THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD
By Micah Halpern
Tuesday October 17, 2006
Belgium. Indonesia. Italy. South Africa.
Four nations that have the power to change the world.
Whenever there is talk of the "changing of the guard" at the United Nations, the immediate response is to think about the position of Secretary General. And yes, Kofi Anan's term has expired and yes, the new Secretary General designate is Ban from South Korea. But real power in the United Nations does not lie with the Secretary General, no matter how powerful a personality that person is.
Real power in the United Nations lies in the Security Council. And when the United Nations Security Council meets, there will be four new counties seated around the decision-making table. Belgium, Indonesia. Italy and South Africa are the new guys on the block, the four countries newly-elected by their nation peers to confront the issues confronting the world.
Becoming a member of the Security Council is no easy feat, just ask Venezuela. Before taking a seat at the Council table, a nation needs to have won the support of two-thirds of the one hundred and ninety-two members of the United Nations General Assembly. That translates into at least 126 votes per country. That translates into at least 126 allies per country. That translates into at least 126 votes of confidence from a cross-section of the nations of the world.
Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa made the cut. They will each be serving a two-year term. Venezuela, to the chagrin of Hugo Chavez who desperately wanted the power and distinction that comes with Security Council member status, did not. Venezuela tried hard, lobbied hard, played hard, but in the end, Venezuela lost big. Venezuela even called on Iran, an ally and supporter to lobby and campaign for them, but all to no avail. They lost so big that the South American country they lost to, Guatemala, did not make it either.
Venezuela's defeat is significant not because of Venezuela itself, but because of the countries allied with Venezuela. The defeat of Venezuela dealt a serious blow to the non-aligned member countries of the group I call the We Hate America Club. Venezuela was representing the growing group of countries linked together because of their anti-United States, anti-West attitudes, a group lately gaining momentum in large part because of the bold and confrontational actions of Iran and North Korea.
The importance of the role, the power of the position that Belgium, Indonesia. Italy and South Africa now share is directly tied to the growth of the "anti" movement within the United Nations. And in a large segment of today's world, the accepted norm for showing "anti" sentiment is the use of terror.
The big issue for the United Nations today and in the years to come is the issue of terror.
The big question concerning the free world now is: how will these four new members of the United Nations Security Council deal with the issue of world terror?
Indonesia is the most populated Muslim country in the world. Indonesia has been hit hard by Muslim terror. Indonesia is familiar, first hand, with the dangers and destructive power of terror. The Indonesian government is struggling hard to fight terror from within and is participating in international agencies fighting terror. There is one significant stumbling block to the full participation of Indonesia in the fight against terror. The reality is that as a representative Muslim country sitting in the Security Council, Indonesia may be forced to defend Muslim honor.
Belgium is becoming, more and more, a Muslim country. The Belgians have witnessed and done nothing to stave off or suppress a significant rise in anti-Semitism promulgated by Muslim terrorists. Belgium has become a center for many international terrorist organizations. Numerous terrorist activities have been planned behind closed Belgian doors. And yet, appallingly, there are fewer than ten people in the entire Belgium police force that speak Arabic. Belgium has no national taskforce focusing on terror, everything is local. The Belgian government has made the decision to ignore the obvious, pretending it is not happening to them on their soil. This practice, sticking their head in the sand, may also become Belgium's policy on the Security Council. Belgium is sitting on a powder keg and it is about to explode.
Italy has had to deal with terror for many years. Recently, there has been a huge influx of Muslims to Italy. The Italians know the dangers of terror. They will probably become allied with the rest of the West on the issue of terror. Italy has already begun making strides in that direction and is slowly edging out the French in Lebanon. It is the Italians who have been pushing Hezbollah very hard to show signs of life from the two Israeli soldiers they have captured. Italy is a strong supporter of the fight against terror.
South Africa is still trying to define itself internationally. As much as South Africa wants to become a part of the West, the country still has strong affinity for those who were oppressed by the West. At this point, South Africa can swing either way. South Africa must be convinced to take the fight against terror seriously. Muslim Fundamentalism has already started to envelope Africa.
Four nations. Four votes. One very important issue.