The United Nations is taking actions that are the most important changes in 60 years. The U.N. is moving to broaden the membership of the 15 nation Security Council, to reflect the real world of today, instead of the one that existed 60 years ago. The reason this is important is that the Security Council is the most powerful arm of the United Nations. It is the one body that has the power to pass binding resolutions on all members of the U.N.
At the present time, it is dominated by a few nations including, the USA, Britain, France, Russia, China. Granted 60 years ago, these were the dominant nations of the world. But today, Japan, India, Germany, and Brazil, just to name a few, believe that they deserve to be reflected in the Security Council.
Thursday, Secretary General Kofi Annan publishes his recommendations on how to update the U.N. and how the U.N. should deal with terror, poverty, mass violence and genocide. One of the interesting issues is that this United Nations has fallen into deep disagreement with the United States. The U.N. makes a strong case that the USA got a U.N. resolution by false information, and deceived the members of the United Nations to obtain a resolution, and then improperly used that resolution to invade Iraq. Technically and legally, the United Nations is correct.
Kofi Annan, in a speech to the General Assembly said: "We have reached a fork in the road. This may be a moment no less decisive than 1945 itself, when the U.N. was founded."
The new policy will recommend amendments to the charter, to avoid being manipulated into supporting illegal war again. The new Security Council will be expanded to include 24 members, with permanent members being increased to 11 or possibly another formula.
The new changes do not grant veto power beyond the existing 5 nations, and this is bound to create controversy when the General Assembly debates the changes. Changes must be approved by two thirds of the 191 member U.N. membership.
Who does the USA support? The United States, is supporting Japan, the only candidacy for permanent membership that the USA unequivocally supports. Colin Powell, outgoing Secretary of State, had supported Brazil's candidacy, but this was conditional.
THE GOLDEN RULE...WHOEVER HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES. Will that apply now? The USA has in the past provided 22% of the total budget of the United Nations, but in recent years other nations have increased their financial influence. Japan now provides 19.5%, Germany 8.7%, Britain 6.1%, France 6%, China 2.1%, and Russia a mere 1.1% of the U.N. budget.
Regardless, if the Security Council is broadened, the relative power and influence of the United States will decline. This may reflect the reality of the world, as economics indicates that India, China, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and other nations, are far more powerful and prosperous than they were 30 years ago.
Indeed, the combined economies of India, China, and Japan, are formidable. We will continue to monitor this most important event in our "Global Perspective".