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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Security Council Expansion?

The AP has a story today that receives a lot more attention around the world than it does in the US: "Chirac Urges Security Council Expansion."
French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that the United Nations Security Council does not represent today's world and should be expanded to include Germany, Japan and developing nations such as Brazil and India as permanent members.
A number of other states and leaders favor this expansion, including Germany and Japan. Tony Blair has called for Security Council expansion too and Chirac was speaking at Oxford. Earlier in the week, Chirac and Blair met to discuss common ground.

Note that India wants a permanent seat too, as apparently does Egypt, Brazil and South Africa.

Back to Chirac, who emphasized his agreement with Blair about this issue:
"When it comes to multilateralism, we share the same vision," the French president added. "When it comes to new rules of law or U.N. reform, we are speaking with one voice."

Chirac said the decision-making U.N. Security Council "is no longer truly representative of the world as it is today. So it needs to be modernized."

Britain has also backed expansion of the Security Council. Britain, France, China, the United States and Russia are all permanent members.

Chirac suggested the body's membership should rise from 15 permanent and rotating nations to 20 or 25 to reflect how the world had changed since the United Nations was founded in 1945.

"You cannot simply take a snapshot of 1945 and apply it to 2004," Chirac said.
Chirac and Blair agree about the need to fight poverty in Africa, slow global warming, and speed up the Middle East peace process.

What about the USA? Does Chirac envision working with the US on these kinds of issues?
"North America and Europe are destined to work together because they share the same values, the same background," he said. "The trans-Atlantic link is quite simply the political expression of our great and fundamental values."
The US has pledged to spend more money on Africa (including 50% more cash for "core development assistance" and money to fight AIDS) and is also talking again about the Middle East peace process.

Is the Bush administration interested in global warming? Not really. Given that Kyoto goes into force in February, that must be troublesome to US allies.

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