On the UN-Even Canadians Are Recognizing the Failed Body

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040430/IBBIT30/TPComment/Columnists

    PM hopes to extricate Canada from UN box


    By JOHN IBBITSON
    Friday, April 30, 2004 - Page A4
    WASHINGTON -- With yesterday's landmark speech, Paul Martin tacitly acknowledged what Canada's foreign policy establishment has refused to accept for decades: that the United Nations is a failure, for which there is no solution.

    The Prime Minister's proposed alternative is a new international body, the G-20 summit of world leaders, representative of North and South, developed and developing, rich and poor: a working group unfettered by the UN's bureaucracy and its anachronistic Security Council.

    It is a bold, though perhaps unworkable plan. But however it is ultimately greeted by the world community, Mr. Martin's proposal at least recognizes and sets out to correct a fundamental flaw in Canadian foreign policy, one that has left us hostage to a dysfunctional world body whose interests are often irrelevant to Canada's.

    In his address to the Woodrow Wilson Center, Mr. Martin formally proposed an initial meeting of heads of government that would most likely include the G-8 plus Australia and the major developing nations -- such as China, Brazil, India and Indonesia.

    The first summit would take on one specific issue, most likely global security in the face of terrorist threats. The goal would be to find a common voice to speak on the larger questions of goals and priorities, and to examine specific measures -- say, implementing anti-terrorism measures at major sea ports in the developing world similar to those under way in Europe and North America.

    If the summit worked, it might become a regular gathering, looking at issues of global reach.

    The biggest problem with the proposal is that the major nations are already experiencing what is called summit fatigue: Between the G-8, the Commonwealth, the Francophonie and regional organizations such as the European Union and the Organization of American States, a prime minister or president already spends a lot of time in foreign hotels.

    Nonetheless, sources report that the Americans have responded favourably, if cautiously, to the Canadian proposal. It will be up to us to see if we can make a G-20 summit work, and we should try hard. For whatever the rest of the world thinks about it, such an organization is very much in Canada's interest as a way of extricating this country from its current foreign-policy cage.

    After decades of working closely with our major allies to confront the global threats of fascism and communism, Canada began to drift away, increasingly investing diplomatic capital in the United Nations, even as we undermined our traditional commitments by slashing the defence budget.

    As a result, by the 1990s Canada was committed to a policy of multilateralism, addressing the world's conundrums primarily through the United Nations, although other forums such as NATO could be used in a pinch.

    The problem with UN-based multilateralism is that it distances Canada from its natural allies, leaving us hostage to an institution over which we have little influence.

    Canadians were sharply divided over whether to support the American-led coalition that toppled Saddam Hussein. Jean Chr├ętien decided Canada would not join without UN approval. Whether the invasion was right or wrong, the result of Mr. Chr├ętien's decision left Canada hostage to the French veto on the Security Council.

    Mr. Martin's proposal is one way the new PM hopes to extricate Canada from this box. A properly functioning G-20 would be every bit as representative of world opinion as the UN, without being hobbled by its ossified bureaucracy. And, unlike the Security Council, Canada would have a permanent seat at the table.

    Again, it remains to be seen if the Great Powers are willing to give life to this new creation, which could constrain them in ways the UN -- because it is so ineffectual -- does not.

    Nonetheless, the G-20 is a good idea, and Canada should pursue it, for the reason any country should pursue a foreign-policy goal: self-interest.
     
  2. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,152
    Bold plan but its destined to fail.

    In order to have any sort of plan to take care of the problems in the world there has to be a plan to bring and protect freedom in the world. This will never happen as long as we let dictators have a say in the matter.
     
  3. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    OK, good start, keep the dictators out of the new body.
     
  4. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,152
    Need checks and balances to stop corruption. Accountability to the people of each nation in the organization etc. This will fall like the UN has.
     
  5. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    Well, I think it's a very good sign that even Canada is recognizing the failure of the UN. I don't think the US is in a postion right now to enter into a new type of international body, IF we could just get out of this one. Seems the 'international community' would rather go it together, alone, without us. Perhaps that is for the best.
     
  6. deaddude
    Offline

    deaddude Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Thanks Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +77
    why make an entirely new body? why not just reform the UN?


    unless of course its beyond hope.


    If they do try a new system it will be doomed to fail in the same ways. Polocies to prevent corruption end up being abused, muddled in beaurocracy and in the way of getting anything
    done.
     
  7. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    It is beyond hope, even the Canadian PM agrees with that. Oil-for-Food scandal is growing and growing, and that is only one program.
     
  8. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,152
    Because the way the UN is set up. its build for gridlock. And while that can be useful it keeping it out of peoples lives it also hampers any efforts to end it.

    If we want an international body that can protect freedom and be somewhat effective i think people of the US and deffinately the people in other nations are missing an obvious organization thats been around over 200 years - The United States Federal Government.

    Think about it. our founders set it up to unite 13 separate nations states. The Constitution provides a way for us to peacefull coexist and protect freedom if we follow it. It also allows us to add more states if necessary to the Union. The European Union is doing essentially the same thing, only they dont have a way to protect freedom or really have a constitution.

    Of course as we are the United States of America i think we should stick with North America at the moment and possible move to central and South America. First i think we should consider annexing mexico. Obviously the Mexicans want to be Americans or they wouldnt be risking their lives to get across the border. We would bring more labor into our country. Provide businesses with great opportunitites for expansion and make our southern border alot smaller to to guard. I just think continually trying to make international organizations and inviting dictators to have a vote in it is just a cause for trouble.
     
  9. Lefty Wilbury
    Offline

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,109
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +36
    lets hope the un ends. lets also hope i get to push the button that implodes the un and reclaims valuable water front propertiy in manhatten.
     
  10. musicman
    Offline

    musicman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,171
    Thanks Received:
    533
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +533
    PM Martin's perspective is refreshing--if for no other reason than the fact that he stresses an all--but--forgotten viewpoint: individual nations have interests of their own, irrespective of and independent from those of the "world body".

    When people talk about the imminent and inescapable demise of the nation--state, I believe them. However, I don't think that bodes well for freedom-loving peoples.
     

Share This Page