Abstract

Acknkowledging the ineffectiveness & corruption leading to the UN's failure to promote global peace & security in recent cases including Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, & Sudan, Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed that the rules governing the use of force be reformed & the structure of the Security Council be changed. In a new report, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All, Annan contends that while nations may use force to confront the problems created by terrorism & the human rights catastrophes of international & civil wars, the authorization for using force for anything but self-defense must remain strictly in the hands of the Security Council. To enhance the Council's decision-making ability, Annan suggests that it be enlarged & restructured to include representation for all geographic regions. He also asks for creation of a "strategic reserve" of forces to enhance UN peace-keeping operations. While one might think of these reforms as significant changes, the author argues that they are primarily rhetorical & illustrates this by looking closely at each to show how little would actually be changed. It is concluded that the international legal system should actually promote greater use of force -- to address the global problems of rogue nations, international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, & human rights catastrophes. Determination of when force should be used ought to be made using an international public goods approach. The effectiveness of the UN will not be increased until it recognizes the real challenges to world peace & adopts the means to address them. J. Stanton

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