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chupooey    7/15/2006 6:38:25 AM
Realism of India’s UN ambition By Shaukat Umer AN astute Cuban diplomat, with long experience of the United Nations, once described the decision making process in the Security Council by drawing an enigmatic mathmatical equation: 1+1+3+10=15. He deciphered the riddle as follows; on any major issue one must first get the support of the United States. Britain will automatically follow suit. France, Russia and China would come along after offering varying degrees of resistance. Thereafter the 10 non permanent members would be left with no option but to join the permanent five. That was in 1993, when the successor state to the erstwhile Soviet Union was in shambles and American supremacy virtually unchallenged. The world has moved on from there but the fundamentals of my Cuban friend’s formula remain valid even today. India’s initiative to secure the UN secretary-general’s post shows keen appreciation of how the Security Council functions. If its nominee Shashi Tharoor, an under- secretary general and Kofi Annan’s close confidante, had obtained even an implicit assurance of US support prior to announcing his candidature, the remaining numbers in the puzzle, with the possible exception of China, should be expected to fall in place. Britain and France have openly supported India’s claim for permanent membership of the Security Council and enjoy the closest of relations with that country. The two are also supportive of the Indo-US nuclear deal and are expected to lobby for it in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group once it is cleared by the American Congress. Russia, despite India’s recent closeness with the United States, remains a strategic ally and the supplier of most of India’s weaponry. China’s attitude would be decisive provided it is prepared to cast a negative vote against the Indian nominee in the Security Council. Even if China abstains, Shashi Tharoor would not be thwarted, since a veto is necessary to disable a candidacy. Given the growing political and economic ties between India and China, it is this writer’s assessment that a Chinese veto, particularly if the other P-4 are in agreement, would be inconsistent with the content and the emerging trend of bilateral relations between the two countries. It would also be at variance with China’s traditional aversion to taking positions of strident opposition unless its vital national interests are seen to be in jeopardy. This takes us back to the first number in the equation, the United States. Since there were already three Asian candidates in the field, namely the Deputy prime minister of Thailand, the foreign minister of South Korea and Dhanapalan an accomplished Sri Lankan diplomat, what prompted Tharoor to stake his own claim? India was quick to lend him its wholehearted official support. Tharoor is a UN insider and a shrewed tactician. Why did he choose to enter an already crowded arena? Just to try his luck? Or is his and India’s decision the outcome of prior consultations and some understandings with the P-5, more specifically the US. An accurate answer to this query would comprise the first test of our diplomacy in the opening moves of what promises to be an absorbing and intense diplomatic tussle. One might be wondering that for such a major appointment, easily the most prestigious in the multilateral system, why has the constituency been limited to a mere five countries with a pronounced accent on just one. What about the General Assembly, where the entire UN membership of 191 countries is represented and which has been designated by the UN Charter as the final authority for appointing the secretary-general? The reader’s bewilderment would be dispelled by a short analysis of the manner in which the secretary general is appointed. According to the Charter he is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. In practice, however, since the inception of the United Nations, the General Assembly has never overturned a candidate recommended by the Security Council. In recent decades, the Assembly has not even asked to take a vote on the Council’s nominee preferring to express its approval by acclamation. There is considerable logic behind this practice. To take a vote, one or more countries would be required to formally ask for it. Since the Council recommends only one candidate, no country considers it worthwhile to challenge the Council’s nominee regardless of how distasteful that person might be. Because such a challenge is most likely to be beaten, even an adversarially inclined delegation considers it in its interest to avoid causing offence and stay on the right side of the prospective secretary- general. So on the specific issue of selection of the secretary-general, the table needs to be slightly amended; 1+1+3+10=191. There have been widespread calls to reform this process by making it transparent and giving the General Assembly a more meaningful role in the secreta
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chupooey    RE:REALISM OF INDIA's UN AMBITION PART II   7/16/2006 5:35:52 AM
A test case for Pakistan’s diplomacy: Realism of India’s UN ambition-II By Shaukat Umer IN the first part of this article I had tried to explain the dynamics of the process of selection of the UN secretary-general, in addition to briefly examining the prospects of the Indian nominee. I propose to devote this sequel to the possible options available to Pakistan to thwart India’s ambition to occupy the premier multilateral position in the world as this eventuality would directly impinge upon our national interests. First, a brief word on Asia’s turn to occupy the post. Rotation amongst regional groups is a tradition , not a Charter stipulation. U Thant was the last Asian incumbent who vacated the office several decades ago. Since then Europe, Latin America and Africa have had their turn. Reports suggest that the East European countries have also staked their claim with tacit American support. This is a false claim. During the currency of the Cold War this group of countries did indeed represent a specific political ideology which gave it a distinct outlook and a credible claim for separate treatment in UN affairs. That is no longer the case. Most East European countries are now part of the European Union and many have joined Nato. Apart from Russia and possibly Belarus they all vote in unison with the West. In political and economic terms these countries are no longer entitled to separate group treatment, like Asia, Africa or Latin America. Their loyalty and destiny now lie with the west and should in principle be absorbed in that