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Who can save waning UN? Not US, but China

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29.07.2021

By Tom Plate

Maybe the United Nations ― fumbling, hopelessly bureaucratic, partly corrupt and so on ― is in fact beyond redemption. Just forget about it: Let it career down the slippery slope of mediocrity and geopolitical irrelevance and splash ignominiously into New York's East River. Let's just cut our losses and bail out before its collapse pulls the world into a deep and dark abyss.

Maybe the U.N. was never going to save the world. Without the United States as a member, the League of Nations flopped after World War II; post-World War II, even with the U.S. in the game, the U.N. is a near-flop.

Maybe, as Princeton University emeritus professor Richard Falk provocatively and persistently suggests, a new world order cannot be maintained on the ballast of international institutionalization but will require an elevated layer of consciousness: in effect, a transformative global psychological breakthrough elevating the human species into the sphere of a true functional community. But ― how long might that take?

Here's one section in former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's important, realistic and at times riveting memoir, just published, that's especially telling. The former South Korean foreign minister (2004-06) recalls an insider's moment at the 2015 peacekeeping summit organized by the Obama administration in New York.

President Barack Obama, insouciantly ignoring the fact that U.S. personnel contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions are so few, was outperformed by President Xi Jinping, who stood up to pledge a trained standing force of 8,000 deployable peacekeepers (mainly........

© The Korea Times


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