Friday, September 02, 2005

What do you need to know about "Reform the UN"?

UPDATE: The ASA secretariat had a meeting to discuss the regular works and coordination. There was an issue about the Reform the UN particularly concern about the upcoming UN General Assembly in October 2005. We found that there are some concerns and alerts that we need to take.

An official reform program was initiated by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan shortly after starting his first term January 1, 1997. On March 21, 2005, Annan presented a major report on UN Reform, In Larger Freedom.

1. Security Council Reform
A very frequently discussed change to the UN structure is to change the permanent membership of the security council.

- admit more members: candidates always mentioned are India, Japan, Germany and Brazil (the G4 nation)

- abolish the United Kingdom and France's seats and give seat to the European Union, but EU is not a state.

- remove the veto power enjoyed by the permanent members of the security council.

2. Enhancing its democratic nature
The UN is not a world government, rather than a forum for the world's sovereign states to debate issues and determine collective courses of actions. A direct democracy would request the election of the UN Secretary-General by direct vote of the citizens of the democratic countries.

For the UN to become more democratic in a direct sense, four things presumably have to happen.

- Representation would need to be based more on population vote and UN democratic and free elections to the Secretary and Assembly, rather than the present strict one-state-one-vote principle.

- The veto power of the Security Council would have to be removed.

- The UN would have to be given some power of governance over its members, just as a national government has power of governance over its citizens.

- the UN might also exclude from its membership those nations which it determined to be grossly violating the human rights of its people, including the right to periodic democratic, universal, secret-ballot elections.

What do you think about this? You can read more about the background of the reform the UN HERE!