Un altro incidente è in attesa

<101706187"> Germania -Onu – Usa

<101706188"> 05-04-07 AICGS

<101706189"> Un altro incidente è in attesa

Christoph Nesshöver, collabora a Handelsblatt, ex giornalista di Aicgs – American Institute for Contemporary German Studies

font-weight: bold”> · Berlino e Washington sono destinate scontrarsi nei prossimi mesi sulla questione dell’ampliamento del Consiglio di sicurezza Onu .

Suggerimenti per una soluzione:

font-weight: bold”> · La Germania potrebbe convincere l’amministrazione Bush che è pronta a svolgere una parte attiva nella politica internazionale, dando il via in modo credibile alla creazione delle necessarie capacità per la sua proiezione militare globale, visto che un consiglio allargato comporta responsabilità allargate.

font-weight: bold”> · Gli Usa a loro volta potrebbero abbandonare la sfiducia verso i tedeschi, in fin dei conti minata solo dal dissidio sulla guerra in Irak.

Il nuovo spirito pragmatico di cooperazione tra Germania e Usa instauratosi con la visita di Bush a Mainz è molto fragile; sulla questione della riforma dell’ Onu i due paesi sono molto distanti.

La Germania è il terzo maggior finanziatore al bilancio biennale Onu di complessivi $3,6md., dopo Stati Uniti e Giappone, e si sente perciò il candidato giusto ad entrare nel suo C.d.S.; per la Germania la riforma Onu è legata all’ampliamento del suo C.d.S. a nuovi membri permanenti: 4 nuovi e due a rotazione per due paesi africani, Egitto e Sud Africa.

Anche gli Usa vogliono una riforma in cui l’ampliamento del C.d.S. sia funzionale al conseguimento dei loro obiettivi; nei circoli diplomatici americani viene espresso il timore che un consiglio di 24 membri rappresenti un intralcio permanente anziché temporaneo all’attività delle Nazioni Unite.

Condoleezza Rice ha menzionato solo il Giappone come idoneo a un seggio permanente.

Meccanismi tecnici per la riforma: solo l’Assemblea generale Onu può decidere sulla modifica della Costituzione dell’organizzazione, e non lo stesso C.d.S., i cui cinque membri permanenti devono ratificare la modifica in seguito; tuttavia la posizione americana è cruciale per la formazione della maggioranza di 2/e3 nell’Assemblea generale.

<101706190"> 05-04-07 AICGS

<101706191"> Another Accident Waiting To Happen

by Christoph Nesshöver

Feature writer with “Handelsblatt”, Germany ’s business daily, and a former journalist-in-residence at AICGS

Berlin and Washington are set to clash over enlarging the UN Security Council

In the heavy traffic of international diplomacy, some crashes are bad luck, some are due to unfortunate circumstances, and some are simply due to bad driving. When all of these factors come together, major accidents may become inevitable. That doesn’t make them less tragic, and it certainly makes it a lot harder to clean up the mess afterwards.

As it happens, the next German-American accident seems to be just around the corner. Berlin and Washington are bound to collide head on in the coming weeks and months over reforming the United Nations Security Council.

The timing is more than unlucky. After all, since the re-election of President George W. Bush in November 2004, governments in Berlin and Washington have embarked on a healthy path of mutual recognition of each other’s differences of opinion while stressing the many issues where both share interests. President Bush’s recent visit to Germany produced images of a smiling president next to a relaxed Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The trip to Mainz seemed to have re-established what both men lacked for years: a pragmatic working relationship.

The new spirit is still more than fragile. The fierce differences that drove Germans and Americans apart during Bush’s first term deepened the growing divide between both societies over values, conflicting visions of the world after September 11 th 2001, and adequate foreign policy strategies to address the new challenges.

Bridges are hard to build in a climate like this, and all that Bush and Schröder have managed to do so far is to start the groundwork. Fair enough. But a new conflict over a central foreign policy question can drive both sides back into their respective trenches. That would be extremely unfortunate.

