July 5, 2005
UNSC EXPANSION: MEDIA SAY U.S. AIMS TO SPLIT THE G-4
** Critics charge the U.S. aims to "collapse the joint front" of the G-4's quest to join the UNSC.
** Media in the G-4 countries see an "impasse in the UN reform process."
** Papers say U.S. policy aims to contain "China's increasing influence."
** Outlets note that most countries "strongly resist" extending the veto right at the UNSC.
'Devious move to sow division' among the G-4-- Critics assailed the U.S.' "subtle and deceptive" response to the G-4's effort to join the UNSC, adding that the U.S. is focusing on its own "political and military aims." Dubbing the U.S.' implicit approval of India and Japan's entry into the UNSC a "brazen attempt to break the G-4's solidarity," India's centrist Telegraph alleged Washington "only supports countries which it can hope to manipulate." India's right-of-center Pioneer concluded the U.S.' "dilatory tactics" had the "explicit purpose of delaying, if not scuppering," UNSC expansion. Syria's government-owned Al-Thawra alleged the U.S. wants the UNSC to "serve its ambitions of controlling the world."
'Mere wishful thinking'-- Terming UNSC expansion "unfeasible," numerous G-4 observers concluded the "abiding dream" of joining the UNSC was a "classic case of wishful thinking." Brazil's center-right O Estado de S. Paulo advised Brasilia to "consider realistically Brazil's true possibilities," while Germany's leftist die tageszeitung labeled Berlin's quest for a permanent seat a "dead man walking." Other papers dismissed UNSC expansion as "political symbolism," calling for UN reform to focus on "increasing efficiency and effectiveness." Russia's business-oriented Kommersant predicted a "radically enlarged" UNSC would be another "League of Nations" and prove "unable to solve a single problem."
'China is determined to block' Japan-- Global papers contrasted the U.S.' "open support for Japan's candidacy" with China's "clear strategy to restrain Japan's bid." Most argued that Washington aimed to "balance China's influence" through its backing for Japan and India. China's official World News Journal accused Washington of seeking to "construct a geopolitical environment to contain" China; as UNSC members, India and Japan would likely "vote aligned with the U.S." Japan's conservative Sankei noted Tokyo and Washington shared concerns over the "negative effects from China's increasing influence."
Giving new UNSC members the veto is 'neither feasible nor desirable'-- G-4 media acknowledged that dropping the demand for the UNSC veto was a "wise decision." Germany's left-of-center Berliner Zeitung opposed increasing the number of countries that "could thwart the decision of the rest of the world with a simple 'no,'" while India's pro-BJP Dinamani hailed the G-4's "practical and timely" decision to surrender their veto demand. Several outlets rejected the veto concept. Norway's social-democratic Dagsavisen declared the veto right should not be expanded: "five are already five too many." Pakistan's center-left Dawn agreed the "continuation of the veto power goes against the spirit of democracy."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 69 reports from 19 countries over 26 May - 5 July, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
FRANCE: "UN Reform Turning Sour"
Alain Barluet noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/24): “The prospect for UN reform has darkened for lack of a consensus. The U.S. has just revealed its preference regarding the enlargement of the UNSC...and its open support for Japan’s candidacy. A choice that China strongly opposes.... Lula’s Brazil does not enjoy Washington’s favors, and neither does Germany, for having sided with the side of peace over Iraq.... The impossible consensus could be fatal to the reform. While some countries could be tempted to support this stalemate, others fear it, because as a French diplomat said: ‘we need to move to other things.’”
GERMANY: "Less Is More"
Jan Dirk Hebermann noted in business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (6/27): "The [UN] members should concentrate on the things that are feasible. This includes a strengthening of UN peacekeeping forces...and the UN members should agree on an expansion of humanitarian activities of the UNHCR or the WHO...but in order to equip its agencies with more effective instruments, the UN should examine whether other UN agencies should really continue to exist. The ILO, UNIDO, UNCTAD, the Economic and Social Council, the Economic Commission for Europe, is it really necessary that these bureaucracies continue to muddle on next to each other and consume hundreds of millions of dollars per year? Have these organizations not become obsolete in view of globalization and the WTO? These useless document producers should at least be streamlined. This would open up new resources for feasible UN reforms."
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger commented in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (6/18): "If the U.S. wants to prevent the German government from reaching its great goal of a permanent UNSC seat, it could do so. This is a bitter experience and a tough lesson. As a result, Berlin's reaction is forced. It said the Bush administration constructively engaged in the debate about the UN, but it did not accept Germany's ambition by proposing a small enlargement. That is fair to say. The German government always claimed that it wants to increase the representation of the southern hemisphere, but the chancellor wanted to crown his normalization process with a permanent seat. It does not look good for him at the moment."
Dietmar Ostermann editorialized in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (6/18): "From the narrow German perspective, Washington's late proposal for UNSC reform is disappointing. Washington will only enlarge the council modestly.... Sorry, Germany. The argument from Berlin that this does not suffice to change the current disproportion is right but does not change anything.... Is this Bush's revenge for the opposition to the Iraq war? Not really. The U.S. position reflects American interests and convictions. The smaller the UNSC, the more effective it is, Washington believes. In so far, Washington's minimalist approach can be understood as a confession of the Bush administration for a functioning UN. Only those in the U.S. who wanted to make the hated UN incapable advocated a great enlargement. However, Washington's new position does not make Germany's position easier. This is a double game. Until now, the Bush administration left it to China to oppose the ambition of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. Now, Washington takes the quartet seriously and engages actively."
"A Wise Withdrawal From A Maximum Position"
Bettina Vestring opined in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (6/3): "Germany is able to present good arguments for its application for a permanent UNSC seat. It is the third largest contributor, and it has also offered the largest force for UN peacekeeping missions. These are good arguments for the government irrespective of who governs in Germany. But it is neither feasible nor desirable to give the new permanent members a veto right. The highest UN body is often enough incapable of acting because the five current permanent members are blocking each other with a veto. To increase the number of those who could thwart the decision of the rest of the world with a simple 'no' does not make sense. The demand itself does not fit a reform, which is supposed to make the UN more effective. The government in Berlin has probably never meant the demand seriously to be put on the same level as the other five permanent members. Now, during the final stage of the talks, the veto question will become part of the discussion. This is reasonable, since only those will get an approval who show that they are able to act with circumspection."
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger observed in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (6/10): "A great amount of poison, which contaminated relations between Bush and Schröder during and because of the Iraq crisis, is still there. At the time, Ms Rice undiplomatically said Germany led by a red-green government should be ignored. Whether it is red-green or a different color, the country in Europe's center is far too important to the U.S. to be ignored. Maybe German diplomats are right when they say that the American UN policy is not guided by anti-German motives. But the chancellor might see America opposing a matter that is more important to him than most others."
"Delayed Means Cancelled"
Stefan Ulrich noted in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (6/10): "Rice made clear that the Bush administration just supports Japan's strive for a permanent seat on the UNSC and that the U.S. has not yet made a decision on the German bid. This is diplo-speak for saying that you can do whatever you want but you will not have our blessing because we have not forgotten your fight against our Iraq war. That is an affront to one of the closest U.S. allies, who stands by the U.S. in most conflicts--apart from the Iraq war. Secondly, it sends the German desire for a permanent seat into the field of dreams, because nothing will go against America's will. Taking a closer look, the matter does not appear to be so hopeless, because Rice said more than that. She said America is principally in favor of a renewal of the UNSC and that all reform plans are still on the table. This ambivalent attitude shows the uncomfortable position of the super power in the row over UN reform. The Bush administration does not want to annoy its faithful Asian ally. But Japan teamed up with Germany, India and Brazil in this question. On the other side, America does not want to drive away partners like Pakistan and Italy, which are against new permanent UNSC members for nationalistic reasons. Washington's attempts to single out Japan from the G-4 group have failed so far, and therefore the U.S. is playing for time."
Jacques Schuster observed in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (6/10): "The U.S. is not clearly saying whether Germany could become a permanent member on the UNSC, but we all know that Washington will not support the red-green government in getting a seat at this important table. The U.S. fears Germany could again hatch plans against American interests. Apart from this, the German government has not yet been able to explain why it seeks a permanent seat. We cannot help feeling that Schröder and Fischer simply care about their reputation and only want the seat to be on the same level with Americans."
"Agreement On Tough Questions"
Andreas Rinke asserted in business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (6/10): "Again and again, politicians announce the new beginning of the transatlantic relationship. That is not a surprise, given that the Iraq war damaged relations between President Bush and Chancellor Schröder so badly. Although the greatest damage has been repaired, both men will not develop great trust and real affection to each other. Without any doubt, a Chancellor Merkel could succeed in making a new beginning, but nobody should be too naïve. The times when Washington longed for a black-yellow government are over. First of all, the cooperation with the current government is better than it appears. Secondly, Washington realizes with increasing concerns that the CDU/CSU and FDP's European and foreign policy does not square with American interests. Thirdly, no German government can be expected to increase its military budget due to the country's tight finances."
