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US-German conflict over UN reform

"Berlin and Washington are bound to collide head on in the coming weeks and months over reforming the United Nations Security Council", writes “Handelsblatt” feature writer Christoph Nesshoever for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies’ publication “Advisor.”

While Germany is keen on a permanent seat, the US prefers

a leaner, more effective organization, one more inclined to support U.S. policies around the globe instead of opposing them, a sort of legitimizing tool for “coalitions of the willing.” (...) Privately, administration officials fear that the fifteen-member Council could face not just occasional but permanent gridlock with some twenty-four members. Seen from inside the beltway, the current gridlock between the fifteen over how to stop the genocide in Sudan is a troubling repeat of past tragic moments of the Council’s inertia.

Nesshoever concludes:

A good course for Germany may be to convince the Bush administration that it is ready to play an active role in world politics – by finally beginning to build up credible capabilities for the projection of military force around the globe. After all, a Security Council seat brings with it enlarged responsibilities that have to be met. A good course for the United States may be to rid itself of its distrust towards the Germans engendered solely by their disagreement with America on the issues of Iraq.

 

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