Transformed UN proposed to create ‘new world order’


Richard Moore
Transformed UN proposed to create 'new world order'
By Andrew Grice in Delhi
Monday, 21 January 2008

The Prime Minister is drawing up plans to expand the number of permanent members
in a move that will provoke fears that the veto enjoyed by Britain could be 
diluted eventually. The United States, France, Russia and China also have a veto
but the number of members could be doubled to include India, Germany, Japan, 
Brazil and one or two African nations.

Mr Brown has discussed a shake-up of a structure created in 1945 to reflect the 
world's new challenges and power bases during his four-day trip to China and 
India. Last night, British sources revealed "intense discussions" on UN reform 
were under way and Mr Brown raised it whenever he met another world leader.

The Prime Minister believes the UN is punching below its weight. In 2003, it 
failed to agree on a fresh resolution giving explicit approval for military 
action in Iraq. George Bush then acted unilaterally, winning the support of Tony

UN reform is highly sensitive and Britain will not yet publish formal proposals 
for fear of uniting opponents against them. Mr Brown is trying to build a 
consensus for change first.

His aides are adamant that the British veto will not be negotiated away. One 
option is for the nations who join not to have a veto, at least initially. In a 
speech in Delhi today, the Prime Minister will say: "I support India's bid for a
permanent place ­ with others ­ on an expanded UN Security Council." However, he
is not backing Pakistan's demand for a seat if India wins one.

Mr Brown will unveil a proposal for the UN to spend £100m a year on setting up a
"rapid reaction force" to stop "failed states" sliding back into chaos after a 
peace deal has been reached. Civilians such as police, administrators, judges 
and lawyers would work alongside military peace-keepers. "There is limited value
in military action to end fighting if law and order does not follow," he will 
say. "So we must do more to ensure rapid reconstruction on the ground once 
conflicts are over ­ and combine traditional humanitarian aid and peace-keeping 
with stabilisation, recovery and development."

He will call for the World Bank to lead the fight against climate change as well
as poverty in the developing world, and argue that the International Monetary 
Fund should prevent crises like the credit crunch rather than just resolve them.

Arriving in Delhi yesterday, Mr Brown said he wanted a "partnership of equals" 
between Britain and India as he called for closer trade links and co-operation 
against terrorism. He announced £825m of aid over the next three years ­ £500m 
of which will be spent on health and education.

Mr Brown is to bring back honorary knighthoods and other awards for cricketers 
from Commonwealth countries. He said: "Cricket is one of the great things that 
bind the Commonwealth together. It used to be that great cricketers from the 
Commonwealth would be recognised by the British nation I would like to see some 
of the great players in the modern era honoured."

Read Andrew Grice at
Security Council membership

The UN Security Council's membership has remained virtually unchanged since it 
first met in 1946.

Great Britain, the United States, the then Soviet Union, China and France were 
designated permanent members of the UN's most powerful body.

Initially, six other countries were elected to serve two-year spells on the 
council ­ in 1946 they were Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands 
and Poland.

The number of elected members, who are chosen to cover all parts of the globe, 
was increased to 10 in 1965. They are currently Belgium, Burkina Faso, Costa 
Rica, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Libya, Panama, South Africa and Vietnam.

Decisions made by the council require nine "yes" votes out of 15. Each permanent
member has a veto over resolutions.

The issue of UN reform has long been on the agenda. One suggestion is that 
permanent membership could be expanded to 10 with India, Japan, Germany, Brazil 
and South Africa taking places. Any reform requires 128 nations, two-thirds, to 
support it in the assembly.

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