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Dec 2, 2010

What’s wrong with UN and how to fix it?

    United Nations has been criticized as the tool of the West employed to rule the world. Critics accuse five permanent members of overuse of power. Developing countries are complaining that the top five are misusing their undisputed privilege. For instance, the US invasion, albeit with strong opposition from her counterparts, of Iraq has invited unsolicited acrimony from Muslim community around the world. China, Russia and France pinpointed that Bush policy were compromising Middle East peace. The point is quite easy to understand. Leaders around the world, especially European Countries, are well aware that the post-invasion Iraq would need time and resources to recovery from the ordeal. After the invasion, Bush calls for worldwide support to his war bid. EU was too close to US to turn down the call. Consequently, thousand troops from European countries are now serving at their respective governmental expenses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Extremists even linked the war in Iraq to 9/11 attack.
   Another issue is with the enlargement of the Permanent Member Security Council. Some countries have been very active in lobbying for a seat in SC, viz. Brazil, India and Japan. Bush sees India as a counterweight against China in Asia. Rather than emulate his predecessor, Obama sees India as an indispensible partner. However, Obama recently states he is supportive of India for a permanent seat in UN.  Japan is now also claiming a seat. Japan has been elected as a non-permanent in SC for nine times since the founding of UN (According to Japanese MOFA press release, 2006.). Also, Japan is the second largest contributor to UN annual budget proceeding by US. Japanese politicians are hypothesizing that Japan is well-matched for the position. Apparently, Japan is far from the inclusion comparing to it counterparts. The home truth is the article ninth of the Constitution, written by US, forever prohibits Japan from conducting whatever kind of war. The article implies that Japan is not allowed to have military forces. Without military might, Japan fails to meet the basic sine qua non for the slot, consisting of great both economically and militarily. So, Japan is now living under US security umbrella Mr. Lula, outgoing president of Brazil, have been demanding that his country be given the seat. The Brazil of Lula is becoming an economic heavyweight in world stage. The inclusion of Brazil in BRICs makes its picture clearer. Brazil is the best in South America in term of both territory and GDP. Brazil is committed to defending peace and security in the continent if it gets a seat. As you see above, the struggle for preserving and reshuffling the current members of SC between the old powers and the emerging markets usually overshadows the core role of UN and other smaller member voices. That’s a big Problem
  IMF and the World Bank have been come at the forefront of criticism for years. The presidents of both institutions are too associated with the West. Traditionally, president of IMF comes from Europe and the one of World Bank comes from US. The roles of IMF are to advise its members on economic policy, budget deficit, and inflation mitigation and so on and so forth. In the case of serious economic stagflation, IMF provides emergency soft loan along with some compulsory conditions! The conditions are called Structural Adjustment Programs Requirement (SAP Requirement). Some of the requirements are the deregulation of banking system, the removal of trade barriers, privatization of natural resources industries, and the devaluation of currencies.  Developing countries are clearly aware that IMF, World Bank, and FDI are another version of the West Imperialism.The deregulation of banking system will make the West companies easier in pursuit of investment. If all requirements are to be fulfilled, the West will be at an advantage over its peer. Given above argument, the West still can capitalize on the weaker ones. The West is trying to legalize its misconduct in the form of humanitarian. We are all well-known that most of developing countries are indebted to IMF and World Bank (the West shares most of both institutions budget). When a country asks for economic help, IMF requires the one to devaluate its currency on the pretext of kick-starting economic growth. The positive side of the measure is the gain of economic activity producing employment gain. On the contrary, the devaluation usually makes, but not always, currency less valuable. A less valuable currency will make its debts to IMF and World Bank even much bigger and behind the two is the West. The IMF economic prescription looks best in general and looks not very good in particular.
   The last point is to do with voting system. Voting power in both IMF and World Bank based on each member wealth. In compliance with the rule, the West enjoys more voting power. Just five members from advanced countries, the US, Germany, Japan, France, and the Great Britain have more than 50 percent power. That’s also a big problem of UN.