Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Is there any point? Isn't it a waste of money, a waste of resources, a waste of time and energy to have a group that goes on and on?"

Another failed round of Security Council reform at the United Nations today, as the "Open Ended Working Group" (bad sign right in the title of the group, no?) met for the umpteenth time. Today's debate was over a proposal by the General Assembly President that the member states move from "consultations" — which they've been doing for 15 years, to no end — to "intergovernmental negotiations". Asleep yet? Even the Japanese press, who as you can imagine care deeply about Security Council reform so that they can get on the Council, have stopped following this. Sort of.

Most of the highlights came from India's Ambassador Nirupam Sen, whom in his speech to the members referenced both Alice and Wonderland and Marx — a mean feat of oratory. He later dismissed the President of the General Assembly's draft, saying: "We disagree with the report, totally, completely with ever word of it."

Naturally Pakistan also blasted the President's proposal for completely different reasons, because Pakistan is against intergovernmental negotiations entirely on the grounds that . (It's a rule that Pakistan and India must disagree, period. The only thing they seem to agree on is that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is a neocolonialist plot). Even the ever-prudent and soft-spoken Japanese delegation was studiously unimpressed by the President's proposal.

The meeting will continue tomorrow, since not everyone who wanted to bash the President's proposal had time during today's five hour session, but the punchline is, for those of you who were desperately hoping for Security Council reform... um... it'll be a while.

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