group. The 53 African countries have formally upheld Asia’s turn to provide the next secretary-general. The 114 strong Non-Aligned Movement has decided likewise. This number constitutes a clear majority of the entire UN membership. More importantly, China, too, is committed to support an Asian candidate. The sentiment being overwhelmingly in Asia’s favour, an act of blatant highhandedness would be required to deny Asia its right. The possibility that Shashi Tharoor’s candidacy might be derailed by East European claimants, thus, needs to be effectively ruled out and should not figure in the formulation of our own strategy. Now what should Pakistan do? Essentially we have two options; launch our own candidacy or initiate a diplomatic offensive, starting with the permanent five, to impress upon the international community the deleterious implications of appointing an Indian secretary-general on South Asia and beyond. It might be tempting to field a Pakistani candidate to cancel out the Indian. Here three factors need to be borne in mind; first, our nominee would not be seen as a serious contender for the secretary-generalship but simply a ploy to deny India the post. The merit of our candidate, if we can find one with the right credentials, would figure only marginally in electoral appraisals. The fact that we were caught by surprise by Tharoor’s candidacy constitutes a serious lapse in our diplomatic judgment. Timing is the essence of good diplomacy. The inability of our multilateral machinery to foresee an Indian nomination denied us the opportunity to preempt it by announcing our own interest first. Now, no matter what spin we give, our candidacy would be seen primarily in a spoiler mode. Second, the nature of the selection process mitigates the cancellation phenomenon. In a head to head election it is possible to cancel out a rival by draining votes away from him That would not be possible in the present instance. The Security Council does not vote simultaneously on all the candidates. It takes a separate straw poll on each one of them to determine the overall trend within the Council. The candidate polling the highest votes, without a veto, is then presented as the unanimous choice of the Council. It is difficult to see how under this scenario a Pakistani candidate would be able to cancel out the Indian. Thirdly, does Pakistan have a credible candidate? The names currently been mentioned do not create a state of euphoria. Since they have been colleagues, a personal commentary would be inappropriate. Suffice it to say that the qualities which ensure success within a country are not necessarily accorded similar weight in international assessments. If the decision is indeed in favour of fielding a candidate, simply to make a political statement, then only one name comes to mind; former foreign secretary and state minister, Inam ul Haq. Many concrete and irrefutable arguments are available against an Indian secretary-general, the most potent being the complete absence of regional support for India. Tharoor’s success would be pathbreaking since never before had an individual been appointed the head of a multilateral agency, let alone the United Nations, in the teeth of regional opposition. Is it not pertinent to inquire how could the nominee of a nation, which has conclusively proven itself incapable of living peacefully with its immediate neighb
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eggfooyoung    RE:REALISM OF INDIA's UN AMBITION PART II   7/17/2006 12:49:54 AM
who gives a rats ass about pak anyways..
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Sujies    RE:REALISM OF INDIA's UN AMBITION PART II   7/17/2006 3:31:43 PM
Idiocy at its best-- A pakistani talking about his proud terrorist nation
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eggfooyoung    RE:REALISM OF INDIA's UN AMBITION PART II   7/22/2006 3:08:21 AM
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chupooey    RE:Shakespeare for you   7/22/2006 10:34:06 AM
"That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
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eggfooyoung    commonsense for you   7/23/2006 12:25:04 AM
we can tolerate stupidity but not those who are proud of it. ciao.
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chupooey    RE:somesense for you   7/23/2006 7:08:10 AM
A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.
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eggfooyoung    RE:somesense for you   7/23/2006 11:25:29 PM
"A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad." ---------------------------------------------- you are right!!now do me a favor...tell that to all those mullahs in your neighborhood who are ready to blow themselves up in hopes of getting laid by 72 virgins once they die. your people can definately use some of that infinite wisdom of yours.
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chupooey    RE:SOME BASIC STUFF   7/24/2006 5:53:42 AM
Dont you have any thing else in the whole world to talk about than the mullahs / madrassahs / jihad etc etc. Let me clear this thing to all of you, there is nothing wrong with any of these. no one is perfect and mullahs or to say muslims are no exception. All you need to wait is the time when western media starts exploiting you. Playing the power game of US have not helped any one, the only thing important to her is her interests, once they are finished, she would lift off herself, leaving you in a mess.
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eggfooyoung    RE:SOME BASIC STUFF   7/24/2006 11:56:38 PM
"All you need to wait is the time when western media starts exploiting you. Playing the power game of US have not helped any one, the only thing important to her is her interests, once they are finished, she would lift off herself, leaving you in a mess." ----------------------------------------- kissing western a$$ has been a pakistani trait since jinnah.instead of working hard as a nation you relied on western alms to survive and build up your wonder you have been treated like TP.they came,they swiped and they left u in a mess(they forgot to flush!) india is a different case.what we are now is the result of indians working hard as a nation and we'll continue on that path and we will be treated in a different way than some third rate nation with stolen weapons tech.look at what indians have acheived and look at what you have.its self-evident.posers never get in line to screw ur a$$ is china.every major power will continue to exploit you because of the simple facts mentioned keep praying for survival.its in your best interest.
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