Chutzpah doesn’t come anywhere near it. Having done more than any other British Prime Minister in the last fifty years to undermine the authority of the U.N., Tony Blair now has the audacity to lecture the organisation on its need to ‘adapt to meet the challenges of today’s world’.
Let no one be fooled what the consequences of Blair’s proposed reforms would be. An enlarged security council of 25 countries, in which majority voting would take place, sounds fine in principle, but by removing the Russian and Chinese veto- it would increase US and British’s chances of getting future military aggression sanctioned by the UN. Blair also believes that the position of Secretary-General of the UN should be enhanced, with the position awarded to ‘a high powered international figure chosen from a global pool’.
Here’s a bet: the ‘global pool’ Blair has in mind won’t include the likes of Hugo Chavez or any other opponents of Western global hegemony. Blair also talks of a UN in which ‘we should not be afraid to stand up for democratisation’. But his refusal to describe Venezuela, a country where the leftist rule of President Chavez has eight times been endorsed by the people of the country as a democracy- tells us all we need to know about Tony Blair’s definition of the ‘d’ word. The Prime Minister believes in ‘Henry Ford’ democracy- that people can vote in any colour government they like so long as it opens its economy to Western multinationals and follows a pro-American foreign policy.
In one aspect though Blair is right. The UN must adapt to ‘meet the challenges of today’s world’. The biggest of these challenges is how to deal with two powerful states who think the rules of international law no longer apply to them. To deal with the US and Britain, the UN needs to adopt a new get tough policy- and make it clear that future illegal invasions of sovereign states will not be tolerated. Over to you, Kofi.