"Dead Man Walking"
Bernd Pickert wrote in leftist die tageszeitung of Berlin (6/10): "The U.S. has apparently not yet made a decision whether it wants to strengthen or to weaken the UN. That explains its inconsistency. The country has been vehemently calling for reforms, but simultaneously blocks them in an attempt to solidify its influence. The U.S. supports Japan's bid, but it must know that this could only be achieved in a package, given China's opposition. The U.S. officially supports the European integration, but it is secretly happy about every European dispute. Active and strategically orientated policy looks differently. Fischer's visit to Washington did not change this. As a foreign minister he is a dead man walking. You do not have to hurt him, but nor do you have to promise him anything."
"Europe In America"
Stefan Kornelius commented in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (6/8): "The European crisis is also a transatlantic crisis, as the German foreign minister can currently see in Washington. Joschka Fischer knew from his first day in office that Europe's well being is determined also by Washington's climate. That U.S. foreign policy is worth little without European support has only recently become general knowledge in the Bush administration. Fischer can see this in respect of the EU and the UN. In a few weeks, UN members will discuss and decide UN Security Council reform. The U.S. position is unclear, but important. Washington hesitates to support Germany, not least because Fischer and Chancellor Schröder gathered support for their UN plan across the world but did not openly ask U.S. Congress and the government. The breach in the European Union also has transatlantic reasons: The crisis after the referendum in France is so deep because many countries do not like to support a German-French leadership role that is clearly directed against Washington. Fischer is holding talks with Washington again, which must be praised. However, the timing is bad. The Bush administration is more ready to cooperate, but it currently rather stands aside watching Europe than taking actions. The moment Washington remembered its European friends, a strong counterpart was missing."
ITALY: "The UN According To Bush: Yes To Japan, No To Germany"
Maurizio Molinari wrote in centrist, influential La Stampa (6/17): “Commenting on the conversation between Bush and Putin, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said that the U.S. wants to achieve ‘a broad consensus’ on the reform that the General Assembly...will have to approve in September.... Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns went one step further when he announced the presentation next week of a formal packet of proposals to the UN. There are many implications involved in Washington’s step. Leaving behind years of bitter criticism toward the UN, the Bush Administration demonstrates its desire to be the protagonist of a reform which is bound to turn the UN into the motor for global democratic revolution and the fight against terrorism. It is endorsing a large part of the proposals put forth by Secretary General Kofi Annan...and reformulating the UNSC in a way that conflicts with the positions of Beijing--which is hostile to the Japanese seat--while it is approaching Italy by excluding Germany from a permanent seat.... Washington’s step is destined to redefine the content of the reform battle.”
"UNSC: Bush Wants Japan And India"
Ennio Caretto wrote in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (6/17): “The Bush Administration wants to expand the UNSC by ‘more or less 2 permanent members’ one of which is Japan.... So Burns confirmed the American ‘no’ to the candidacy of the G4, Japan, Germany, India, Brazil, leaving the door open to a larger group of semi-permanent members, among which is Italy.... He didn’t explain who America had in mind in addition to Japan, but according to the New York Times it won’t be Germany, already excluded by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, but instead an 'emerging country’ like India.... McClellan’s caution is due to the controversial plan that Burns is about to publish. The plan calls for the substitution of the Human Rights Commission with a smaller council including a ‘Fund for democratic support,’ a ‘Peace Commission,’ and a ‘Treaty against terrorism.’ These proposals correspond more to American political and military aims, than to those of the majority of the UN.”
RUSSIA: "UN May Become Another League Of Nations"
Boris Volkhonskiy commented in business-oriented Kommersant (6/10): “The UN is said to have outlived its usefulness as a forum dealing with global problems. Indeed, in the past decade, the UN has either been upstaged in handling the most pressing issues (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq) or made propaganda noises, without really helping to resolve problems (climate change, AIDS, drug trafficking, corruption, terrorism, hunger, poverty, to name but a few). Based on political correctness and the bureaucratic interests of the UN as an independent structure, it is only natural to try to satisfy the growing requirements of former Third World countries. The question is how manageable the UNSC will be, with a radically enlarged membership. Won’t the UN become another League of Nations, all its members equal but unable to solve a single problem?”
Philippe Paquet noted in independent La Libre Belgique (6/10): "By stating yesterday that it considered ‘immature’ a proposal to add six permanent members to the UNSC, China has hammered another nail into the UN reform’s coffin. Three months before the General Assembly that will have to assess this process, the chances to reach an agreement seem thinner than ever.... This idea of adding six members is defended by a group of four countries - Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan. They want four seats for themselves and two for Africa.... The U.S. had initially appeared to condition its support to the ‘G4’ on these four countries giving up their right of veto. But in the framework of a meeting with the head of German diplomacy Joschka Fischer on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice reportedly said that the enlargement of the UNSC was not a priority for Washington. The U.S. Secretary of State underlined that this position had nothing to do with any anti-German consideration, but it is hard to imagine that the German opposition to the war in Iraq has been so quickly forgotten in the U.S. But it first and foremost appears that the group of four made the wrong decision by uniting their efforts. Indeed, the Americans are actually only supporting Japan’s candidacy, whereas China absolutely refuses to give Japan a seat at the UNSC. As a result, the other three countries are now the victim of their irreversible association with Tokyo.... Any UN reform must be approved by the UN Security Council where China, like the other four permanent members, has a right of veto.... And China is determined to block the candidacy of Japan, which is being criticized for its barbaric behavior during WWII and perceived as an unbearable rival in the race for preeminence in Asia.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "New UN Wanted. Badly."
Daniel Anyz opined in leading, centrist MF Dnes (6/24): "Structure of the UNSC has been fought over for years, and discussions in last few months have not brought any results either. On the issue of terrorism the U.N. got stuck even on a definition of terrorism itself; fighting poverty envisages that rich member states will pay more to coffers of the UN, which spends 80 percent of its budget on its operation.... Something must change. Hopefully collective common sense and self-preservation will be stronger than fear to make cuts in the body whose lazy chubbiness suits many."
IRELAND: "Clash Over UN Council Plan"
Deaglan de Breadun wrote in the center-left Irish Times (6/3): "A quiet battle is under way over plans to expand the UNSC.... The prize for one side is to attain permanent membership of the UNSC, the prize for the other side is to prevent that from happening. Four major players in the game of power politics--Brazil, Germany, India and Japan--have joined together in the Group of Four (G4). Their aim is to create six new permanent seats on the UNSC, four of which would be occupied by the G4 countries. All believe they have strong claims: Brazil plays a dynamic role in South America, Germany is a key player in the EU, India has been emerging as a major regional power and Japan contributes massively to the UN budget.... Countries opposed to the G4 project have combined in the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group.... The playing-field for this power-play is worldwide.... There is a further interesting by-play in the game, involving the continent of Africa. The G4 group is proposing four new permanent seats for itself and two for African member-states. South Africa has an obvious claim but should it have precedence over Nigeria?.... Ireland is a long-time supporter of the principle that the UNSC should be more representative and perform with greater efficiency. These two objectives are not necessarily always compatible. The Government is also keenly conscious that two important EU partners are involved on opposite sides, namely, Germany and Italy.”
NORWAY: "The UNSC Needs Renewal"
Social-democratic Dagsavisen commented (6/28): "After almost exactly 60 years in the global arena, the UN needs major reforms, and most importantly a renewal of the UNSC. The UNSC is the UN power agency, and the only one in the world that, supported by international law, can decide on war and peace. But the Council still reflects a division of power that existed in 1945. This is not good enough in a world that is so thoroughly changed since then.... If we are going to make progress in the important reformation of the UNSC, it is necessary to make compromises that all five permanent [members] can accept.... This means that a permanent membership for Japan, which China will veto, should be put aside. It should, however, be possible to agree on the inclusion of some of the large, established democracies in the Third World, such as India, Brazil and South Africa. An important point is that the UNSC should not to be changed so much that it ends up being a debating club without the ability to act. This also implies that the veto right should not be expanded further. Five are already five too many.”
SWEDEN: "It May Be Good If The UN Fails"
Independent, liberal Stockholm-based Dagens Nyheter commented (6/27): "It is obvious that much must be improved and streamlined in order for the UN to survive as a major force. The international organization must, for example, be able to intervene when genocide is imminent.... Some parts of the core of the reform package could be dismissed as political symbolism. The enlargement of the UNSC is the best example. Enlargement would give legitimacy, say advocates, thereby hinting that today’s UNSC decisions are not. Most people likely agree that the composition of the UNSC is not keeping up with the times--that relative strengths are different now than when the UN was established.... But it is unlikely that UN will improve if more delegates are crowded around the Security Council table. On the contrary, one can argue that it would be better for the international organization if the reform process on this central issue ‘failed’”
SYRIA: "Who Marginalizes The UN?"
Muhammad Khair al-Jammali opined in government-owned Al-Thawra (6/28): "The UN, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, is now hostage to the hegemony of the big powers, especially the superpower, the US.... Washington uses the international organization to serve its ambitions of controlling the world under the pretext of spreading freedom and democracy.... The only way to correct this situation and reform the UN is to abolish the veto right in the UNSC and make the General Assembly resolutions binding."
