U.S. Arms Opposing Militias in Syria

U.S. Arms Opposing Militias in Syria

[This news piece below, which appeared in the March 27, 2016 issue of Los Angeles Times,comes to us thanks to the research of our friends at WantToKnow.Info. Among numerous other topics, this important site provides powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video at their site which also shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see their concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources. —Ed.]

Syria war imageU.S. Arms Opposing Militias
in Syria

“Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border. The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo. Last year, the Pentagon helped create a new military coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces . . . to take territory away from the Islamic State. The group is dominated by Kurdish outfits known as People’s Protection Units or YPG. It has received air-drops of weapons and supplies and assistance from U.S. Special Forces. The U.S. backing for a heavily Kurdish armed force has been a point of tension with the Turkish government, which has a long history of crushing Kurdish rebellions. The CIA, meanwhile, has its own operations center inside Turkey from which it has been directing aid to rebel groups in Syria, providing them with TOW antitank missiles from Saudi Arabian weapons stockpiles. While the Pentagon’s actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against Islamic State, the CIA’s backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government. Over the last several months . . . Kurdish-led groups [expanded] their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing them into more frequent conflict with the CIA-backed outfits . . .” [read more in the LA Times]

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

World War 3 image

By John Pilger, award-winning journalist and filmmaker
[Excerpted from a transcribed lecture at University of Sydney]

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons.” People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories.  Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”

In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two—led by the United States—is taking place along Russia’s western frontier.  Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.

Ukraine—once part of the Soviet Union—has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.

This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia—next door to Russia—the U.S. military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West. 

What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China.

Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a “threat”.  According to Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. Pacific commander, China is “building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea”.

What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines—a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called “freedom of navigation”.

What does this really mean?  It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China.  Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.

I made a film called The War You Don’t See, in which I interviewed distinguished journalists in America and Britain: reporters such as Dan Rather of CBS, Rageh Omar of the BBC, David Rose of the Observer.

All of them said that had journalists and broadcasters done their job and questioned the propaganda that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; had the lies of George W. Bush and Tony Blair not been amplified and echoed by journalists, the 2003 invasion of Iraq might not have happened, and  hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today.

The propaganda laying the ground for a war against Russia and/or China is no different in principle. To my knowledge, no journalist in the Western “mainstream”—a Dan Rather equivalent, say—asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea.

The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers.

This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and  across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is not news. Silence by media; war by media.

In 2015, in high secrecy, the U.S. and Australia staged the biggest single air-sea military exercise in recent history, known as Talisman Sabre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air-Sea Battle Plan, blocking sea lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca and the Lombok Straits, that cut off China’s access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle East and Africa. 

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist.  He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure.  That alone should arouse our skepticism. 

Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is “unleashing the dark forces of violence” in the United States. Unleashing them?   

This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people. 

No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenseless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as “a world substantially made over in [America’s] own image”.  The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. Heretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.

Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted “exceptionalism” is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face. 

As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies—just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about “hope.” And the drool goes on.

Described by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones as “funny, charming, with a coolness that eludes practically every other politician,” Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia.  He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone. So cool.  

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons.  As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife—a murder made possible by American logistics—Clinton gloated over his death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

One of Clinton’s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of State, who has attacked young women for not supporting “Hillary”. This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it”.

Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East.  She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the U.S. and Anne Summers in Australia.

A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as “identity politics” stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported—such as the fakery of Obama and Clinton; such as bogus progressive movements like Syriza in Greece, which betrayed the people of that country and allied with their enemies.

Self absorption, a kind of “me-ism”, became the new zeitgeist in privileged western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements against war, social injustice, inequality, racism and sexism.

Today, the long sleep may be over. The young are stirring again. Gradually. The thousands in Britain who supported Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are part of this awakening—as are those who rallied to support Senator Bernie Sanders.

In Britain last week, Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally, his shadow treasurer John McDonnell, committed a Labour government to pay off the debts of piratical banks and online pharmacy no prescription and, in effect, to continue so-called austerity.  

In the U.S., Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she’s nominated. He, too, has voted for America’s use of violence against countries when he thinks it’s “right”. He says Obama has done “a great job”.

