Letter: Balkan dilemma

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The problem in Kosovo should draw our attention to the inadequacy of international law as embodied in the Charter of the UN.

There is a real danger that Yugoslavia's neighbours, Albania, Macedonia, Greece and even Turkey, could be drawn into the conflict, mainly because of the pressures caused by large population movements. The consequences would be detrimental to the rest of Europe. It is likely that such a conflict would cause a serious downturn in economic confidence in the whole of Europe.

Hence, Nato's involvement is not just power politics, or purely a humanitarian operation. It is also a way of trying to safeguard the economy of Europe. Why was not the United Nations Security Council asked to solve the crisis in Kosovo? The conflict is only the latest incident which demonstrates that the composition of the Security Council and, in particular, its voting system, is a hindrance to maintaining international peace.

Should we not search for a way to modernise its functioning, and try to establish a voting system that is commensurate with the political, financial and military contribution that members are willing or able to contribute to the maintenance of that law?


Sherborne, Dorset