UAE: "For A Few Seats More"
The expatriate-oriented English-language Gulf Today maintained (6/10): "The drama over the expansion of the UNSC is fast becoming a farce. The reform proposals have taken a new turn and it now looks as if the exercise is focused only on numbers. According to an amended proposal, India, Japan, Germany and Brazil--the so-called G4 group--are ready to forego veto rights for 15 years if they are accepted as permanent members of the council. These countries have softened down from their earlier demand for equal rights among permanent members. A more glaring problem is the growing opposition by some countries against the inclusion of some of the G4 contenders. China has called the new proposal 'immature' and against the long-term interests of the UN. Beijing would like the UN members "to continue democratic consultations" and find an acceptable solution. China is dead against Japan joining the UNSC as a permanent member. The diplomatic strains between the two Asian neighbours have reached near breaking point. The US is of the opinion that the expansion of the UNSC is not the top UN reform priority. The reason is no secret. American does not want Germany to be made a permanent member of the council. The climb down by the four aspirants, particularly India, from the demand of veto rights must have come from a realistic assessment of the situation. There was unanimity on the part of the five permanent Security Council members--the US, Britain, France, China and Russia--that the right to veto was not for any more sharing. The question of equality among members was not going to extend beyond duties and obligations. The reform proposals have fallen prey to mutual distrust among countries. Germany, with its measured ties with the US and with its anti-war policy, was not going to win America's support. Washington knows that working with Germany in the Council will lead to problems, especially considering Germany's stand on European and Middle East issues. The row between China and Japan has similarly rocked the efforts of the G4 group to present a joint case at the UN General Assembly. China had earlier supported India and Brazil for permanent seats. But, with Japan coming as part of the package, Beijing has its options clear--oppose the group altogether. Obviously, the logic of meaningful reform matters only if it syncs with the wishes of the leaders of the club. What matters more to them is their own agendas. This has been and will continue to be the biggest constraint for the world body. The UN cannot work on its principles even on its own reform efforts. The G4 is confident that the proposal will get the vital two-third majority in the General Assembly. That itself is to be seen. Even if it gets through, a few more chairs in the UNSC chamber is not going to make any big difference."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA: "The U.S. Intends To Contain China In UNSC"
Yu Hongyuan commented in official China Radio International-sponsored World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao) (6/24): "The U.S. plans to contain China in the UNSC. The U.S. will construct a geopolitical environment to contain China’s diplomatic, military and economic strength. The U.S. plan is half good and half bad. First, the U.S. clearly supports Japan and opposes Germany. This means that the Group of Four’s plan will be stopped. The U.S. is looking out for its own interests. All parties should be vigilant of the U.S.' next step in case it tries to change the UN into a tool of its unilateralism.”
"Japan’s Pursuit Of A Permanent UNSC Seat Could Lead The U.S. And China Into Close Combat"
Qiu Zhenhai commented in official international International Herald Leader (Guoji Xianqu Daobao) (6/23): "Last week the U.S. suddenly proposed a new plan on UN reform, putting forth a plan to increase permanent membership of the UNSC by two. One is Japan and another is possibly India. If Japan and India become permanent members, the U.S. will greatly increase its strength in Asia to balance China’s influence. Meanwhile expelling Germany from the council fits the U.S. goal to shift strategic focus from Europe to Asia and fits its interests to decrease opposition in Europe. China actually only opposes Japan among the Group of Four. Japan may possibly discard the ‘four countries together’ tactic due to the U.S. plan. If this happens, it will be China who solely opposes Japan’s entering the UNSC. If the Group of Four breaks up then China will face the situation of having to fight a close combat with the U.S. on the issue.”
"China Would 'Vote Against' G-4 Reform"
The official English-language China Daily contended (6/23): "Forcible voting on an immature proposal is bound to lead to divisions among member states and weaken the authority and role of the UN. To the absolute majority of member states, it will be a huge loss of an irredeemable nature."
"U.S. Proposes Increasing UNSC Permanent Membership By 2, 'Group Of Four' Anxious"
He Hongze, Ren Yan and Sun Xiuping commented in official international Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (6/20): "The U.S. proposal to increase UNSC permanent by two is a severe blow to the ‘group of four.’ The U.S. plan is obviously designed to counter what the ‘group of four’s’ proposal. Because the ‘group of four’ did not heed the U.S. warning against rashly submitting their plan for a UNGA vote, the U.S. has taken action to deter them. The U.S. plan also has foiled the Japanese government’s plan. Japan has been confused and dissatisfied with the surprise U.S. move. The previous disagreement between the ‘group of four’ and ‘uniting for consensus’ has become a confrontation between the ‘group of four’ and the United States. The U.S. House of Representatives has threatened to withhold half of the U.S. United Nations’ membership fee if the UN doesn’t agree to the U.S. reform plan. If the four countries ignore the U.S. warning and submit their proposal for a UNGA vote, they will completely fall out with the U.S. What the U.S. wants for the UNSC is not expansion, but increased efficiency. The U.S. earnestly hopes that the ‘group of four’s’ expansion plan will not be passed but, such a result is now very possible.”
"U.S. Report Dampens ‘The Four Countries’ Enthusiasm"
Zhao Zhuojun commented in official China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao) (6/17): "The U.S. Congressional Study Group on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform issued a report warning that any expansion plan for the Security Council should focus on increasing the effectiveness of the council. The report did not mention that the U.S. would support Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the UNSC. Japanese media stated that the vague report was a severe blow for ‘the four countries.’ Both U.S. President Bush and Russian President Putin expressed the opinion that the UNSC’s reform plan should first gain the broad support of UN member states. Analysts believe that the attitude of these leaders demonstrates that they do not want the ‘Group of Four’ to rashly urge the UNGA to vote on a plan to expand the Security Council.”
CHINA (HONG KONG AND MACAU SARS): "Four-country Alliance Bid For UNSC Encounters Difficulties"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (6/12): "On June 8, the four-country alliance comprising Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil developed a new resolution regarding increasing the number of permanent members on the UNSC. The new resolution provides some adjustments to veto power by postponing discussion for 15 years. The four-country alliance has made such a concession to demonstrate that their desire to minimize obstacles for their UNSC bid. However, they will still face many difficulties.... Forming an alliance has in fact become a kind of check on the four countries. China opposes Japan's bid; Italy opposes that of Germany; Pakistan opposes that of India; and Argentina opposes that of Brazil. Russia supports China's stance, while France has sided with Germany. Britain remains undecided. Amid such chaos, only those countries supporting the bids by all four countries will vote yes. As long as they disagree with any one of the four countries, countries will vote no. By forming an alliance, the four countries will not increase their support; on the contrary, they will increase their chances of being rejected altogether."
"Japan And Germany Try In Vain To Fulfill Dream Of Joining UNSC"
Mass-circulation Chinese-language Apple Daily News editorialized (6/10): "U.S. President Bush nominated John Bolton to be the UN ambassador despite his provocative and sometimes offensive remarks. A few years ago, Bolton said that only the U.S.--and no other country--should enjoy veto power on the UN Security Council. This remark, of course, prompted strong criticism from other UN members, who felt Bolton's remark was arrogant and overbearing. Bolton's nomination as UN ambassador has yet to be confirmed, and the delay appears largely due to his 'outspoken' remarks. Judging from the UN's actual operations, however, and how it handles international affairs, Bolton's remarks are not totally groundless.... Reforming the UN Security Council involves too many political considerations, too many geopolitical interests, and the settling of too many old scores. It would therefore be difficult for Japan, Germany and others to move a single step towards reforming the UNSC, let alone becoming its permanent members. Just take Japan as an example: Although Japan provides the UN with abundant manpower and financial resources, it would be difficult for Japan to become a permanent UNSC member without 'healing' the historic wounds of its neighbors, including China and South Korea. As for Germany, although the country has cast off its historic burden, Germany offended the U.S. in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Moreover, Italy has always tried to hold Germany back. It therefore appears that Germany's dream of joining the UNSC could hardly come true."
JAPAN: "G-4 Nations Should Seek Understanding And Support For Original Resolution For UNSC Expansion"
Business-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (6/24): "In addition to the 'Consensus Group' nations' continuing opposition to the G-4 nations' draft resolution for UNSC expansion, the U.S. has recently made a proposal to increase the number of permanent UNSC members to 'two or so,' including Japan. China continues to check Japan's moves to seek permanent membership on the UNSC. Although we praise U.S. support for Japan's bid to become a permanent UNSC member, the U.S. proposal is far distant from the G-4 resolution. Driven to choose between the two options, FM Machimura met with foreign ministers from other G-4 nations in Brussels on June 22 and reaffirmed plans to submit the resolution to the UNGA in July. At this juncture, Japan's acceptance of the U.S. proposal would seriously hurt Japan's prestige in the international community. As things stand, the G-4 nations cannot help but seek U.S. understanding of their draft resolution. France and Britain, both permanent UNSC members, are supportive of the G-4 resolution on UNSC expansion... It is difficult to predict the fate of the G-4 nations' resolution. It requires support from at least two-thirds of U.N. member nations to have the resolution adopted by the U.N. Now is the time for the G-4 nations to do their utmost to submit the resolution, as scheduled, and seek support from as many member nations as possible."
