Letter: UN as an instrument of Western interest

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Sir: Your leading article 'The case for intervention' (15 October) rightly emphasises the need for new thinking on the principle of UN intervention. However, a mere change in the strategy and mechanics of intervention would not be sufficient to place the UN on a high moral ground. The UN needs to be presented as a credible international forum dedicated to the principle of peace, security and economic development.

The collapse of Communism and the end of the Cold War produced a remarkable opportunity for the world to share common values under the aegis of the UN. But the West saw the demise of international socialism as an opportunity to create a new world order; a unipolar world in which the epicentre of power would lie in Washington and three out of five permanent members of the UN Security Council would take upon themselves the roles of plaintiffs, judges and potential executioners.

The Somalian experience has demonstrated that the world is not yet ready for any kind of political realignment, and the notions of sovereignty, nation states and territorial nationalism are alive and kicking. Developing nations will always feel uneasy accepting the moral authority of the UN, especially when the UN itself gives the distinct impression of being an instrument of Western interest.

A step in the right direction might be to open up the permanent membership of the UN Security Council to some developing countries such as India, Brazil, Nigeria and Egypt.

Yours faithfully,


Gants Hill, Essex