July 2, 2013 by Alfred
Assistant Secretary General, Thomas Stelzer, during a recent (June 6, 2013) visit to Brazil, gave an interview to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
When asked by the reporter if Brazil, which is now a country of a population of almost 200 million and with a GDP of US $ 2.3 trillion, and has become the 6th largest economy of the world, could become a member of the UN Security Council, his response was that this would be a “difficult question to answer” since for a nation to become a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council it must have the approval of the Security Council. Mr. Stelzer then proceeded to state that he did not see Brazil becoming a voting member of that UN body.
The five permanent members of the Security Council were the victorious powers in World War II and have maintained the world’s most powerful military forces ever since. They annually top the list of countries with the highest military expenditures; in 2011, they spent over US$1 trillion combined on defense, accounting for over 60% of global military expenditures (the U.S. alone accounting for over 40%). They are also five of the world’s six largest arms exporters, along with Germany and are the only nations officially recognized as “nuclear-weapon states” under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though there are other states known or believed to be in possession of nuclear weapons.
It is astounding and incongruous with the present day reality, almost 70 years after the end of World War II, that an elitist club of five can rule undemocratically that the UN Security Council cannot include at least one prominent country from every continent so as to upgrade, update and thereby democratize that body of nations which have “distinguished” themselves by being the first to develop arsenals of nuclear weapons, now largely useless and yet a serious threat to the survival of the human race.
Britain and France distinguished themselves as former, at times ruthless colonialist nations, China and Russia, as nations of large territories and high populations, and the U.S. as a nation which has undergone, after WWII, a self declared, but undefined transformation to resort to military means to implement its foreign policy, by first propping up dictatorships in mostly South and Central America, but also in Indonesia and the Philippines, and then by continuing to use its military might funded by a budget that is higher than that of the world combined, to intervene in Vietnam, in the Middle East and in Asia in ways which certainly have not made the world safer or more prosperous. The situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, not to mention the occupation of Cuban territory for the imposition of a concentration camp, where torture has been applied to suspects without the due judicial proceedings, and the use of drones for the targeted assassinations of what now numbers in more than a thousand with collateral damage to hundreds of innocent children, women, and men, are a clear indication the elitist UN Security Council is in urgent need of democratizing reform, since it is not doing its job of implementing “Security” but is rather undermining Security by an intolerable membership unyielding exclusionary policy.
It is high time for emerging and / or emerged economy countries such as Brazil in South America, South Africa in Africa, India in Asia (inter alia), to become voting members on a deliberative body which also must see to it that the violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by these five original members come to an end since it stipulates in one of its articles that ALL members will build down their nuclear weapons arsenal. What has happened instead is that lead by two of its members, with the silence of the remaining three, a war on Iraq on false claims was undertaken with catastrophic consequences, which go on unabated.
Prominent but not mentioned in the mainstream media is the clandestine activity by one of non-member nations, namely the US sponsored state of Israel, which with covert assistance and support from the U.S., England, and France, has since 1969 not only developed an arsenal of nuclear weapons but has refused to sign on to the NPT and to boot, has documentably proliferated for years the nuclear energy weaponization technology to the Apartheid regime of South Africa. This non-member state also happens to sit on violently 1948 occupied Palestinian land and ignores and thereby violates, with apparent impunity, countless UN resolutions calling for it to withdraw to pre 1967 invaded lands.
To sum up, for there to be a genuine “Spring” of democracy, reform at the UN is one of the fundamental starting points, which has been ignored for too long.
No individual nation or small elitist group of nations with undeclared agendas can solve the problems we now face. What is needed now is a globalization of the indignation against inaction aimed at reforms of all institutions and governments so that we will globally and on an equitable and sustainable scientific democratic basis strive for rendering the world prosperous by the focus on education, health, and rebuilding with a focus away from self-defeating militarism and blind pursuit of consumerism, which is intoxicating us in mind, body, and spirit.