Van Bommel: ‘UN summit has failed’

16 September 2005

Van Bommel: ‘UN summit has failed’

The high level deliberations on the reform of the United Nations have already proved a major disappointment, according to Harry van Bommel, member of parliament and foreign affairs specialist for the SP. “My initial optimism, based on the clear plans outlined by Kofi Annan, had already been greatly diluted, by amongst other things the position taken by the American representative John Bolton. The original conclusion that the world had need of greatly improved co-operation and that the UN must for that reason be reformed and strengthened has not to any extent been transformed from words into deeds.”

Harry van BommelMr Van Bommel noted that “Due above all to the hundreds of amendments introduced by the American representative Mr Bolton, there has been little or no real progress. Our foreign minister, Agnes Van Ardenne, expected Bolton to make constructive proposals, but in my view the Americans just want to subordinate the UN to their own interests.”

“The modest goal of halving world poverty within ten years has been scrapped. Numerous countries fail to achieve current targets, whether or not they have the means or the will to end poverty. The instruments necessary to address major world problems in future years have not been created. Bush wants to use the UN to combat terrorism rather than poverty. The whole world will suffer the consequences of the de facto failure of this summit.”

“Even where positive steps were taken, as with the establishment of a UN Council for Human Rights, these were balanced by, for example, the failure to take action against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In addition, the power of the existing Security Council remains intact, with five permanent members enjoying the right of veto and therefore the power to impose their will on the world. Ambitious plans to incorporate new countries came to nothing. What's worse, the disproportionate power of the Americans could not be reined in.”

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