In Australia, there is a kind of mortuary politics, in which tedious parliamentary games are played out in the media while refugees and Indigenous people are persecuted and inequality grows, along with the danger of war. The government of Malcolm Turnbull has just announced a so-called defense budget of $195 billion that is a drive to war.  There was no debate. Silence. 

What has happened to the great tradition of popular direct action, unfettered to parties? Where is the courage, imagination and commitment required to begin the long journey to a better, just and peaceful world? Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?  

Where are those who will shatter the silence? Or do we wait until the first nuclear missile is fired?  


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.

 

Transforming the UN Security Council

Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Director, The Workable World Trust

No part of the United Nations system has been the object of as much criticism as the Security Council (SC). That unrepresentative, undemocratic and anachronistic agency is composed of fifteen members. Five of them, the so-called P-5, are the major victors of World War II: China, France, Russia (formerly the USSR), the UK and the USA. Their seats are “permanent” and they are endowed with the power of the veto, enabling each of them to nullify the wishes of the rest of the world combined and to be effectively immune from UN censure for any wrongdoings they commit. The other ten members are elected to staggered two-year terms, five each year, for seats supposedly representing large regional caucuses, but, in practice, representing only the seat-holding nation. Japan and Brazil have held temporary seats for a total of twenty years, longer than any other nation. On average, SC members have accounted for roughly 40% of the world’s population since 1972, when mainland China took over the P-5 seat previously held by Taiwan.

Although there have been crises when the SC has acted with sufficient common purpose to maintain or restore peace in troubled areas, the overall record has been disappointing. Presently, civil conflicts are raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, the Indonesian portion of New Guinea, Colombia and elsewhere that the UN seems powerless to stop. Some of these conflicts spill over national borders and a few, such as the Russian-Ukrainian altercation, threaten to become full-scale international wars.

Since, the UN is not a world government, but rather a weak confederation of sovereign states, each member nation retains the right to do whatever it wishes within its own borders and the prerogative, in international law, of waging war. And since there is no generally accepted method for resolving conflicts equitably, wars remain inevitable under the present system. Powerful nations continue to impose their will on the weak (including domestic minorities) by the actual or threatened use of military force, or, alternatively, by applying crippling economic measures. Surely, there must be better ways to deal with conflict. In what follows, I shall outline one such way.

The make-up of the Council must be changed. There is no valid reason for the P-5’s retention of special privileges based on their military success in a war that ended seventy years ago. Germany, Japan, India and Brazil – all now democracies – have achieved greater economic capability than one or more of the P-5 nations and they, as well as a host of other states, have larger – often much larger – populations. There is also no persuasive rationale for retaining the current one nation – one vote rule, in the SC as a whole. (In 1992, for example, when Cape Verde and India were both non-permanent members, Cape Verde’s vote counted the same as that of India, whose population was roughly 2,500 times as great.) Nor can one easily justify the fact that 68 of the UN’s 193 members have never served on the SC at all. When power is so arbitrarily and irrationally distributed among nations within a decision-making body, the legitimacy of that body’s decisions will be widely questioned. And, since the UN so often has neither the will nor the power to enforce its decisions, the United States and other nations will bypass the system with impunity and resort to making decisions by other means, including the use of force.

Power is a delicate subject to discuss. It is often, and justifiably, seen in a negative light, especially among peace and justice advocates. “Power corrupts,” it is said. But power has multiple dimensions and can be harnessed for good as well as harm. Among those dimensions – apart from military power, which ought not to be rewarded – are demographic/democratic power (i.e., population), economic power, and what is widely referred to as “soft power,” the influence that political actors exert by their contemporary behavior and historical legacies. Regrettably, soft power is subjective and not easily measured. Demographic and economic power, however, are quantifiable and, on practical grounds, in a world as diverse as ours, they call for recognition in a weighted voting formula.

We turn now to the question of membership. Literally, scores of proposals have been advanced for increasing the SC’s membership, by anywhere from one to a dozen seats. Virtually all these proposals are intended to enhance the power of specific states by giving them either permanent seats, sometimes also with power of the veto, or longer-term seats, say for up to five years. Few propose elimination of the veto altogether, despite its frequent misuse. However, implementation of any of the expansion plans would inevitably create a new set of discontented “wannabe” nations, who didn’t quite make the cut and who resent the power enhancement for the anointed few: Pakistan vis-à-vis India, Argentina and Mexico vis-à-vis Brazil, etc. Why not, instead, make SC membership universal? But, whoa! Wouldn’t a Council with 193 members be hopelessly slow in making decisions in emergency situations calling for swift responses? Indeed, it would. The way to circumvent this problem is to allocate SC membership primarily on a regional basis.

