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Unformatted text preview: to Lebanon. Ac c eptanc e, at leas t politic ally, of a
“res pons ibility to protec t” takes the c ounc il towards territory whic h, earlier this dec ade, it
www.economist.com/node/11664289 5/9 1/14/14 Who r uns the wor ld?: Wr estling for influence | The Economist would not have approac hed: an International Crim inal Court, for exam ple, s eparate from the
UN but able to take its referrals , and ready to pros ec ute the wors t c rim es .
Yet divis ions am ong the P5 have often s lowed deploym ent of peac ekeepers where they are
m os t needed, s uc h as in Sudan's war-torn provinc e of Darfur. Pes s im is ts doubt that China
and Rus s ia, both arc h-defenders of the W es tphalian princ iple that s tate s overeignty trum ps
all, will ever s erious ly c ontem plate authoris ing forc eful intervention even to end a genoc ide.
A new UN Hum an Rights Counc il has yet to prove it is any better than its dis c redited
predec es s or at bringing brutal governm ents to book.
Meanwhile it took years , and North Korea's 2006 bom b tes t, for China to c ondem n Kim Jong
Il's nuc lear c heating and let the Sec urity Counc il pas s judgm ent on it. The P5 plus Germ any
have worked together over the pas t three years , s lapping a s eries of UN res olutions and
s anc tions on the regim e in Iran for defianc e over its s us pec t nuc lear work, yet Rus s ia and
China have doggedly watered down eac h text, line by line. Do in g it fo r th e mse lv e s There is m uc h the UN Sec urity Counc il will never be able to do, no m atter who oc c upies its
plus hes t s eats . And there are lots of other ways to get us eful things done thes e days . The
internet helps c am paigners on hum an rights , as on other is s ues , to get their m es s age round
the world rather effec tively. Stung by c ons tant expos ure and c ritic is m of its polic y in Sudan
and Darfur, China appointed a s pec ial envoy (who s oon found he had a lot of explaining to
do) and s hifted ground on the need for a UN forc e, even though deploym ent is agonis i...
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- Summer '08