Circumstances, however, seem to be driving both sides into a new confrontation. 2005 is supposed to be the year of the furthest reaching reform the United Nations has undertaken in its history. When some 150 heads of state and heads of government will gather to celebrate the UN’s 60 th birthday in New York in September, they are scheduled to vote into effect thorough changes in the way the United Nations goes about its business: from peace-making to peace-keeping to peace-building; from fighting against poverty, genocide, terrorism, and HIV-AIDS to fighting for better government and human rights; from reducing bureaucracy at the UN to fostering long-overdue cooperation between the UN’s multiple agencies and institutions. It’s a huge agenda that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan laid out when he presented his recommendations to member states earlier this week.

The problem for German-American relations: Security Council reform also figures on the laundry list, and both governments are miles apart on the issue. A year ago, Chancellor Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer set out on a renewed attempt to secure a permanent seat for Germany on the most prestigious – and arguably most influential – body of international politics. They consider Germany, which, trailing only the United States and Japan , is the Nr. 3 contributor to the UN’s 3,6 billion dollar biannual budget, a rightful candidate.

And they feel that the UN’s deep crises over Iraq, over oil-for-food, over sex-for-aid, and over Kofi Annan’s lack of leadership strengthens the call for reforming the UN considerably – and thus their chances to lead Germany into the Security Council as a permanent member. They want Germany to be on the winning side of the great poker game over UN reform. Win or defeat will be defined by one issue only: For Germany , UN reform stands and falls with an enlargement of the Security Council by new permanent members.

The U.S. administration wants to reform the UN as well, more urgently probably than any other country. The ideal of a leaner, more effective organization, one more inclined to support U.S. policies around the globe instead of opposing them, a sort of legitimizing tool for “coalitions of the willing” – this seems to be President Bush’s preferred reform result. There are good arguments for many of the United States ’ proposals.

And there’s a good reason why the Bush administration, contrary to Germany , does not consider an enlarged Security Council a helpful idea
to reach its goals. Privately, administration officials fear that the fifteen-member Council could face not just occasional but permanent gridlock with some twenty-four members.
Seen from inside the beltway, the current gridlock between the fifteen over how to stop the genocide in Sudan is a troubling repeat of past tragic moments of the Council’s inertia – and that’s just one example. As a consequence, the debate over enlarging the Security Council has been raging for months and months in New York and elsewhere, but Washington has kept silent.

With the final round of reform talks now getting under way, the new U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, will – once confirmed by the Senate – have to clarify the U.S. position very soon. And he is likely to deeply disappoint the Germans, who have ganged up with Japan, Brazil, and India to lobby the other 187 UN members for their cause: four permanent seats in the Security Council plus two for two African countries, most likely Egypt and South Africa .

When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named only Japan as a good candidate for a permanent seat, she dealt a first blow to many in Berlin who had prematurely hoped that, once the ice had begun to melt between President Bush and Chancellor Schröder, Germany’s bid would also find the blessing of the Bush administration.

Things are likely to get worse for the Schröder government and for German-American relations. There’s little reason to think that the Bush administration will do anything to foster an enlargement of the Security Council. Even though the United States only has an indirect veto in this matter – only the General Assembly of the UN holds a vote to change the organization’s Charta, not the Security Council itself, but all five permanent members of the Security Council have to ratify the change afterwards – its position will be crucial to get the necessary two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

Now good driving is needed by both sides to avoid another German-American head on collision. A good course for Germany may be to convince the Bush administration that it is ready to play an active role in world politics – by finally beginning to build up credible capabilities for the projection of military force around the globe. After all, a Security Council seat brings with it enlarged responsibilities that have to be met. A good course for the United States may be to rid itself of its distrust towards the Germans engendered solely by their disagreement with America on the issues of Iraq .

Not every crash waiting to happen needs to happen. We certainly like pleasant surprises. Unfortunately however, good driving on the issue of Security Council reform seems unlikely to happen in either Berlin or Washington anytime soon. Too bad.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

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