Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Annan to Propose Overhaul of U.N.: "'We have come to a fork in the road. This may be a moment, no less decisive than 1945 itself, when the United Nations was founded,' reads an advance copy of his speech."

Annan's speech looks to be a far more interesting one than Bush's. I'm wondering how the process of reforming or expanding the UN Security Council would work, from a purely legal perspective. Would the charter have to re-ratified by every member country? Or does the charter actually have an in-built mechanism for change? Can the UN General Assembly decide on changes alone, and if so, by what kind of vote? Do permanent members of the Security Council have any say in the matter? Please don't tell me it didn't occur to anybody in 1945 that the balance of power in the world would someday change. Ideally the UNSC permanent members would be Europe, America, Russia, India, and China. Actually, ideally China would be left out until they decide to become a real democracy, but that's far fetched. It's also pretty far fetched to think that France or Britain would willingly cede their seats to a single European representative within the next, say, 30 years. (Britain has much less to lose in that regard than France, since it rarely takes a position independent of the United States.)

Just thinking out loud.


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