"A Major Blow"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri noted (6/17): "A USG suggestion that permanent UNSC status be given to 'two or so' nations dealt a major blow to the Group of Four nations, including Japan, who are bidding for permanent seats in the UNSC. The acceptance of the U.S. suggestion would collapse the joint front by the four nations seeking permanent UNSC membership, making an early settlement of the issue impossible. The four aspirants, which have already come close to submitting a modified resolution to the UN, will find it necessary to decide whether to continue trying to persuade the U.S. to approve the draft resolution or to submit the resolution to the world organization at an early date. A source close to the Japanese permanent representative office to the UN expressed profound shock at the latest U.S. suggestion, saying the Japanese side was now studying the 'true intention' behind the U.S. suggestion."
"PM Koizumi Should Persuade U.S. To Support Japan's Bid For Permanent UNSC Membership"
Liberal Mainichi observed (6/10): "The four UNSC aspirants, including Japan, have modified a draft resolution on UNSC expansion, in which they would refrain from exercising veto rights for at least 15 years. But it is not certain whether the G-4 nations can gain enough support from UN member nations. Although the U.S. is supportive of Japan's bid to become a permanent UNSC member, Washington has been rather negative about UNSC expansion and about candidacy for permanent membership from a European nation. The current five permanent UNSC members--all victors of World War II and creators of the world organization--are similarly aware that they must protect their vested interests, including veto rights. Secretary of State Rice has reportedly told Foreign Minister Machimura that Japan should postpone submission of the G-4's draft resolution, set for this month. China has made clear a strategy to restrain Japan's bid for permanent UNSC membership. FM Machimura declared that the Koizumi government would give top priority to winning a permanent seat on the Security Council. PM Koizumi must, therefore, stake his political life in persuading the U.S. and Asian and African nations to support Japan's bid for permanent membership."
"ASEAN Nations Troubled By Japan-China Tug-of-War Over UNSC Expansion"
Conservative Sankei stated (6/3): "ASEAN nations are placed in a dilemma over the intensification of a tug-of-war by Japan and China over Tokyo's bid for permanent UNSC membership. Although all 10 ASEAN member nations have previously expressed support for a Japan-sponsored resolution to expand the Security Council, they are also eager to maintain good relations with China, which is opposed to the submission of the proposed resolution to the UNGA for adoption. While China is reportedly trying to prevent the ASEAN nations from voting for the resolution, Japan has sent senior envoys to these nations to garner strong support for Japan's attempt to become a permanent UNSC member. Considering that Japan is the world's largest donor to ASEAN nations, it is hard to imagine that they will reject Japan's call to vote for the resolution. Japanese diplomats are optimistic about ASEAN nations' support, but diplomatic observers are concerned about negative effects from China' increasing influence in the region. They expressed guarded views, saying ASEAN nations' support for Japan does not necessarily mean support for the proposed resolution."
THAILAND: "UN Reform: The Future World Is At Stake"
Kavi Chongkittavorn noted in the independent, English-language Nation (7/4): "It is hard to predict the outcome of the World Summit 2005 at UN Headquarters on September 14-16 in New York. Ninety per cent of the world’s leaders, representing 170 out of 191 UN member countries, will be there, trying to forge a common response to common problems and to strengthen the UN.... All in all, Annan has been a bold visionary for putting forward such a comprehensive reform package. Skepticism is high that if one part of it does not do well, the rest of it will be affected. But Annan is confident that the world leaders will support his endeavors. He knows that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to effect positive change. Discussing with delegates at the UN, one could feel that the Oil for Food investigation is having a dampening effect, but it will not stop him pushing for reform. This is a moment of historic importance, a chance to ensure that the world is a safer and better place in the future, with healthier and more prosperous citizens enjoying freedom to the fullest while realizing their potential.”
"Thailand’s Ambivalence To UN Reform"
Kavi Chongkittavorn commented in the independent, English-language Nation (6/20): "In general, ASEAN shares the view that UN reform is not confined to the expansion of the Security Council. It must be aimed at increasing efficiency and effectiveness of UN organizations. Most importantly, it must enhance the voices of developing countries and increase their participation in UN activities.... At the moment, Thailand is more interested in a new proposal, prepared by countries opposing the G4 plan, that would only increase the number of non-permanent members on the council and leave the permanent seats untouched…. On its own, without the undue external influence and trade-offs associated with the campaign for the top UN job, Thailand would be content with the recommendations submitted by the reform panel and those contained in the comprehensive report of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Whatever happens when the voting starts, Thailand’s maximum diplomatic flexibility will eventually enable it to endorse the prevailing mood in the UN.”
INDIA: "Tripping Out On The Home Stretch"
Nilova Roy Chaudhury wrote in the nationalist Hindustan Times (7/3): "India is seen faltering in the home stretch. Officials say a series of wrong decisions and inadequate attention to detail over a sustained period may have stymied India's chances of a permanent seat in the UN. Our representation at the African Union summit in Libya this week is evidence of the last minute lobbying that New Delhi is frantically conducting. Having taken the 54-nation African bloc for granted, India has now woken up to the importance of this large voting bloc.... The draft resolution will be tabled in the UN General Assembly around mid-July.... The PM's decision to skip the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Kazakhstan next week has also not sent the right signals to the Central Asian region. Contrary to earlier reservations, being part of the G4 'has probably been the wisest move' India made in its run up to the UNSC, and is 'the only feeble ray of hope,' an official said.”
"Next Stop, New York"
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer declared (6/26): "By deciding to stay together, the G-4...has effectively negated the devious move to sow division in their ranks with the explicit purpose of delaying, if not scuppering, the expansion and democratization of the UNSC. The G-4 decision also displays the grit and determination of those seeking to free the UNSC from the hegemony of the P-5 who can no longer claim to represent the geo-political realities that prevail today.... The US and China are in no mood to make space at the high table, China has been more strident.... That threat need not bother the G-4 because barring the inconsequential Coffee Club members like Pakistan and Italy, a vast majority of UN member-states is keen to put an end to the unrelenting grip of the P-5 over the world body’s decision-making process. The dilatory tactics adopted by the US have been more subtle and deceptive. While openly endorsing Japan as a potential permanent member of the UNSC, it held out an illusory carrot to India in the hope that the two would break ranks with Germany and Brazil.... The path ahead, therefore will not be free of obstacles. Both the U.S. and China will continue to raise barriers, an endeavor in which they will be supported by client states and spoilers.... The UPA government’s initial silence after the U.S. voiced its so-called offer of endorsing a country from the ‘developing world’-this now appears to be more fiction than fact because the State Department’s official statement does not include this definition-had raised doubts over its intention. The G-4’s joint declaration after a special meeting in Brussels has put these doubts to rest.... It would be extremely distressing if the Prime Minister were to even lend his ears to such gibberish that may make sense to the red brigade but is of no relevance in the realm of foreign affairs.”
"Confident G-4 Opts For UN Reform Vote"
K.P. Nayar stated in the Kolkata-based centrist Telegraph (6/24): "India and three other members of the Group of Four (G4) countries bidding for permanent seats in the UNSC have decided to go for a vote on their draft resolution on UN reforms in July.... The sense in the General Assembly here, which is having an informal session to discuss UN reforms, is that the vote on the G4 resolution may take place a few days before PM Manmohan Singh travels to Washington to meet President George W. Bush. As a follow up to...G4 meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura...met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and conveyed the group’s inability to accede to her request to delay tabling its resolution in the General Assembly. Machimura...did not even go through the formality of seeking US support for G4’s position.... This is said to reflect the confidence within G4 that it has the mandatory two-thirds support in the General Assembly for the draft resolution after the group dropped its insistence on veto power for new UNSC members.... Machimura’s unwillingness to abandon the G4 despite US support for Japan’s candidature is a severe setback to US plans to split the group and gain entry only for its client states in an expanded UNSC. The Americans had also hoped to wean India away from G4 by dangling the prospect of US support for an Indian bid to be at the UN’s top table.”
"Africa Adds Muscle To UN Seat Fight"
K.P. Nayar dispatched the following report in the centrist Kolkata-based Telegraph (6/21): "The Group of Four seeking expansion of the Security Council may become the Group of Six as the diplomatic chess game at the UN is poised to once again pit America against the majority of the international community. Two more countries, this time from the African continent, will join the G4 after an African summit in...Libya...to discuss UN reform, adding muscle to India and others seeking permanent seats at the UN high table.... The continent’s support will be a big boost for the G4 as it faces its biggest crisis since it was formed last year to pursue a joint, and hitherto successful, strategy on UNSC reform. With the Bush Administration deciding...that it would only support countries which it can hope to manipulate to be its cat’s paw as permanent members of the Security Council, UN diplomacy is once again heading for a replay of the drama that preceded similar American efforts to bend the world body to its wishes on attacking Iraq in 2003.... Nicholas Burns, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, will arrive in New Delhi…hoping to wean South Block away from the G4, although...Burns will underplay UN reforms and stress the positive in Indo-US relations in his public pronouncements.... The G4 draft resolution provides for two permanent seats for Africa in an expanded Council, but it is for the Africans to decide on who will fill those slots. Ahead of their Brussels meeting, the view within the G4 is that tabling their resolution should be delayed until after the African summit so that the group can demonstrate its strength of numbers. ‘America’, one G4 diplomat here said, ‘may be the most powerful nation on earth, but at the UN, fortunately, it has only one vote like everybody else'.... The matter could be easily resolved if the African summit nominates Egypt or another Muslim-majority state in Africa as one of its two candidates.”