Twelve regions are proposed, each with one seat and a rationally determined weighted vote. Three of these regions would consist of single nations, the world’s three most populous states: China, India and the United States. The other nine regions are multi-national, with memberships ranging from a low of six nations to a high (in the case of Africa south of the Sahara) of 43

The proposed weighed voting formula is the following:

W = (P + C + 8.33) / 3

Here, W represents the region’s vote expressed as a percentage of the total, based on the average of three terms: P, the region’s population as a percentage of the world total: C, the region’s combined contributions to the total assessed UN budget; and 8.33 (1/12), a constant, signifying that the world views of all twelve region s are equally worthy of respect.

By way of illustration, the United States would have a weight of 12.53%, which is the average of 4.56% (its population), 24.71 (its UN contribution, assuming it to be in direct proportion to its gross national income), and 8.33% (the specified constant).

If the proposed formula were in place as of 2010, the weights of the twelve regions, n descending order, would have been as follows: Europe, 15.86%; United States, 12.53%; China, 12.24%; India, 9.30%; Latin America and the Caribbean, 7.90%; East Asia, 7.24%; Africa South of the Sahara, 7.16%; Southeast Asia, 6.61%; West Asia [the non-Arab states], 6.49%; The Arab League, 5.45%; Russia and [specified European] Neighbors, 4.67%; and The Westminster League [Canada, Australia, New Zealand and 12 Pacific island states], 4.54 Obviously, weights would have to be periodically recalibrated, just as is done for the US House of Representatives after each decennial census.

Presently, elections to SC seats seldom have more than a single candidate from each regional caucus. Cronyism and political maneuvering characterize the selection process.

An alternate truly competitive system, one designed to promote meritocracy, is needed. In such a system each multi-national region would nominate from two to five worthy individuals for the positions of regional delegate. From each regional slate the General Assembly would select one nominee for the delegate’s position and a runner-up to be his/her alternate. Each region would also devise its own set of rules for guiding its delegate in debates and ultimately in voting. On issues of perennial concern (e.g., disarmament or terrorism), each region would presumably develop a general approach, which it would expect its delegate to promote. To do this, it would require frequent meetings (actual and/or virtual) of representatives of the foreign ministries of the member countries and an intra-regional system of weighted voting. Since consensus will not always be achieved, each region will have to develop its own set of voting protocols. On procedural matters, the delegate might exercise his/her own judgment when voting. On other matters s/he might be guided by varying simple or qualified majorities in internal debate within the region. Voting to impose economic sanctions, for example, might require a two-thirds regional majority, while decisions relating to the authorization of a new peacekeeping mission might call for a 75% majority. Similarly, for the SC as a whole, various qualified majorities would likely be called for.

Would nations be inclined to adopt the reforms proposed in this essay? Most small nations that have never before enjoyed membership in the SC or who have served only one or two terms would probably do so readily. Nations that would be major players within their respective regions, but which are not presently leading contenders for a seat within an expanded SC (e.g. Indonesia in Southeast Asia, or Mexico within Latin America and the Caribbean), would also come aboard. Countries such as India, Japan, Brazil and Germany, which aspire to SC seats in their own right, would be more hesitant (though I can confidently state, based on multiple visits to their respective UN missions, that they take this proposal quite seriously). Most resistant, of course, would be the P-5, who zealously protect their anachronistic and patently unfair privileges. But they do so at a cost, the alienation of the rest of the UN community. And there are tradeoffs that should mitigate the P-5 concerns. Presently, for example, the United States’ vote in the SC (when no veto is contemplated) is one out of fifteen, 6.7% of the total. In the system now proposed, its vote would have almost double that weight, 12.5%. The greatest gain, however, would be to the people of the earth as a whole, in moving from an unjust system derived from an outmoded system of power politics to one that is more workable and aspires to rationality and fairness.


