Saturday, July 12, 2008

Guess who vetoed UN Security Council measure on Zimbabwe?

Russia and China exercised their veto power and killed off a UN Security Council measure that would have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for president Robert Mugabe's stifling of free elections there.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Friday that he was "very disappointed that the U.N. Security Council should have failed to pass a strong and clear resolution on Zimbabwe".

"It'll appear incomprehensible to the people of Zimbabwe that Russia, which committed itself at the G8 to take further steps including introducing financial and other sanctions, should stand in the way of Security Council action. Nor will they understand the Chinese vote," Mr Miliband said.

[ ... ]

British and US anger was intensified by Russia's sudden change of heart. Russia and China said they opposed the resolution because the situation in Zimbabwe did not threaten international stability and sanctions would have taken the UN beyond its mandate.

The US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Russia's veto raised "questions about its reliability as a G8 partner".
The United Nations is, by and large, an entirely useless and ineffective organization. Aside from the rampant corruption and bureaucratic bumbling, the Security Council -- the most important UN organ -- is neutered by the veto power of China and Russia.

When John McCain suggested the idea of a "league of democracies" as a way of getting around the morass that is the United Nations, I didn't think much about it. But the more I consider it, the more I think he's on to something.

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