"Time To Be Seated"
The nationalist Hindustan Times held (6/18): "India faces two major obstacles in its bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC. The first is the need to secure a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly for the UN reform plan that allows for additional permanent seats. The second was the lack of support for such an expansion among at least three of the five existing permanent seat holders. The second obstacle looks a lot less formidable with the recent decision of the Bush administration to support Japan and one or two unspecified `developing nations' for permanent seats.... Few will doubt that Washington fully expects India will be the country most likely to fit the bill.... The imminent endorsement of the sole superpower will certainly make India's case much stronger. It should also make it easier to pick up votes in the General Assembly. However, much will depend on how much diplomatic muscle the US will put behind its statement. But even more will depend on how adroitly India wields its diplomatic skills.... There is synergy in working within the G-4 to win support in the General Assembly for the overall reform plan. But the G-4 will be a liability when it comes to winning the okay of the P-5.... The entire process remains festooned with question marks and gripped by contradictory movements. The US declaration in favor of three new permanent seats and a number of rotating Security Council seats, while supportive of India's candidacy, complicates things by providing yet another reform blueprint.... India will have its work cut out for it. New Delhi's diplomatic record in pursuit of a permanent UN seat is hardly perfect. It was slow, for example, to engage with Washington on the entire issue of Security Council expansion. Now India will have to learn to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. But it is already clear that even if UN reform fails in this round, the one country whose case for a permanent seat will increase over the coming years is India.”
"U.S. Holds Elusive Carrot To India In Bid To Break G-4"
Shobori Ganguli wrote in the pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer (6/18): "The U.S.' brazen attempt to break the G-4's solidarity encountered a stunning rejection on Friday from Japan, which, despite American support to its candidature for a permanent Security Council seat, is unwilling to sacrifice the interests of the other G-4 members--India, Brazil and Germany. In a stern note from the only country that actually enjoys America's unequivocal support for a UNSC seat, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Japan 'cannot go along with this idea'.... Germany, too, has rejected the US position allowing for two countries to become permanent members of the UNSC, saying it would adhere to the G-4 plan forged along with Japan, India and Brazil.... While New Delhi chose to maintain a deafening silence on the issue...Tokyo was prompt in throwing its weight behind the G-4. At a time when the group is working at putting its draft resolution for expansion to vote at the UN, all the four countries cannot but bear in mind the fact that individually each is up against formidable odds at the UN and cannot afford to go it alone, with or without US support.... Even together, the G-4 has an unenviable task ahead. It has the so-called Coffee Club represented by Pakistan and the Italy-led Uniting for Consensus (UFC) up in arms. Pakistan wants to keep India out while Italy wants to prevent Germany. Mexico and Argentina are after Brazil while South Korea wants to spoil Japan's chances. To top it all, no single G-4 member enjoys the support of all P-5 members. China is campaigning against Japan, US does not want Germany, Britain and France support all four aspirants and Russia is non-committal."
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer opined (6/20): "In its attempt to block the expansion and democratization of the UNSC, the U.S., it seems, is prepared to go to any extent and take recourse to the most devious means. Hence its effort to split the G-4, that has been steadily gaining ground in pushing its case for democratization of the UNSC.... Rather than get bogged down in an endless debate on equality and thus allow the US and its fellow procrastinators the privilege of delaying the expansion of the UNSC, the G-4 members circulated a fresh draft, proposing a 15-year moratorium on veto power for new permanent members. The G-4's pragmatic move, seconded by France, has found sufficient support to ensure the resolution's introduction and passage by a majority vote in the UN General Assembly. Obviously, this has rattled the US: Once the resolution is adopted and potential new permanent members elected, the only way it can stop the UNSC from becoming truly reflective of the geopolitical realities of the 21st century is by exercising its veto power. The Bush Administration realizes that such an eventuality would tremendously damage America's already blotched image. Therefore, it has devised a new ploy to split the G-4 by dangling an illusory carrot before India and declaring its support for Japan.... What the US has failed to factor in is the determination of those who believe in a multi-polar world order and reject the very notion of American neo-imperialism. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has not wasted time in repudiating the US offer of considering two new permanent members, including Japan and a country from the developing world--read India--for the UNSC.... Unfortunately, India runs the risk of raising doubts about its intentions by remaining silent.... The UPA Government's decision to refrain from commenting on Washington's latest move till it has discussed the issue with the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs who is visiting New Delhi this week is both unsettling and uncalled for. Having walked thus far in the company of Japan, Germany and Brazil, India cannot be seen as breaking ranks. New Delhi's amazing silence in the face of Washington's skullduggery is the response expected of a weak country dependent on the largesse of the world's sole superpower; it is not how a nation aspiring for world leadership status responds to the deceitful tactics of those reluctant to give up their hegemony. The only way true and meaningful reform can be brought about in the UN is by freeing the Security Council from the clutches of the P-5, more specifically the US and China. And the only way this can be done is by following the course charted by the G-4. India must stay that course.”
"Hang In There"
The centrist Times of India editorialized (6/20): "Tokyo, generally perceived to be under Washington's tutelage in foreign policy matters, has shown admirable independence in not breaking ranks with G-4 despite Washington's selective backing of its candidacy as permanent UNSC member. Selective overtures are being made to New Delhi as well, but sticking to the G-4 strategy will bring more rewards in the long run.... New Delhi doesn't stand to gain much from these gestures. For one, Washington has not specifically endorsed India's case, as it did with Japan. For another, it has made clear that veto powers for new permanent members are ruled out. It is only as a member of a larger lobbying group that New Delhi's quest for a permanent seat carries credibility, as part of a larger process of UN reform. It can seek to engage Washington by backing some of the other reform proposals Washington has made, such as streamlining the bureaucratically top-heavy and sometimes corrupt UN administration, or setting up a democracy fund. The quest for permanent membership may well be a long haul.... New Delhi should nevertheless force the issue by tabling the G-4 resolution on the General Assembly floor. Even if it doesn't succeed this time it will have staked its moral claim, as the representative of one-sixth of humanity, for a place at the high table where world affairs are decided.”
"U.S. Bid To Split India Team"
K.P. Nayar noted in the centrist Telegraph (6/19): "As national security adviser M.K. Narayanan arrived...for crucial talks with the Americans, the Bush Administration has hatched a diabolical plot to split the Group of Four (G4) seeking the expansion of the UNSC and wean India and Japan away to its side. Feigning American help in getting India into the UNSC, Nicholas Burns...announced that the Bush Administration ‘would likely support adding two or so new permanent members to the council, based on (a) set of criteria’.... Burns' statement has given the impression that the Bush Administration supports India’s claim for a permanent seat in the UNSC, a commitment American officials have repeatedly refused to make in public. To what extent the administration comes out openly in support of India...will very much depend on its talks with Narayanan.... What the U.S. is looking for is to delay the G4 resolution on UNSC expansion.... As latest assessments in New York concluded that the G4 resolution had a fair chance of passing in the General Assembly with a two-thirds majority, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made another desperate call to Japan’s foreign minister.... Rice’s call was ‘to tell him that we very much support the candidacy of Japan to become a member--a permanent member of the UNSC,' He did not say that Rice asked Machimura for the second time this month to delay tabling the G4 resolution.”
Pro-BJP Tamil-language Chennai-based Dinamani editorialized (6/16): "Considering the remote possibilities of securing a permanent seat with Veto power in UNSC, India, Japan, Germany and Brazil have made a wise decision. The G-4 alliance has decided to give up the veto power as a condition to join the UNSC. The five permanent members of the UNSC with Veto power, America, Britan, France, Russia and China are ready to support the inclusion of G-4 in the Council, but without Veto power. Even for this, the G-4 alliance needs two-thirds majority of the total UN membership. Though Russia, Britain and France have expressed their support to India to become a member in UNSC with veto power, China and America have not come out openly. Moreover, America doesn't want to support India to become a permanent member with veto power, before its pet child, Japan is not elevated to that status. In the same way China, though sympathetic towards India on this issue, doesn't want to support Japan. However, the decision of G-4 is very practical and timely."
"America's Thoughts Keep India Concerned"
Seema Sirohi held in independent Kolkata-based Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika (6/14): "America’s thoughts about expanding the UNSC may keep India anxious.... The Bush Administration ultimately will remain passive...that virtually amounts to opposing the expansion.... A task force to advise the administration failed to make a decision in this regard...owing to differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. It is a matter of concern for India that the members of the task force are in favor of inducting quasi-permanent members into the UNSC instead of permanent members.... The report of the task force may frustrate Indian diplomats but the Bush Administration will not rely on this report alone.... It is not possible to immediately guess what decision President Bush and Secretary of State Rice may finally take.”
"Signature Without Veto Power"
An editorial in independent Kolkata-based Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika read (6/11): "Structural reform of the UN ... is inevitable. Although the U.S. is ready to consider permanent membership only for its stooge, Japan, it is hard for the captain of the unipolar world to control Germany, Brazil and even India ... Apprehensions were expressed about the sense of responsibility of the new members ... But each incident triggering global conflict, crime and unequal war over the past 50 years is a result of the UNSC permanent members’ direct intervention or covert instigation ... On the other hand, India’s role in UN activities and her contributions towards pacifying tension, peace-keeping and humanitarian relief and rehabilitation efforts are indisputable. In comparison, the role of many powerful permanent members is riddled with questions. For example, U.S. opposition to the Kyoto Protocol or the withholding of Washington’s share of funding to UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF etc. has created an impediment in preserving the global ecological balance on the one hand and deepened the UN’s financial crisis on the other. It is sheer irony that such powerful nations raise doubts about dependability and possible contributions of others! … That the powerful nations determine the fate of the entire world, the UN and even the UNSC has always been proved. So, one (India) needs to enter the elite club by lowering its head in order to hold it high later at the opportune moment.”
