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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

4/30/2004

Sounds good until you think about it

Paul Martin took a little run at the United Nations at the Woodrow Wilson Institute. He suggested that the Security Council be replaced with a working group - G-20: John Ibbitson gives us the bullet:
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.
globe and mail
Looking at the press reports it is pretty much a non-starter as a means of addressing what is wrong with the UN. Who gets to be "representative"? If such a body is to have any credibility it would have to include the current permanent members of the Security Council - even the ever obstructionalist France - plus, for sake of argument: India, Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Egypt. But then who? There are seven slots left. Minimally you'd have to think at least one more Eastern European, one more black African, one non-Muslim Asian,(which I suppose could be Australia), another South American, a Central American leaving one slot for Canada and a third round pick to be announced.

Now I am sure I've left out someone important; but the fact is that this is yet another harebrained scheme which tries to pretend that a) somehow nations can represent other nations when, in fact, they can't, b) that there is something virtuous about multi-lateralism which is absent from alliances.

There is no doubt that there is a lot wrong with the United Nations. but there is even more wrong with the long term Canadian devotion to multi-lateralism as a solution to the troubles of the world.