Donald Trump proposed reforming the UN. But not the UN Security Council, but its peacekeeping contingent. At the same time, the US motives are transparent, very cynical, and it should be noted that the White House has a powerful financial lever of pressure. If the United States pays the UN, then let the United Nations be the United States' chain dog.
The next, already 72-I on the account, the session of the UN General Assembly in New York began, as it is customary in diplomacy, from "general political discussion". If to speak in essence - from an international scandal.
A few days before its opening, the American delegation led by Nikki Haley sent to other delegations the Draft Declaration of President Donald Trump on UN reform. By 18 September it was signed by 128 delegations from 193, which was reported victoriously by the same Hayley, who apparently does not give peace to Samantha Power.
Haley announced that in the history of the UN "a new day has come" and the organization's work "will change." 128 delegations are such a level of support for the US initiative that the much needed reforms will clearly be held. Trump, being a businessman, "sees the enormous potential" of the organization and is "committed to creating a more effective UN that will focus more on ensuring peace, security and respect for human rights." At the same time, Washington will seek unanimous support for its initiative (so far, "gone to the refusal" of 70 states), as it understands the importance of consensus in decision-making in the UN.
This declaration, in particular, requires the UN secretariat to reduce staff, including at the expense of the main bodies. As Haley said, the American initiative is designed to intensify the efforts of Secretary General Guterres "to improve the efficiency, accountability and openness of the organization." General Gutteresh nodded. Earlier, speaking of minimizing the bureaucracy, he invented the term "Byzantine procedures" on the go.
But cutting staff costs is only a tiny fraction of what is proposed in the Trump name declaration (Hayley always stresses that this is his personal initiative, not the US initiative as a subject of international politics, which is indicative). On the eve of Haley and the assistant to the president on national safety Herbert Makmaster have lead a briefing on which openly and even aggressively explained deep sense of offered reforms. According to Haley, the main topics are two.
The first is the need to reorganize the UN Human Rights Council (HRO). The second is to increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations (they have already forgotten about the reduction of the apparatus). Back in March, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erin Berkley, speaking at a meeting of the HRC in Geneva, said: "In order for this council to have confidence, not to mention its successful work, it must move away from unbalanced and unproductive positions."
It was not possible to get a clearer explanation from these women (for example, about what they see as "balanced and productive solutions"). Nikki Haley - Nimrata-born Nikki Randhava - grew up in the family of the millionaires of Sikhs and is inclined to go ahead, which has repeatedly demonstrated at meetings of the Security Council on the problem of Syria. She said that the HRC must be reformed - and that's it, but how exactly, we will understand in the course of the matter. But already now the remarks about the need to sharply "increase attention" to the observance of human rights around the world are strongly alarming. We have already passed this under other American administrations, and nothing "careful attention" has not yet come to an end.
As for peacekeeping operations, as Haley stressed, "over the past few months, we have analyzed each of the ongoing peacekeeping missions and changed them, and as a result we managed to save half a billion dollars."
In practice, this meant that the United States simply cut back on UN funding. Back in May, the Trump administration introduced a new draft federal budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which involves saving $ 1 billion in United Nations peacekeeping missions and a total reduction in contributions to the budget of international organizations by 44%. As the official representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dujarrik stated the next day, in case of a sharp decline in funding, the organization will not be able to fulfill the main tasks in the field of peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and human rights protection.
In the new financial situation, it is required to somehow redistribute the remaining money. In fact, the US proposes to turn the UN peacekeeping component into a real truncheon using the method of economic blackmail. The White House undertakes to personally determine the criteria for the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and, on the basis of this, reformat the tasks of the peacekeeping contingents.
No more "ours and yours". Attempts to search for compromises are usually evaluated just as "inefficient use of funds." If there are troops to which money is allocated, they must fight - and fight on the side that Washington will point out, for the goals that it will declare.
Criticism on the part of the United States has also undergone numerous "profile" UN organizations, "inefficient" carrying out their tasks. First of all, the IAEA and other tools in the sphere of control over the nuclear nonproliferation regime for "ineffective" work in Iran (North Korea still remains behind the brackets). Judge for yourself: they have been inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities for so many years, and as a result, the Obama administration has gone on a deal with Tehran, which Trump calls "humiliating for America" and is almost ready to break. Apparently, the activity of the HRC is assessed in the same vein, but details are not yet announced.
