Saturday, October 16, 2010

United Nations Reformation

There are some serious institutional problems at the United Nations, and I would like to know what you would do to reform the world body. Despite these problems, I still believe that the UN should exist and that it can still serve a useful purpose, even if it does not anymore. I don't believe that there should be a one world government, but the UN at least provides a mechanism for the global political machinery. Our two biggest barriers to Security Council entry on this most recent ballot were the EU nations trying to stack the SC with EU members and the United Arab Emirates turning on us visa vis our air space and support of Israel. Canada contributes more to the United Nations, to world aid, to global security, and to global sanity than does Portugal; and we were ultimately the most deserving of a seat but regional politics kept us out.

One reform that I would really like to see is that if you are not a democracy then you should not get a vote in the General Assembly. If you don't believe in democracy, then why should you have the right to participate in democracy? I also think the armed wing of the UN is even more flawed than the General Assembly and is arguably in the greatest need of reformation. Just watch Hotel Rwanda; that will tell you everything you need to know about the effectiveness of the UN's "peacekeeping" force.


  1. I think the simplest reform would be to have open voting, as they do in all paliamentary democracies. This secret ballot smacks of union backrooms and shady deals.

  2. There would be no consensus on what definition of "democracy" would be used. Even amongst western nations there is a wide variety of governance approaches and representation systems.

    I think it simpler to move the building and offices and all staff to a remote area - say middle of Greenland - where there is less incentive to hang around and the only ones who would actually be serious about things would bother showing up. That would also take away the thrill of petty despots demeaning the US on US soil and taking victory laps around the twin towers site.

  3. Regarding secret ballots, what is diplomacy if not backroom dealing?

    In Canada's case, since we don't have nuclear weapons, "punching above our weight" translates into how much money, principle or national interest are we trading in exchange for influence? It's a swarmy business and the less transparency, the better for elected politicians, wouldn't you say?