Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Maybe Pigs really are Flying

From a previous post of December 20, The Tragedy of Transnationalism :
Can the UN be salvaged? I really hope so, but I´m not confident any more. Maybe 3rd Time´s the charm, and we should start with something less ambitious than the UN. Something where a broad adherence to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms is required for membership, with continuous review. Something with Teeth to enforce those principles on Tyrannies, yet the flexibility to tolerate minor differences of doctrine - Gay Marriage, Capital Punishment, Gun or Drug Availability, that sort of thing.

Initial members: US, UK, Poland, Spain, Australia?

Maybe the Tragedy of Transnationalism will turn into a Triumph.

Maybe Pigs will Fly.

We can but hope.
Now have a look at this article dated March 19 from the National Journal :
In 1996, a private group called the United Nations Association of the United States of America floated the idea of a caucus solely for democracies. With 120 or so nations (out of 191 U.N. members), such a caucus could serve as a powerful counterweight to the traditional caucuses.

Late in the second Clinton administration, with a push from the State Department, the democracies began to organize. In 2000, 106 democracies gathered for the first meeting of an informal group they called the Community of Democracies. It had no permanent staff or formal powers, but it did produce an endorsement, in principle, of a democracy caucus at the U.N., a stance that the community reaffirmed in a second meeting in 2002 and, most recently, at a U.N. meeting last fall.
Predictions are risky, but where you see an acorn, it is not crazy to foresee an oak. With a little light and water, the democracy caucus will inevitably grow. In time -- you heard it first here -- it may overshadow the U.N.

In New York, gaining leverage at the U.N. serves the interests of America and all of the other democracies. In Washington, a democracy caucus appeals to conservatives who want America to influence the U.N., and it appeals to liberals who want the U.N. to influence America. "It's a way, in my opinion, of preserving the United Nations as a valuable institution, so it does not follow the path of the League of Nations," says Max M. Kampelman, who was a senior diplomat in the Carter and Reagan administrations.
Guess that makes me a mildly Conservative Liberal. Or a very Liberal Conservative.
But consider the long-term potential. By the time the Community of Democracies becomes strong enough to act coherently inside the U.N., it will also be strong enough to act coherently outside the U.N. It will contain most of the world's countries, including most of the strong ones. It will be unencumbered by the vetoes of tin-pot tyrannies. As it gains confidence and skill, it will attract money and authority. It may sprout an aid budget, a relief program, a peacekeeping arm, perhaps treaty powers.

In other words, the Community of Democracies may begin as a voice within the U.N. but go on to become a competitor to the U.N. Perhaps -- one can dream -- it may someday be the U.N.'s successor.

"United Nations" is an oxymoron. Democracies and dictatorships are mongoose and cobra, with no real hope of uniting except opportunistically. But a community of democracies -- that might just work. It already works in NATO and the E.U. The new community is a fledgling, but many readers of this article may live to see it soar.
What's that going overhead now? And do I hear the faint sound of Oinking?

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