On the topic of conducting peacekeeping operations, a special message was sent to the OSCE.
"To ensure a reliable cessation of the war in the Donbass, a full-scale peacekeeping operation is required under the mandate of the UN Security Council with the involvement of OSCE troops equipped with armored vehicles and artillery. This contingent must suppress any violations of the ceasefire. The operation should be conducted under the command of not the NATO or the EU, but the special headquarters of the UN Security Council or the OSCE and include Russian units. "
This passage is the quintessence of the project "European Security", implemented with the financial support of the British Foreign Office and the British Embassy in Moscow. It was published 13 September in Russian, and let you not be pleased with the small reservation "to include Russian parts." We are talking about a full-fledged invasion of an entire army, "equipped with armored vehicles and artillery," but camouflaged with the mandate of the UN Security Council and the OSCE hands. It is quite logical result of the reforms proposed by Trump of the United Nations.
I must say that the OSCE itself does not possess personnel, weapons, or desire for this kind of operations, although there was a time when she really wanted to get it all. At 1991-1993, the OSCE displayed a serious interest in conflicts in the post-Soviet space, intending to create its own supranational military structure for peacekeeping missions. After 1993, the militant mood began to fade quickly, and now the OSCE categorically refuses to arm its employees, for which it is sharply criticized from Brussels, Strasbourg and Washington.
But the OSCE stoically demolishes all insults, including those who are supposed to behave decently in rank. For example, even the EU ambassador to the OSCE allowed himself to criticize the "organization of stay," calling it "meaningless" and "useless."
That is, it is not so much about strengthening the role of the UN through reform, including quite reasonable elements of getting rid of unnecessary bureaucracy, but about turning the UN into another tool of American foreign policy. America first in all its naked beauty.
At the same time, the reform of the Security Council (for example, by increasing its composition) is not proposed. Asked about India's ambitions, Nikki Haley said verbatim: "Let's live - we'll see." Her boss in such cases prefers "we'll see," but the meaning is the same. Moscow, we recall, supports the proposal of New Delhi.
The Declaration was not signed by such countries as Russia, China and France. According to Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzi, "it is possible to increase the effectiveness of the UN only through intergovernmental negotiations." The US-proposed document is "a declaration of countries that share similar views on this issue, but it is not instructions to the secretary general how to rebuild the organization." He also stressed that neither the US, "nor any group of like-minded countries can carry out UN reform without the consent of all member countries".
In principle, he is right. The declaration that has agitated everyone has no legal force. This is simply a list of the requirements of President Trump, his desires and aspirations. The fact that the 128 countries have subscribed to them is amazing only for those who have forgotten, in what world we live and how many countries are in Africa and Oceania.
Many believe that Trump in principle understands foreign policy only as a set of economic vectors that need to be redirected to the US. Hence the unleashing of a trade war with China, and an increasingly noticeable disregard for WTO rules. In general, it is surprising, but Russia proved to be a much more active WTO intercessor than Washington. In the end, these rules somehow regulate international trade. If they do not, then the main "regulator" will be some appeals court in Orange County, California.
Equally strange are Trump's commendable passages to the UN as a whole. For him, English is the mother tongue, so do not limit the president in expressing thoughts. Meanwhile, the "successful project" is the construction of the Trump Tower, and the creation by the victorious powers of the universal structure to maintain peace on the planet is something more.
In any case, the agenda of the 72 General Assembly went to pieces. Certainly some speakers will now have to urgently rewrite the texts of their speeches, for example, to French President Emmanuel Macron, who was originally going to talk about climate change. At the same time 20 September will be a very cheerful day, where the presidents of Ukraine and Latvia will solo. This should be looked at, to distract from the round tables on obesity in children and the lack of drinking water.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will speak on Friday, immediately after the Georgian delegation, which in its style will appeal to the General Assembly to "deal with Russian aggression and occupation." This is precisely the "appeal to the General Assembly", and not the speech of the head of the delegation, which is quite in the style of Tbilisi, and fits into the new concept of "peacemaking" named after Trump.
I would also like to hear the head of the transport department, that is, the delegation of Kazakhstan, which in an alliance signed the American declaration, but it will not happen.
The session will end on Friday with Moldovan President Dodon. And we have no other composition for you.