Sunday, May 06, 2007

Grouping of small countries

As the division of the countries at the UN between capitalist and communist and between east and west break down, there is a need for other more pragmatic groupings. I suggest that the UN is an ideal forum for the protection of small countries, those with less than 10 million inhabitants and less than 100,000 sq. km., that tend to be dominated by the great powers, mainly the US, Russia, China and Britain, and by other local hegemons. I suggest that Israel could play a leading role in forming such a Grouping of Small Countries (GSC), that will have common interests in self-protection and trade.
Such a Grouping could include, in Europe: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Malta, Ireland and Iceland, in the Middle East: Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar, in Asia: East Timor, Bhutan, Fiji and the various Polynesian and Melanesian States, in Africa: Gambia, Burundi,Togo and Rwanda and in the Americas: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and other Caribbean island States.
It would be preferable if such pragmatic groupings would develop naturally, and it is not at all certain that the UN can be saved from its current predominantly anti-American and anti-Israel institutionalized bias. But, given that institutions change over time and that there is a new more pragmatic Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, from S. Korea, then such a realignment of country groupings might be feasible.
It is not expected that a grouping of large and powerful countries would be similarly organized at the UN, but there is already the group of economically developed countries, the G8, that meet regularly to discuss topics of common interest. Why not a similar organization of small countries to gather together to protect themselves by their numbers? Two cases they could take up would be the occupation of Tibet by China, against all legal norms including the Geneva Conventions and the attempts to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon by Syria and Iran.
Although the development of such a grouping might be idealistic, nevertheless there are 191 countries at the UN and perhaps a fifth of them fall into this category. The potential power of this grouping can be grasped by realizing that each one has a vote in the General Assembly equal to that of the USA, and few of them so far have been voted onto the Security Council.


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