UN panel calls critics' bluffRemember all those people in favor of the Iraq invasion who swore on their mother's life that one of the reasons we had to invade Iraq was to protect the integrity of the United Nations? To make sure that when the UN said something, its word was backed up? Many of those people are now orphans, of course.
No one actually believed that they gave a whit about the UN's reputation; that was only useful when it could be manipulated to advance their pet causes and expendable otherwise.
But it will be interesting how those "The UN must act" people (who are many of the same folks who ordinarily rail against 'one world government') react to the UN's new plan for structural reform.
[A]mong the panel's main findings are calls for a peace-building commission to be established to monitor potential trouble spots, offer help and advice, give warnings and prepare the way for armed intervention as a last resort, reports the BBC.
The panel wants member states to accept a new obligation - a "responsibility to protect" their own citizens.
If they failed to do so, then intervention by the Security Council would be much more likely than under current UN procedures.
Many advocates of the Iraq aggression demanded the UN act to make sure its resolutions (only the ones on Iraq, I should say) were enforced. If this plan is successful, they will get a UN with more ability to act. They should be thrilled that the supposedly anti-American UN acted on the concerns of American conservatives. Yipee!
Additionally, Among the other main findings, the panel suggests threats to international security should be defined widely and should include poverty, pandemics like Aids and environmental disasters, not just threats from weapons of mass destruction, wars and failed states.
Some people might not like that last part since acknowledging some problems is, to them, tantamount to 'minimizing' their preferred problems or 'appeasing' their demons du jour.
But any serious person realizes that resentment is the greenhouse that terrorism requires to flourish. Even President Bush, no bleeding heart liberal, pointed out, "Persistent poverty and oppression can lead to hopelessness and despair. And when governments fail to meet the most basic needs of their people, these failed states can be havens for terror."
Inclusion of these other threats in the security realm is therefore indispensible to any comprehensive plan against insecurity.