"G-4 Softens Its Stand"
Guwahati-based Assamese-language left-of-center Asamiya Khabor declared (6/13): "Since their demand for permanent membership...did not elicit any positive response from the five permanent members, the G-4...has been somewhat compelled to soften its stand.... They are now asking for a 15-year term of membership without veto power. Given China's fear that any increase in...permanent membership category will eventually diminish its influence in the region, and will help India and Japan to become regional powers, the G-4's new stand will help allay China's apprehension. China may even end up supporting an increase in the number of permanent members...in order to avoid being isolated...the G-4's new proposal is likely to also pacify its adversaries."
"Half A Loaf"
The centrist Asian Age editorialized (6/11): "So the G-4 countries...have eaten humble pie and dropped their demand for veto power in an expanded UNSC for 15 years if they are given permanent seats. For India, the climb down is particularly humiliating because New Delhi was insistent that it would not accept what external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh had termed as second class status at the UNSC.... Since Indian leaders had raised the pitch so high, the acceptance of a permanent seat sans veto appears so pathetic and painful. India has all the pre requisites...to qualify for a veto-wielding permanent membership. Being a permanent member of the UNSC without the veto is akin to being a toothless tiger.... For all practical purposes, the hegemony of the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Russia and China will continue and the UNSC will remain imbalanced.... Besides, after this compromise, India and other G-4 nations have perpetuated the status-quo. If anyone is qualified for a veto power, it is India which has over one billion people and is arguably an emerging superpower.... Annan is merely bringing in cosmetic changes and not real reforms and democratization in the UN. And he is thus protecting the privileged position of the existing Big Five in the Security Council.”
"Changing Membership Rules"
The nationalist Hindustan Times opined (6/11): "The New draft resolution of the G-4 countries campaigning for permanent membership of the UNSC could be just the catalyst needed for long over due reforms in the world body. Provided it can win support from the majority of members of the General Assembly, and overcome reservations of the US and China.... The G-4 draft skirts the controversial question of veto power for new permanent members by suggesting a review conference after 15 years to address the issue. The fact that France has agreed to cosponsor the resolution...brightens the chances for India and Japan, even if they have to go it alone to circumvent Washington’s unease over Germany’s inclusion as a permanent member. Washington always considered it a realistic proposals to have Japan...and India sit alongside the Permanent Five, so long as the ‘V’ world wasn’t mentioned. It’s deplorable that the UNSC still reflects the global power structure of 1945, though its membership was expanded from 11 to 15 in 1965.... The five World War II victors have held on to their privileged status and behave like presidents for life, each able to veto any Council decision. This makes the Council both undemocratic and often ineffective...no single proposal have ever had majority support. As a result, what is necessary...has not been politically feasible, and what has been politically feasible-adding already over-represented developed countries--is not necessary. The new G-4 resolution may hopefully break this spell.”
"UNSC: India And Other Aspirants Make A Strategic Backtrack"
Centrist Gujarati-language Gujaratmitra declared (6/11): "In an exercise to make the UN a more representative body, efforts are being made to include India, Germany, Japan and Brazil (G-4) as permanent members on the UNSC. However, the present permanent members, the US, UK, Russia, France and China, are against arming the new entrants with veto power. This has put the G-4 nations in a fix. They have the option to forgo their permanent membership claim or to accept it without the veto. The G-4 nations, after long deliberations, have kept the second option open i.e. to accept the permanent membership minus the veto for next 15 years. These nations have realized that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’ Despite this, the U.S. has openly come out in support of only Japan vis-à-vis the UNSC seat. The other three nations do not appear in the U.S. wish-list in their race to get representation on the powerful body. It needs to be seen whether this strategic move by India and other aspirants, who backtracked from their earlier demand of permanent membership along with a veto, will earn them the coveted seats on the UNSC."
"A Pragmatic Move"
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer held (6/10): "The new draft on UNSC expansion circulated by India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, the 'G-4', at a special meeting attended by representatives of 160 member states is a firm step towards democratization of the world body. The draft re-asserts the earlier G-4 position, calling for the inclusion of six permanent members and four non-permanent members to the UNSC's existing strength of five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.... It can be argued that the formulation on veto power in the new draft reflects a major compromise by those aspiring to join the high table at the UN. That, however, offers a limited perspective on the change in the tactics of the G-4.... In any event, the G-4 countries still face a long road ahead and will have to negotiate several sharp turns and blockades. To begin with, the P-5 countries are yet to take a unanimous view on expanding the UNSC. The US is not terribly keen on sharing the high table, nor is China eager to see Japan and India as co-sharers of power. On Wednesday, the US has confirmed that it supports Japan's entry, which is bound to rile China further and it is only a matter of time before Beijing goes into overdrive to stall the entire process of expansion. Even if the draft is adopted by a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly, new members elected, and a recommendation adopted for their inclusion in the UNSC, there is no guarantee that the P-5 will admit that the times they are a changing' and open wide their doors.”
"India Cautious On Next UN Move"
The centrist Statesman opined (6/10): "With the G-4 draft resolution formally dropping the demand for veto, it is time for careful diplomacy as India, Japan, Brazil and Germany hope to get more nations onto their bandwagon. The Chinese reaction to the new draft was predictably critical, terming it an ‘immature’ plan, while Pakistan has warned against tabling the resolution as it would divide the world body.... While India is willing to show 'flexibility’ on how the veto is articulated in the G-4 draft resolution for UNSC reforms, sources asserted that it had not given up on the principle of non-discrimination for new permanent members. At the same time, India asserted that accepting the ‘consensus’ route, as suggested by certain nations, would mean straitjacketing the only advantage of developing countries in the UN--their numbers. India has also said that creating a consensus for UN reforms cannot be a pre-condition in the world body of 191 countries.... On the argument forwarded by China that the framework resolution would be dividing the world body, India has taken the line that calling for consensus means that ‘effectively you are asking developing countries to give up their only weapon, which is their number’. It was also pointed out that when China was made a permanent member of UNSC, it had barely got two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.”
"Delhi Mulls Options In Veto Obstacle Race"
An editorial in the centrist Kolkata-based Telegraph read (6/9): "New Delhi is preparing itself for a degree of ‘flexibility’ it might have to show, particularly relating to veto power, to secure permanent membership of the UNSC. The government has made it clear it wants not just a council seat but an ‘entire gamut of UN reforms’.... Along with the other members of the Group of Four (G4)--Japan, Germany and Brazil--India favors 'democratization’ of the Council. But New Delhi is aware that it may have to compromise on veto power. A majority of the Council’s five current permanent members, who enjoy this power, want to withhold it from the new members, if any. New Delhi...wants the expansion and restructuring of the council on the basis of ‘non-discrimination’. What this means is that India and the other new members may agree to accept permanent seats and put off the battle for the veto power till a latter date - perhaps a few years from now.... At the first stage, each of the countries looking for permanent membership of the council must secure the support of at least two-thirds of the UN’s 191 members. If it manages this support, its bid can still be vetoed by any of the five current permanent members. And even if that does not happen, the reforms proposal must wait to be ratified by the UN General Assembly.... India is still looking for co-sponsors for the G4 draft resolution calling for UN reforms. Though foreign ministry officials would not give the precise number of countries whose support India already has, they hinted the number was substantial and was still growing … The G4 hopes to present the resolution in June after a possible revision. But...support for the resolution is not very strong yet and that a proposal by a rival group (probably the ‘Coffee Club’ that includes Pakistan, Italy and Canada) is gathering steam. Delhi knows that many countries, including some developing nations, will strongly resist the proposals.... A consensus among so many members is impossible, Delhi feels.”
"India And UNSC Membership"
M.V. Kamath maintained in the Mumbai-based left-of-center Free Press Journal (6/2): "Instead of fighting the U.S. on its home ground, India can help start a parallel body such as a UN of Asia or even a UN of Asia and Africa which will bring together all Asian (or Asian and African) nations to achieve a common end.... There is certainly a pressing need for an association of Asian nations to start with, where problems of mutual concern can be effectively dealt with in a spirit of peace and harmony. In an association of this kind, there is no need for a UNSC or pretensions to Great Power status. India can happily co-exist with Pakistan as with China, with Indonesia as with Malaysia in an exciting spirit of give and take.”
"UNSC Reform: A Bridge Too Far?"
