that smaller nations should either be represented by alignment with chosen big nations, or there should be some sort of arrangement for regional representation, stressing that vetoes allowed for the larger nations be scrapped.

There has also lately been much dialogue among political philosophers lately about the failure of America's illegal preemptive strike on Iraq, as a lesson to be learnt.

Finally, not taking lessons from history, is so obvious when we see America virtually following the fortunes of imperial Rome, first following the Libertinian teachings of ancient Greece, even with a Senate, then with the President taking over as George Dubya is doing now, with a possible collapse of the whole box and dice before the turn of this century.
Posted by bushbred, Tuesday, 13 March 2007 12:50:16 PM
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China, France, Russia, UK and USA. Yes! You are right, your article is refreshing and helps us see the power imbalance and complexity of this UN problem.

It is us who needs to lobby our Government and the UN itself into ACTION on ALL issues of INSTITUTIONAL REFORM, I reflect here how at macro and micro levels. The UN is having similar problems as civilians almost every where.... with issues of how to engage and deliver good governance.


a) Technologically, militarily or economically strong nations enjoy dominance both within the jurisdiction of the UN and without, while weak nations consider superpowers as threat.

Dominance through jurisdiction: Social Justice will not work until the resources of mediation and lawfulness work more closely with casual elements of crime. We must engage those who otherwise feel agitated (disadvantaged having little access) and therefore are threatened by the injustice of power representations.

b) The imbalance of power between nations creates conflicts of interest. These conflicts provoke wars. The torment of wars in turn creates anti-social groups as well as terrorists. We know this... why is this not the focus. Looking for HUMAN SOLUTIONS is cheaper than the high cost of fighting life against life, with weapons. We must learn to engage constructively, to learn to problem solve together with those in conflict. TRUST and the lack of, is the heart of this human issue.

The imbalance of power between any group of people creates conflicts of interest. These conflicts provoke reactions which translate into many forms of uncalculated degrees of crime and violence. The torment of violence (and grief) in turn creates cultures of deprivation and added forms of serious alienation and hence breeds deeper into more cycles of complex crime…. And apathy!

c) Unilateral actions of United States has seriously sabotaged the respect and value of the UN.

Australia is lost in a maze of propaganda, which is undermining our own true knowledge (as Australians) on how to solve unilateral problems, as a nation. We need to understand the idea of sustainable development both inside and outside our own shores

Posted by miacat, Tuesday, 13 March 2007 6:34:55 PM
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d) Mr Kim-moon Ban has stressed the need for ... overcoming many global issues. He especially highlighted ... terrorism, violence, poverty and climate change.

Until Australia promotes the UN, it makes it hard for civilians in this country to contribute to UN issues directly, through our own national, regional and local governments.

Kevin Rudd (for example) was right to hand his vote on whether to go to WAR to the UNSC. It is not a decision ANY COUNTRY ought to make outside this forum.

Our government has a process and so has the UN, no matter how discontented we feel.

It is NO example for our own country to work outside formal agreements, be it at macro-or micro levels. I.e. We do fear MAVERICKs …. don’t we?

Hence the core problem; the UN’s “responsibility of the current “impossibly overstretched” management”.

Unless world governments and especially the superpowers themselves LEARN to treat every other nation equally in order to work through the global issues, civilians everywhere will loose in this over-heated unreasonable and highly unfair moral destructive climate.

While I see the value of a second assembly, it is sad. It means more administrsation, more cost, and even more filtering between ALL concerned. However I support the reasons for this call and will watch closely.

We need to evolve as humans and find alternative reasons to overcome our addiction to individual values of pure self-interest and material desire(s).

We each need to participate, build capacity up, empower from local ground level, and make more certain that “collective security” is found through the UN and it UNSC, where it is meant; that we all have a translating vote through our individual call for a SAFER WORLD.

Many member countries of the UN General Assembly feel they have no voice in the UN. We know this and we must do something about it.

Self Government is up to each of us no matter where we live. Conflict is an opportunity to problem solve. It must be our right each to problem solve.

Posted by miacat, Tuesday, 13 March 2007 6:46:49 PM
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The Author (a Muslim) said:

"The UN has been found incapable of committing all nations, strong or weak, to treating other nations equally and fairly."

He also uses the 2 major conflicts where Muslims are currently on the rough end of the historical stick.

This is understandable, but the 2 examples are not the same. Kashmir is an issue of ego (Pakistani and Indian) and a mix of people/religions wanting to go in different directions for understandable reasons.

Israel / Palestine is a different Wok of noodles. "Fair" and "Equal" might be decoded as "a better deal for the Muslims" which sounds ok, but given that the most aggressive of the Palestinians would prefer to see Israel 'not exist' such a 'fair' deal for the Arabs neccessarily means an unfair deal for the Israelies.

Finally, the author hits the nail on the head with :

"Yet, the supremacy of the superpowers still continues with their Veto power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A resolution on any global issue cannot be passed in the UNSC if it doesn’t suit one of the big five countries (China, France, Russia, UK and USA)."

Gee,...I didn't see that one coming .... hah.. OF COURSE this is how it works. I've always maintained the the idea of a U.N. is unworkable where it treads on the self interest of the 'winners' of the last war, and those who have become similarly powerful since.(China)

So, the only people who appear to support the idea of a U.N. having teeth are the International Socialists who are incessantly trying to infiltrate it and dominate it. Its world socialism by stealth.
Well.. the countries listed were not born yesterday.
Only a U.N. which has bigger and better weapons than the current superpowers would ever be able to Veto their Veto's.
Can anyone see such on the horizon ?

CONCLUSION. Lets review our signatory status to various conventions and establish our own VETO on things not in our national interest !
"Discrimination-in the social interest."
"Refugees- we decide"
"Immigration - we choose".
Posted by BOAZ_David, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 7:58:27 AM
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To both Miacat and Boaz.

Reckon the word for bettering the UN is balance, or better still, equilibrium between nations big or small, it is just that unipolar autocracy, America, right now does not want it that way.

The US would rather have power balance proven with atomic artillery, as with tiny Israel, upsetting Middle East equilibrium like a red backed spider with poison enough to have the Middle East power play almost as she wants, especially with top dog America behind her.

Equilibrium or political power balance, after all is so much like sport, thus the main thing today in the world is to have fair umpires.
Posted by bushbred, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 12:39:33 PM
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I agree with the article. With so many quality candidates to choose from, it would be downright silly to pick just one African or Latin American country!

This whole argument is flawed in two ways.

Ideologically, unless we're going to suggest that the Permanent Council should be made up of Scandinavian nations only (just to accomodate the lefties who will scream about the U.S.), then it's a nonsense to suggest equal representation. In case anyone hadn't noticed (and call me racist if you like), the majority of non-Western nations are hardly role-models for anything. Lay the blame entirely at the feet of colonisation, globalisation/corporations, or whatever you like (not that I'll agree), but Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, most of Asia, and the Pacific are complete basket cases.

Practically, the moment any motion to change the current system got close, any affected nations (especially the U.S.) would pull out and the whole thing would collapse (especially if the U.S. pulled out). If, and when, India gets powerful enough that it can demand a place at the table, then it will be accomodated. I can perhaps buy that France (and maybe even England) shouldn't be there (especially since France lost the War), but the U.S., Russia and China are too powerful not to have the lion's share if people want them to be in the U.N. at all.

So yeah, while it may be someone's wet dream to have Syria or Venezuela on a level footing with the big boys, it's never going to happen.
Posted by shorbe, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 3:29:18 PM
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