Skip to comments.Pre-emptive Strikes Justified: UN Report
Posted on 11/29/2004 6:45:27 PM PST by Rain-maker
However, the report says that any final decision on such action rests with the Security Council.The report, commissioned by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, also upholds the international communitys duty to intervene in any state where the government is unable or unwilling to protect its people, and offers two proposals for expanding the Security Council.
The report, portions of which appeared in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, tries to set benchmarks for judging the legitimacy of using force preemptively or preventively for self-defence. It says that before preemptive military action, there should be a review to determine whether force is the last and best resort.
The report says that force is legitimate if an endangered state, backed by the Security Council, decides that a threat is serious and imminent; every nonmilitary option has been explored; the state has assessed the means, duration and scale of the strike needed to meet the threat and has no hidden agenda; and the military moves would not create consequences that are worse than the threatened action.The charter now permits the use of force in self-defence if an attack occurs, or if authorized by the Security Council in the event of a threat to world peace.
Former Thai prime minister Anand Panyarachun heads the 16-member panel, which is due to deliver its report on December 2.After he has done his work on the report, the secretary-general will present the reform proposals to the world leaders attending next Septembers summit meeting marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations.
The high-level panel was asked to examine issues of collective security in September 2003, after the United States led an invasion of Iraq without the Security Councils blessing.
In a speech to the General Assembly then, Annan said the United Nations was in a crisis and needed to be radically reformed to remain the main theater for multilateral security. We have reached a fork in the road ... a moment no less decisive than 1945 itself, when the U.N. was founded, he told the leaders of 191 nations at the time.
Annan said he wanted a fresh look at how to deal with new threats posed by terrorist networks, the illicit spread of nuclear weapons technology and the persistent threats of disease and poverty that affect most peoples sense of security every day.
The report urges the Security Council to consider backing early action against urgent but non-imminent threats, such as terrorist groups that are pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Some of the reports conclusions are likely to be unpopular in Washington where the sentiment against the U.N. is currently running high.
Annans assessment two months ago that the Iraq invasion was illegal and his recent letter warning Bush that a U.S.-led assault on the Iraqi city of Fallouja would alienate Iraqis and make elections more difficult have come come under sharp criticism in the White House and among some in Congress.
Despite polls showing that the majority of Americans support the U.N. as an institution, recent allegations of corruption involving its oil-for-food programme in Iraq and revelations of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers and U.N. officials in Congo have damaged the world organizations image, the LA Times pointed out.
U.N. officials hope that the report will help the organization recover traction and move to the center of a global discussion about security. The panel also proposed two options for making the Security Council more effective and representative.
The report recommends expanding the panel to 24 members with 6 each from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe under 2 alternative formulas. The present makeup is 5 permanent veto-bearing members and 10 other countries, elected in annual blocks of 5, which serve two- year terms.
One of the two suggested options would create a new tier of eight semi-permanent members with renewable four-year terms and one additional conventional two-year term member. The other would expand the number of permanent members to 11 from 5 and the number of those elected to two-year terms by 3.
Neither option, however, extends granting veto power beyond the existing five countries - a point that is sure to sharpen the debate in the General Assembly, which seems certain to continue into next summer.
Changes in the composition of the Security Council must be approved by two-thirds of the 191 United Nations members and ratified by the legislatures of two-thirds of those governments, including those of all five permanent Council members.The Council was last expanded, to 15 from 11, in a 1963 General Assembly vote that took effect in 1965.
In 1971, The Peoples Republic of China took over the permanent seat on the Council that had been occupied by Taiwan. The current 15-member body, which makes key security decisions for the world, was formed just after World War II.
Its five permanent, veto-wielding members represent the power brokers of that time: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. The other 10 members serve two-year terms.A new configuration for the council, the panel hopes, would make the decision-making process more representative of the power centers over the next 50 years.
Pakistan opposes inducting more permanent members in the Security Council. At the same time, Pakistan, along with other like-minded nations, is campaigning for more members in the non-permanent category who serve for a period of two years.
Pakistan and other members of the 30-member coffee Club have also been advocating that the process of discussions on the panels recommendations should be transparent, inclusive, participatory and inclusive.
He said that the process should lead to an international consensus on the key question of the Security Council expansion.Earlier this month, a group of UN ambassadors belonging to the Coffee Club, including Pakistans ambassador Munir Akram, met General Assembly President Jean King to counter a move by the four candidates for permanent seats seeking quick action for the Councilsexpansion.
Twelve ambassadors belonging to the Club argued that the move by India, Germany, Japan and Brazil for a General Assembly resolution aimed at accomplishing their objectives would be counterproductive and could derail the entire reform process.
Among others who called on the president were ambassadors of Italy, Canada, Spain, Algeria, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Argentina, and Kenya.
They emphasised that the reform process should be transparent and based on the UN Charter principles, especially those relating to sovereign equality of member states.
The ambassadors also pointed out that majority of the UN membership stood for the expansion in the non-permanent category of the Council and for curtailment of the veto powers of the five permanent members in an effort to make it more democratic.