Siddharth Varadarajan wrote in the centrist Hindu (5/28): "In circulating both the draft of a framework resolution on UNSC reform and an ambitious timetable for the UN General Assembly to vote on it, India, Japan, Germany, and Brazil have taken their quest for permanent membership of the world body's highest organ to a point of no return.... The G-4's ship has set sail and cannot now be recalled. On the choppy seas ahead lie two, and only two, outcomes. The four Governments must either meet success--collectively or singly--or face the bitterness, loss of international prestige and ignominy on the home front that defeat will inevitably bring with it.... And in an attempt to convince the U.S. that the UNSC expansion will not reduce the body's capacity to take decisions that Washington might want, the G-4 draft also proposes to reduce the percentage of affirmative votes required to pass a resolution from the present 9 out of 15 (60 per cent) to 14 out of 25 (56 per cent).... With Tuesday's `compromise' meeting in New York between the G-4 and the `Uniting for Consensus' group led by Italy, Pakistan, Mexico, and South Korea ending in a deadlock, it does seem as if the General Assembly will be asked to vote on the resolution sometime in June. By staggering the reforms process in this manner, the G-4 hopes to present the five permanent members (the P-5) with a fait accompli that they must either accept or reject in toto. If China wants to veto Japanese permanent membership, for example, it will have to reject the entire package and run the risk of alienating not just Japan but the other five newly elected permanent members as well. Similarly, the U.S., which favours only the inclusion of Japan, will not be able to cherry-pick; it will have to accept all six as permanent members.... But while ratification by the P-5 is the final hurdle, the G-4 will not find the earlier stages smooth sailing.... Between now and mid-June, Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil will push their case worldwide. And since the vote on the framework resolution will be an open one, the G-4 will get to see which of its friends (or recipients of largesse) kept their promises and which did not. However, there is very little time left and the Indian campaign, in particular, is far from getting into high gear. External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh's inexplicable eleventh hour cancellation of an important meeting with West African countries in Senegal earlier this month is a case in point. What is also perplexing is the G-4's insistence on the veto rather than a demand for its abolition.... For Japan and Germany, the urgency of the current campaign is understandable. Both countries have an ageing population and economies whose relative strength in the world--though impressive--is nevertheless on the decline. If Tokyo and Berlin miss the bus, they can forget about permanent membership of the UNSC for all time to come. For India and Brazil, however, the future is not so bleak. Failure now will bring a certain loss of face, but there will come a time when the world comes knocking on their doors.”
"Foreign Policy Issues"
T.P. Sreenivasan noted in the centrist Tribune (5/27): "The challenge of Indian diplomacy today is to bridge the gap between the public perception inside India of our country’s image abroad and the reality of the global situation. The gap is increasing as the country makes rapid progress in technology and registers increases in the GDP. The talk of imminent permanent membership of the UNSC and the super power status has further enhanced the impression that the world at large is dazzled by India’s spectacular advancement and that a leadership role is being assigned to us. The fact is that our diplomats have to struggle to secure leadership for India.... No doubt, India has captured world attention on account of its recent successes. The successes are spectacular not in absolute terms, but in comparison with our poor record of the past and because of the new policies that it adopted after experimenting with socialism.... The wide gap between India and the developed world keeps increasing as technology gallops in the major industrial nations.... Our quest for a permanent seat on the UNSC is a classic case of wishful thinking, fed constantly by polite statements and praise by foreign leaders. We have made it a habit of testing the friendship of every visiting foreign dignitary by seeking support for our bid.... Foreign policy appears to evolve as an opiate of the people, a kind of comfort that we are doing well abroad even if our development at home is stunted by corruption and mismanagement. If the world out there is finding India irresistible, there must be something right that we are doing. The number of foreign visitors, particularly at the summit level, who come to India even braving the foul weather in Delhi, boosts the morale of the people. If it was the Taj Mahal that beckoned them in the past, it is Wipro and Infosys that lure them today. Success of these visits is inevitable, but they appear spectacular from a distance.... Washington too has given reason for joy to our foreign affairs enthusiasts. We discovered that M5 Rice is not so nice when she reprimanded us for dealing with Iran and poured cold water on our UNSC aspirations. The announcement of supply of F-16s to Pakistan was a bitter pill to swallow even with the sugar coating of a similar offer to India. But everything was forgiven and forgotten when the US announced that it would take India to global power status and when President Bush received our External Affairs Minister in the Oval Office and spoke warmly of India-US relations and pledged his best efforts to promote them further in his second term.... The Chinese Premier stole the show in New Delhi by proclaiming Sikkim to be a part of India. No one in the world had any doubt about Sikkim’s status except China. Should we be overjoyed by China conceding to us what was ours in the first place?.... Every government flaunts its accomplishments abroad. That is one way of making up for shortcomings at home.... Indian media and the public give great attention to foreign affairs, but public participation in policy making is rare. Foreign affairs think-tanks are a new phenomenon among non-governmental organizations. The practice of foreign policy experts alternating between the government and the think-tanks in the United States is a product of the system there, but it should be possible to have greater interaction between policy-makers and think-tanks even in India. If there is greater public analysis of foreign policy issues and the government is more attentive to informed advice of the public, foreign affairs will cease to be a mere opiate of the people.”
"If You Got It, Flaunt It"
Brahma Chellaney contended in the nationalist Hindustan Times (5/26): "Only the naïve can argue that in today’s world strength doesn’t matter and all nations have equal rights.... India can acquire world power status not by piggy-backing on another great power but by building independent power capabilities to endow itself with undeniable global influence.... India has yet to face up to the key issues of power--efficacy of power, the centrality of tenacious expansion of economic and military power, and the exercise of power. Without the country clearly focusing its priorities on erecting the building blocks of comprehensive national power, some Indians fancy a rapidly rising India or hypothesize an emerging tripolar world dominated by the U.S., China and India.... Let’s face it: India cannot become a world power on the basis of its size, mere potential or wishful thinking. It will have to meet the traditional measures of great-power status.... With expansion of the UNSC at issue, it is revealing that countries armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are all veto-holding permanent members of the council, while the aspirants for additional permanent seats strikingly lack such military reach … India has found it difficult to break out of the sub continental straitjacket because its weaponry remains sub continental in reach.... India’s defense deficiencies are self-made.... World-power status may be the abiding dream of the Indian elite, but it cannot be realized without taking hard decisions to build hard power. The latest US inducement “to help India become a major world power in the 21st century tantalizingly offers the mirage of a short-cut to global clout.... No great power, however, has ever emerged in world history without the strength of its own capabilities. In fact, the US--still reluctant to back India’s bid for a UNSC permanent seat--would be the first to raise a hue and cry if India launched an ICBM program.... In India wants to be in the same league as China, let it do even half of what Beijing does. It could, for instance, peg its defense spending to at least half of China’s military outlays. To narrow the gaping missile gap with China, ICBMs in any case offer a more cost-effective route than the present incremental IRBM path. This is more so because of the disadvantage of geography: While Beijing can strike India’s Gangetic heartland from occupied Tibet even with short-range missiles, India needs potent, deep-penetration missiles to reach key Chinese strategic targets.... ICBMs will stay symbols of power and coercion in international relations. They arm their holders with tremendous political and military leverage. What India needs is a crash ICBM program, backed of course by `a political backbone’.”
PAKISTAN: "UNSC: Justified Demand Of Religion-Based Representation And Pakistan"
Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt argued (7/5): "Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri has said that Pakistan does not support the OIC demand for permanent representation of the Islamic World in the UN Security Council and that Pakistan has proposed election of the Security Council members on regional basis.... So far America, Europe, India and Israel haven’t reacted negatively to the OIC demand. However, Pakistan's intelligent Foreign Minister has acquired the distinction of opposing the proposal. Thank God. The Islamic community of last century did not have leaders and scholars of the kind who would have opposed the idea of statehood on the basis of religion. Had it happened not a single Islamic state from Pakistan to Algeria would have been established... The government of Pakistan should reconsider the stand taken by its Foreign Minister."
"Representation Of Islamic World And Foreign Minister's Views"
Center-right Urdu-language Pakistan concluded (7/5): "Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri disclosed at a press conference the other day that Pakistan does not support Islamic World's permanent representation in the UNSC.... It appears that our capable minister has focused on opposing inclusion of any new permanent member in the SC and if such an inclusion becomes unavoidable then the representation should not go to Muslim Ummah.... The Foreign Minister said that if representation question was raised in the basis of religion then Hindus and Jews would also ask for the same. We would like to draw his attention to the fact that practically four countries, America, Britain, France and Russia are representing the Christian world. And no one can represent Jews better than America. As far as the Hindu belief's representation is concerned, India is moving in that direction. Can he (Foreign Minister) tell who would represent world second-largest religion?"
"Permanent Seat For OIC"
The center-right national English-language Nation declared (6/30): "That the OIC has finally come up with the proposal would be widely welcomed by the community.... The issue of the expansion of the SC has been on the cards since a number of years. Interested countries have in the meanwhile lobbied and entered into alliances to improve their chances. The OIC however failed to appreciate the importance of the issue and did not evolve a joint stand.... This was not unexpected keeping in view the past performance of the body which has been characterized by indecisiveness leading it to be overtaken by circumstances.... One can only hope the members this time will overcome the divisiveness that has characterized much of the past performance of the OIC."