 

NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.


 

Filed Under: Africa, Arctic, Asia, Australia, Essays and Opinions, Europe, Middle East, North America, South America, Transform the United Nations, World Problems & Issues Tagged With: P-5, Schwartzberg, Security Council reform, UN Security Council, United Nations Security Council
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How to Transform the Security Council says:
June 24, 2015 at 12:53 am
[…] nations whose population would roughly equal those of the big three nations. We recommend reading this intriguing essay, which makes his strong case for reform of this crucial […]

Transforming the UN Security Council

Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Director, The Workable World Trust

No part of the United Nations system has been the object of as much criticism as the Security Council (SC). That unrepresentative, undemocratic and anachronistic agency is composed of fifteen members. Five of them, the so-called P-5, are the major victors of World War II: China, France, Russia (formerly the USSR), the UK and the USA. Their seats are “permanent” and they are endowed with the power of the veto, enabling each of them to nullify the wishes of the rest of the world combined and to be effectively immune from UN censure for any wrongdoings they commit. The other ten members are elected to staggered two-year terms, five each year, for seats supposedly representing large regional caucuses, but, in practice, representing only the seat-holding nation. Japan and Brazil have held temporary seats for a total of twenty years, longer than any other nation. On average, SC members have accounted for roughly 40% of the world’s population since 1972, when mainland China took over the P-5 seat previously held by Taiwan.

Although there have been crises when the SC has acted with sufficient common purpose to maintain or restore peace in troubled areas, the overall record has been disappointing. Presently, civil conflicts are raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, the Indonesian portion of New Guinea, Colombia and elsewhere that the UN seems powerless to stop. Some of these conflicts spill over national borders and a few, such as the Russian-Ukrainian altercation, threaten to become full-scale international wars.

Since, the UN is not a world government, but rather a weak confederation of sovereign states, each member nation retains the right to do whatever it wishes within its own borders and the prerogative, in international law, of waging war. And since there is no generally accepted method for resolving conflicts equitably, wars remain inevitable under the present system. Powerful nations continue to impose their will on the weak (including domestic minorities) by the actual or threatened use of military force, or, alternatively, by applying crippling economic measures. Surely, there must be better ways to deal with conflict. In what follows, I shall outline one such way.

The make-up of the Council must be changed. There is no valid reason for the P-5’s retention of special privileges based on their military success in a war that ended seventy years ago. Germany, Japan, India and Brazil – all now democracies – have achieved greater economic capability than one or more of the P-5 nations and they, as well as a host of other states, have larger – often much larger – populations. There is also no persuasive rationale for retaining the current one nation – one vote rule, in the SC as a whole. (In 1992, for example, when Cape Verde and India were both non-permanent members, Cape Verde’s vote counted the same as that of India, whose population was roughly 2,500 times as great.) Nor can one easily justify the fact that 68 of the UN’s 193 members have never served on the SC at all. When power is so arbitrarily and irrationally distributed among nations within a decision-making body, the legitimacy of that body’s decisions will be widely questioned. And, since the UN so often has neither the will nor the power to enforce its decisions, the United States and other nations will bypass the system with impunity and resort to making decisions by other means, including the use of force.

Power is a delicate subject to discuss. It is often, and justifiably, seen in a negative light, especially among peace and justice advocates. “Power corrupts,” it is said. But power has multiple dimensions and can be harnessed for good as well as harm. Among those dimensions – apart from military power, which ought not to be rewarded – are demographic/democratic power (i.e., population), economic power, and what is widely referred to as “soft power,” the influence that political actors exert by their contemporary behavior and historical legacies. Regrettably, soft power is subjective and not easily measured. Demographic and economic power, however, are quantifiable and, on practical grounds, in a world as diverse as ours, they call for recognition in a weighted voting formula.

We turn now to the question of membership. Literally, scores of proposals have been advanced for increasing the SC’s membership, by anywhere from one to a dozen seats. Virtually all these proposals are intended to enhance the power of specific states by giving them either permanent seats, sometimes also with power of the veto, or longer-term seats, say for up to five years. Few propose elimination of the veto altogether, despite its frequent misuse. However, implementation of any of the expansion plans would inevitably create a new set of discontented “wannabe” nations, who didn’t quite make the cut and who resent the power enhancement for the anointed few: Pakistan vis-à-vis India, Argentina and Mexico vis-à-vis Brazil, etc. Why not, instead, make SC membership universal? But, whoa! Wouldn’t a Council with 193 members be hopelessly slow in making decisions in emergency situations calling for swift responses? Indeed, it would. The way to circumvent this problem is to allocate SC membership primarily on a regional basis.