At the start of the 59th session of the General Assembly, India, Brazil, Germany and Japan joined forces to work together for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.The high-level panel also offered a definition of terrorism, which has been an unresolved debate within the world body, according to published reports.
Arab and Muslim states in particular have argued against labeling as terrorists some groups that they consider freedom fighters. The panel, which included Arab League chief Amr Moussa and Dr. Nafis Sadiq of Pakistan, agreed that any politically motivated violence against civilians should be considered a terrorist act.
The 16 leading officials and experts from around the world who served on the High Level Panel for Threats, Challenges and Change were chosen by the secretary-general for their experience in world affairs and ability to promote the panels conclusions.
They are:Anand Panyarachun, chairman (Thailand); Robert Badinter (France); Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway); Mary Chinery-Hesse (Ghana); Gareth Evans (Australia); David Hannay (Britain); Enrique Iglesias (Uruguay); Amr Moussa (Egypt); Satish Nambiar (India); Sadako Ogata (Japan); Yevgeny M. Primakov (Russia); Qian Qichen (China; Dr. Nafis Sadiq (Pakistan); Salim Ahmed Salim (Tanzania); Brent Scowcroft (United States); and Joao Baena Soares (Brazil).
The world system to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons is being rapidly eroded, threatening a cascade of proliferation, a high-level panel on UN reform will say this week.
The report, due to be released on Thursday, will recommend the UN Security Council slow the spread of weapons using an explicit pledge of collective action against any state or group that launches a nuclear attack or even threatens such an attack on a non-nuclear-weapon state.
Kofi Annan, UN secretarygeneral, last year established a panel of 16 veteran politicians and diplomats from around the world to identify the main threats facing mankind. It identifies nuclear proliferation as a particular danger and it warns: The nuclear proliferation regime is at risk because of lack of compliance with existing commitments, a changing international security environment, and radical advances in technology.
We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nuclear regime could become irreversible, and result in a cascade of proliferation. In 1963, only four states had nuclear arsenals. Today eight states are known to have one, and several others are suspected of developing them. Close to 60 states operate or are building nuclear power or research reactors, and at least 30 possess the infrastructure to build nuclear weapons at relatively short notice. Terrorists are also believed to be seeking them.
To help prevent secret weapons programmes, the panel will also urge all countries to stop building enrichment or reprocessing facilities, until a global scheme is designed to enable the International Atomic Energy Agency to guarantee the supply of fissile material to genuine civil nuclear users.
The panel examined a wide range of threats, including terrorism, disease, poverty and environmental degradation. But the risk of nuclear Armageddon may be the most pressing of all, and has led to growing disagreement over how to tackle nuclear advances in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
It argues that nuclear weapons states must honour their commitments to move towards disarmament, and reaffirm promises not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. The Security Council pledge for collective action could help ease non-nuclear states' concerns.
All de facto nuclear states, including Israel, Pakistan and India (which are not named), should pledge a commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament, ratify the comprehensive test-ban treaty and support talks on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. In order to reduce supply, the panel says the IAEA's additional protocol should become the standard, and urges a new system whereby peaceful nuclear technology users could be guaranteed fissile material although the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes must be preserved.
In a possible bow to Washington, it also calls on all states to join the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative, with UN Security Council backing.
F the UN. The US makes its own decisions about its security. Screw those chateaubriand-eating US-taxpayer-funded do-nothing weasels.
Actually, this report justifies, IMHO, a pre-emptive strike on the UN..
Oooh, I bet the nations of the world developing nukes are scared now. The UN is getting together 'collective action.' This means, of course, that the UN General Assembly will all turn and glower at the representative from any offending nation. Then they'll go back to business as usual, stealing candy from babies and money from US taxpayers.
How about a pre-emptive strike on the UN?
Great minds think alike!
Looks like the game field is leveling between the socialists and the US to me.
Next step is tactical nuclear war.
Pretty much my sentiments but I try not to sugarcoat it.
Keep in mind that Bush said we attacked Iraq before they became an imminent threat (contrary to what the news/Michael Moore reports).
Is Kofi trying to get the focus off himself?
Not sure how old you ae..but one of the weirdest ever protests durng the Vietnam era was when a coven of self-proclaimed witches announced that they would picket the Pentagon, cast a joint spell, and levitate the building away...as I recall, it made the front page of the NY Times....maybe NYC area Freepers could try to rent a few witches..
I'm a little too young to remember the Vietnam era with any clarity - but a great story.
If you're looking for a witch, I understand there's one occupying a senatorial seat in New York...
Does this vindicate Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's strike on Pearl Harbor?
What a load of elitist, narcissistic, bovine excrement.
The UN: Hey, we may be corrupt and incompetent, but at least we want to take over the world!
I did not the UN is saying it now. I wonder if this means we can do a pre-emptive strike on the UN and other leftist/Communist groups?
The Senate and House passed a resolution, S.J.Res. 54 (P.L. 105-235, signed August 14, 1998), declaring Iraq in material breach of the ceasefire.
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