Carne Ross: Time for states to give way to people power


Carne Ross
Monday 05 March 2012 14:00

What Al-Nasser says is commonly uttered, sotto voce, at the UN, but rarely so publicly declared. It's commonplace to point the finger at the "Permanent Five" members of the Security Council. But they will never give up the veto, whatever they may say. This time the Syrians are the victims of China's and Russia's obstructionism, but one can also point to the US for blocking discussion of Palestine. Nor should we relish the oft-repeated panacea of enlarging the Council's membership.

But it is the problems of globalisation that find the UN most direly wanting. The UN climate change process has produced thousands of meetings but no firm agreement. Likewise, the UN has been wholly absent from the debate on mounting economic volatility. The institution itself must be updated. How? Make room for peoples, not states. It is naïve to expect a body of nation states to put aside short-term interests. Instead, we must turn to peoples for the necessary action. That means us.

* Carne Ross is director of the non-profit consultancy Independent Diplomat and author of "The Leaderless Revolution: how ordinary people will take power and change politics in the 21st century" (Simon & Schuster) - and

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