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A UN with teeth - more popular than one might think

WorldPublicOpinion.org has polled the planet (or at least an apparently representative selection covering 56% (1) of the world's population) on strengthening the UN's ability to authorise force and so on, and the results are, to say the least, surprising. Who would have thought that 72% of Americans would think that “having a standing UN peacekeeping force selected, trained and commanded by the United Nations” was a fine idea? Or, come to that, that 60% of Israelis favour UN regulation of the arms trade? Can't say that I would.

A standing UN peacekeeping force is the most popular proposition, at 64% overall, with majority opinion in favour in all places polled, topped by 77% in Peru. The Peruvian military has been actively involved in peacekeeping, so they cannot be called on hypocrisy in that regard. The Philippines and Argentina showed the least enthusiasm. Quite how a chain of command would work with a standing UN army is a moot point, as is how it would be equipped, deployed etc etc, given security council veto powers.

74% are in favour of the authorisation of force 'to defend a country that has been attacked', and the French really like this one - 84%, as do the Americans at 83%. The Chinese clock in at 70%, although doubtless they were not thinking that this would have covered Tibet or its incursions into India. Despite having been a beneficiary, I'm puzzled that the enthusiasm of Korea is not greater than 76%. There are clearly problems of definition when it comes to wars, as it not often that there is a Yom Kippur war, Falklands or Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, but rather conflict is more often along the somewhat chaotic lines of the Yugoslav succession or Congo wars. With the three 'clear' examples, cases were made that the attackers were in the right. What chance of any future war being regarded as morally black and white by all non-engaged sovereign states? Zero seems like a good starting point.

A similar figure, 73% would approve action to 'prevent severe human rights violations such as genocide', with majorities in all places polled in favour. As to the UN having a responsibility to do so, enthusiasm wanes somewhat. Note the vile human rights record of some of the states polled....

To be continued.

(1) China, India, the United States, Russia, France, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Armenia and Israel, plus the Palestinian territories

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Anonymous a. salmon said... 3:52 pm

Individual Chinese might be thinking of Tibet, but they be wise to remain inscrutable.....

as told to this guy  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 5:27 pm

Looking at that line up the only thing that would make me sink my diverse differences with most of them would be an attack on the planet Earth.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:40 am

Indeed, they are pretty good at not giving too much away.

HG - Yes, quite the motley crew.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 4:51 pm

If the chinese are so inscrutable how is that none of them has ever won the world poker championships?  

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