Twelve regions are proposed, each with one seat and a rationally determined weighted vote. Three of these regions would consist of single nations, the world’s three most populous states: China, India and the United States. The other nine regions are multi-national, with memberships ranging from a low of six nations to a high (in the case of Africa south of the Sahara) of 43

The proposed weighed voting formula is the following:

   W = (P + C + 8.33) / 3

Here, W represents the region’s vote expressed as a percentage of the total, based on the average of three terms: P, the region’s population as a percentage of the world total: C, the region’s combined contributions to the total assessed UN budget; and 8.33 (1/12), a constant, signifying that the world views of all twelve region s are equally worthy of respect.

By way of illustration, the United States would have a weight of 12.53%, which is the average of 4.56% (its population), 24.71 (its UN contribution, assuming it to be in direct proportion to its gross national income), and 8.33% (the specified constant).

If the proposed formula were in place as of 2010, the weights of the twelve regions, n descending order, would have been as follows: Europe, 15.86%; United States, 12.53%; China, 12.24%; India, 9.30%; Latin America and the Caribbean, 7.90%; East Asia, 7.24%; Africa South of the Sahara, 7.16%; Southeast Asia, 6.61%; West Asia [the non-Arab states], 6.49%; The Arab League, 5.45%; Russia and [specified European] Neighbors, 4.67%; and The Westminster League [Canada, Australia, New Zealand and 12 Pacific island states], 4.54 Obviously, weights would have to be periodically recalibrated, just as is done for the US House of Representatives after each decennial census.

Presently, elections to SC seats seldom have more than a single candidate from each regional caucus. Cronyism and political maneuvering characterize the selection process.

An alternate truly competitive system, one designed to promote meritocracy, is needed. In such a system each multi-national region would nominate from two to five worthy individuals for the positions of regional delegate. From each regional slate the General Assembly would select one nominee for the delegate’s position and a runner-up to be his/her alternate. Each region would also devise its own set of rules for guiding its delegate in debates and ultimately in voting. On issues of perennial concern (e.g., disarmament or terrorism), each region would presumably develop a general approach, which it would expect its delegate to promote. To do this, it would require frequent meetings (actual and/or virtual) of representatives of the foreign ministries of the member countries and an intra-regional system of weighted voting. Since consensus will not always be achieved, each region will have to develop its own set of voting protocols. On procedural matters, the delegate might exercise his/her own judgment when voting. On other matters s/he might be guided by varying simple or qualified majorities in internal debate within the region. Voting to impose economic sanctions, for example, might require a two-thirds regional majority, while decisions relating to the authorization of a new peacekeeping mission might call for a 75% majority. Similarly, for the SC as a whole, various qualified majorities would likely be called for.

Would nations be inclined to adopt the reforms proposed in this essay? Most small nations that have never before enjoyed membership in the SC or who have served only one or two terms would probably do so readily. Nations that would be major players within their respective regions, but which are not presently leading contenders for a seat within an expanded SC (e.g. Indonesia in Southeast Asia, or Mexico within Latin America and the Caribbean), would also come aboard. Countries such as India, Japan, Brazil and Germany, which aspire to SC seats in their own right, would be more hesitant (though I can confidently state, based on multiple visits to their respective UN missions, that they take this proposal quite seriously). Most resistant, of course, would be the P-5, who zealously protect their anachronistic and patently unfair privileges. But they do so at a cost, the alienation of the rest of the UN community. And there are tradeoffs that should mitigate the P-5 concerns. Presently, for example, the United States’ vote in the SC (when no veto is contemplated) is one out of fifteen, 6.7% of the total. In the system now proposed, its vote would have almost double that weight, 12.5%. The greatest gain, however, would be to the people of the earth as a whole, in moving from an unjust system derived from an outmoded system of power politics to one that is more workable and aspires to rationality and fairness.

 


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.