Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-01-29-Speech-4-009"

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"Mr President, the new world order both requires a stronger United Nations and, at the same time, hinders its coming into being. More than ever, major world problems require a global approach, which entails effective decision-making and implementation. The UN should undergo a thorough overhaul in order to reflect the new relationships and to carry out the many tasks in an adequate manner. Everyone here is agreed on this, yet nothing is being done because everyone has a different opinion on how it should be. It is hypocritical to embrace the UN millennium declaration if we are subsequently not prepared to act on it and stick our necks out for it. UN reforms are not only technical, but often involve a redistribution of power, and that is where things are going continually wrong. For example, the reform of the Security Council has been the subject of squabbles for more than ten years, with no results so far. The United States is by far the most powerful player on the world stage and has little need of multilateralism, which it regards as a restriction of its power. Other countries, including France and the United Kingdom, refuse to relinquish the privileges they have inherited from the old world order. Potential permanent members do not grant each other favoured positions. Permanent seats for continents only work if the regional powers can agree on a rotation mechanism. The proposed double veto system is better than what we have at the moment, but offers no real solution, especially not if the number of permanent seats is being increased still further. Instead of this, it would be preferable to use a European model of differential vote weighting, and hence to abolish the veto system. I do not believe that the European Union's political coordination in the UN is as bad as Mr Laschet suggests in his excellent report. Generally, there is most definitely EU consensus in the General Assembly. Despite this, Europe appears hopelessly divided in major crises, such as over Iraq. In my opinion, this is mainly attributable to the increased rivalry between France, the United Kingdom and Germany. A legal entity, or even an EU minister, will be unable to create common foreign policy as long as the big European states continue to fight for EU leadership. The Laschet report contains many interesting recommendations for building up relations between the European Union and the UN. Some are very valuable, but there are perhaps too many for the short term. We have to be careful not to create another UN-EU bureaucracy. In my opinion, the main role of our Parliament is in the area of monitoring and not so much in the diplomatic arena. The enlarged European Union can, and must, make a substantial contribution to the desperately needed reforms of the United Nations. Political necessity is beyond dispute; what is still lacking is the political courage to give shape to the new world order within the UN in a decisive manner."@en1

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