"SC Expansion On Hold"
Karachi-based center-left independent national English-language Dawn maintained (6/29): "The UNSC expansion issue now stands frozen--at least for a while. Even though the aspirants to the council’s permanent membership are unlikely to give up so easily, on Monday President George Bush virtually closed the issue.... The U.S. is opposed to Germany’s membership, is ambivalent about Brazil and India and is in favor of a Japanese seat. In the U.S. view, German membership with a veto would mean three UNSC members from Western Europe, and this would give too much political clout to a geographically small area in UN affairs.... The continuation of the veto power goes against the spirit of democracy in an age when 'spreading democracy' is one of the developed world’s major concerns.... The world would indeed be better off without an elite group of nations--whether five or eight--wielding veto power for no higher purpose than that of using the UN’s name as a cover for an unabashed pursuit of their national or group interests."
"UNSC Expansion And Elusive UN Reform"
An editorial in the Lahore-based liberal English-language Daily Times read (6/29): "Reason for Mr. Bush's statement seems to be to put the squeeze on Germany for its role in opposing the U.S war on Iraq.... Whatever the other U.S. reasons for putting the brakes on UNSC expansion and supporting UN reform-first approach, it should make Pakistan happy vis-à-vis India; Spain and Italy satisfied in relations to Germany; China breathing easy in relation to Japan; and Argentina taking a nap now that Brazil may not make it to the UNSC in a hurry. Indeed, if the U.S. were to stick to what Mr. Bush has indicated, none of the G-4 has any chance of getting into the UNSC in the foreseeable future. In fact, linking expansion with reform could delay the process for a long time for the simple reason that while everyone agrees on the need to reform the UN--and this includes the UN itself--no one agrees on how to go about it and what measures must be taken to that end.... Did Pakistan play a significant role in the U.S. decision? Certainly, Mr. Khurshid Kasuri, our Foreign Minister, has been working overtime, along with Italy and Spain and Argentina and Mexico, to oppose the proposed expansion of the UNSC. It is also reasonably certain that he would have told Mr. Bush and Condoleezza Rice that if India got in, U.S.-Pak relations would be tsunamied by anti-U.S. outrage in Pakistan which could threaten to destabilize and undermine General Musharraf, and by association, the war against terror. It is a strong argument that the U.S. has done well to heed."
"Reforming The UN"
The center-right national English-language Nation declared (6/24): "UNSC expansion has assumed centre stage in the two-day closed-door debate of the UN General Assembly. A draft circulated by India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, nowadays called the G-4, who are candidates for permanent membership of the Security Council, has led to heated exchanges both inside and outside the Assembly. The draft calls for addition of 10 members, 6 permanent and 4 rotating. Pakistan has opposed the formula on several grounds.... It confines the whole issue of reforms to the single point of expansion.... The proposal is not equitable, democratic or representative.... The formula was unjust for it reduced the prospects of the other 180 states, some of whom have as good, if not better, credentials than some declared aspirants. That countries are taking positions on the issue in line with their national interests should not be a surprise. Italy is opposed to Germany’s inclusion, China and South Korea to Japan’s, and some Latin American countries to Brazil’s. All these countries, and many more, have opposed the G-4 proposal, though they have also put forth what can be called principled objections.... The U.S. is in the meanwhile keeping its options open. While it is uncomfortable with the idea of Germany assuming a permanent seat, on account of its opposition to the U.S. stand during the Iraq war, it is supportive of Japan. Its position on India remains ambiguous, as while it considers New Delhi as its strategic ally, Washington cannot be indifferent to Pakistan’s concerns. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns has spelled out the criteria the U.S. will apply before lending support to a candidate from a “developing country” for a “limited expansion” of the UNSC. Among other things, it lays stress on democracy, the country’s size, economy and peacekeeping efforts."
"A Muslim Seat"
The center-right national English-language Nation declared (6/22): "It is when the UN is nearing a decision on naming the proposed countries for its UNSC that the OIC has finally launched a lukewarm campaign for a seat in the body. In Jeddah, just recently OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in his statement for the UN made a demand for a permanent OIC seat in the UNSC. Muslims being one-fifth of the world's population and having 57 states in the OIC are without any representation in the world's largest body, except what randomly falls to their share by election. After what Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan have been through; besides the horrors of Guantanamo Bay, there is need for one seat in the UNSC. While Germany, Japan, Brazil and India are competing hard for a slot through successful lobbying, not a single Muslim state was seen in the forefront. Where early campaigning has given an edge of acceptance to the proposed states OIC would find it hard to push forth its claim at this stage. The fact that the OIC, in view of the changed global realities, is thinking of revising its 40-year-old charter speaks volume of its efficiency and influence. As for an OIC seat, there is no lobbying by all members. It is once again a case of too little too late."
GHANA: "Who Represents Africa On The UNSC?"
Akyaaba Addai-Sebo opined in the pro-government urban small-circulation Accra Mail (6/23): "Until a complete Afro-centric mind-set shift is attained in Egypt it would be suicidal for AU leaders to allow themselves to be bullied or bribed by the US and Europe to anoint Egypt to represent Africa on the UNSC. A new and expanded UNSC is to have two slots for Africa. Who is to occupy any of the two allocated seats is the question now facing Africans.... The U.S. and its European allies are lobbying, in their own perceived interests, for Egypt at all cost and also for South Africa. The core of Nigeria is regarded as too African.... Nigeria's impeccable Afro-centric foreign policy credentials is seen as too risky to the collective interest and future security of Europe and the US.... This sickening ploy to use Africans to service the interest of the Arab/Islamic block will rear its manipulating hands again this July 2005 when the AU summit is held in Libya without much civil society input.... Egypt is therefore African when it suits its purposes.... Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union the U.S. defined Africa in its own national interest and divided Africa into three spheres of interest with Egypt as the new power on the Northern block; South Africa on the Southern block...and Nigeria on the Western block. Thus, at a stroke Africa became a U.S. slave plantation.... The 'Field Negro' and 'House Negro' controlling mechanisms are supplanted in Africa to sow prejudicial seeds of discord all in pursuit of the supreme national interest of the US.... The neo-conservatives running America do not see Nigeria on the UNSC as serving their long-tern national interest. They will rather hedge their bet on South Africa than Nigeria.... From all indications Egypt's nomination will be forced on Africa at the expense of Africa.... Nigeria whose enlightened Afro-centric foreign policy became the bridgehead leading to the defeat of apartheid is being forced to enter into a battle of wills with South Africa for representation on the UNSC. This is the divide and rule tactics always deployed to cause great psychological damage to Africa."
ARGENTINA: "UN: Memory And Balance"
An editorial in leading Clarin read (6/27): "The UN is essential to face the key threats and scourges: poverty, diseases such as AIDS, climate change, WMD and fundamentalism. In order to cope with these challenges, it needs to be reformed and adapted to the new historic circumstances. In theory, the lack of balance between forces of confronting superpowers should enable it to advance towards a more effective multilateralism. However, there must be reconciliation between the capacity to build order--which lies in the military power of the most powerful countries--particularly the U.S.--and international legality and legitimacy, based on the consensus of nations. The 60th anniversary of the UN finds the international organization in the middle of a new redesign of its institutions and functioning, although without an agreement on the reforms that will enable it to meet its current goals."
BRAZIL: "Game Over"
Demetrio Magnoli maintained in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (6/23): “Japan, India and nobody else. Washington has finally announced its proposal to reform the UNSC. The proposal freezes the diplomatic pawns in chessboard by canceling all reform options. The UNSC will remain untouched. The logic of the U.S. proposal is a response to the Republican neoconservative obsession in regards to the increasing Chinese power in the international system.... The two new permanent members [Japan and India] would eventually vote aligned with the U.S. and the UK in crucial strategic topics, thereby making a more or less stable majority. Washington knows that such a ‘dream model’ is not feasible.... But if serves the purpose of exempting the U.S. from the reform failure and from burying forever the so-called G-4’s Model A.”
"Time For Realism"
An editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo read (6/20): "The U.S. will only support the bids of Japan and another nation--that everything indicates will be India--and will possibly accept an African country as permanent members of the UNSC. Declarations in Washington and Beijing have made explicit an impasse in the UN reform process.... The two powers are indicating that they actually want to maintain the status quo in the Security Council. Predicting that tendency, the G-4 had announced that it would give up the right of veto for 15 years, if Germany, Brazil, India and Japan were given permanent seats. It was a puerile maneuver, for the four nations would give up a power they did not have.... The U.S. has established its own criteria for the choice of the new UNSC members. Such criteria have put Brazil in a clear disadvantageous position, to say the least.... China, the U.S. and the UK will certainly prefer to choose nations with which they maintain more identification points in terms of political and strategic aspects, than with Brazil.... It is time for the Brazilian diplomacy to consider realistically Brazil’s true possibilities in the dispute for a permanent seat at the UNSC.”
"The ‘No’ From China"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo opined (6/4): "The Chinese veto to the proposal of enlargement of the UNSC has made the Brazilian claim to obtain a permanent seat at the organization--which has already become an obsession--unfeasible.... The Chinese veto is not directly related to Brazil, but to Japan.... The dispute between the two nations is very well known. Despite solid economic links, scars from WW II remain unhealed.... By believing that several statements made by Beijing could be interpreted as sympathetic to Brazil’s claim at the UN, Brasilia has given China the status of a market economy, a recognition that is now hampering the application of trade defense measures against that nation within the WTO. Moreover, Brazil has helped to block resolutions against China in the UN’s Human Rights Committee. Eager to obtain its long wished for permanent seat, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry is not only sacrificing principles, but also ignoring what it has already learned about history and conflicts between nations.”
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