Democratize U.N.With the Cold War over, the clout of the...


October 11, 1993

Democratize U.N.

With the Cold War over, the clout of the United Nations has been steadily growing. Thus the U.N. is where landmark speeches are often made, including the recent one by Nelson Mandela calling for an end to sanctions against South Africa.

But ironically, though white minority rule is finally ending in South Africa, the U.N. Security Council itself remains the last bastion of apartheid.

The Security Council, which controls much U.N. policy, is a relic of the post-World War II world. It is controlled by the five veto-wielding permanent members, only one of whom is a

non-white, third world country.

If the U.N. is to truly evolve into a world body, basic democratic norms would suggest that the Security Council include more developing nations, which account for the majority of the world's population. It is unfortunate that Western powers seem to believe in ''one-person, one-vote'' only when convenient, and that apartheid-like policies should continue in a body as important as the U.N. Security Council.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recently raised the issue of council reform. Of the permanent members, Washington alone supported council expansion, though President Clinton did not mention this in his speech to the U.N. However, even the U.S. focused only on the candidacies of Japan and Germany, without addressing claims from the developing world.

A truly democratic world government may be currently impossible, because of the overwhelming military and economic strength of the minority industrialized North and its obvious reluctance to relinquish the reins of power. However, the Security Council can be made more democratic by including major Third World regional powers like India, Brazil and Nigeria.

Continued evasion on the part of the wealthy nations will only increase alienation in the Third World, already unhappy over U.N. inaction in Bosnia.

The Clinton administration has tried to increase the emphasis on democratic principles around the world, through the U.N. has escaped scrutiny in this context.

If the United States is to be seen as a principled nation, rather than as a hypocrite, it should be in the forefront of this issue as well, strongly advocating a more equitable distribution of power, by adding third world permanent members to the Security Council.

A. V. Aiyengar


Chicken Little

The ''Clinton Follies'' always follow his policy speeches and, in addition to costing boodles of money, they amuse more than inform.

The well-choreographed administrative crew scatter like little bees to pollinate as many of us as possible with their liberal propaganda. The media, of course, is always right there to help the cause. It's all so obvious.

Sort of reminds one of Chicken Little. ''The health system is broken! The health system is broken! It must be fixed now, now, now! Never mind the details -- never mind the cost -- just trust me!''

There is such a push to stampede quick action.

The use of calm reason and sober reflection is discouraged. A sensible idea was advanced recetnly by one pundit that two of the plans (Clinton's and that proposed by the Republicans) be tried experimentally among the uninsured group to compare performance results at the end of a specified period.

To launch a massive, theoretical, untried scheme like President Clinton's health plan without a prior pilot program is sheer lunacy, especially when the cost is a terrifyingly unknown factor. Added to this is the fact that if passed, it would become another entitlement, which, as history shows, stick tighter to future budgets than a tattoo.

As for the Clinton sales techniques, it was embarrassing and distasteful to see a president of the United States acting like Oprah Winfrey, clucking at heart-wringer letters read aloud in his presence on television, in a cheap attempt to arouse the emotions and compassion of the American people. The use of such theatrics as a calculated sales tool is demeaning to the high office of president.

The American people realize well enough that a program on the scale of President Clinton's affecting everyone needs to be analyzed, debated and evaluated from every angle in the cold, unemotional light of day.

That is why a pilot program is essential so the nation can try this on for size before committing its health care to the tender clutches of a massive bureaucracy which would be created to take care of our health, cradle to grave, a la the failed socialist systems of Eastern Europe.

H.J. Rizzo


Shooting Straight

The police officers who dispatched a runaway bull earlier this month demonstrated laudable efficiency in the process ("Bull flees from pen, dies in police gunfire," Sept. 3).

The Sun reports that the police claimed 10 shots were fired and all hit the bull. If it is assumed that each shot contributed to the bull's demise, then one can calculate an efficiency value per round fired, i.e. 1,000 pounds (weight of deceased bull) divided by 10 (shots fired) equals 100 (efficiency value).

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