Polarized world spurs calls for more representative UN

UNITED NATIONS, September 21, 2008 (AFP) – Growing polarization over Georgia, Iran, Kosovo, Darfur or the Middle East is reviving calls for a reform of the United Nations — especially the Security Council, which some say poorly represents today’s world.

As the UN General Assembly prepares to kick off its annual general debate this week, fears that the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia may sour prospects for productive multilateral talks appear to be subsiding.

But the conflict did expose fault lines within the powerful 15-member Security Council, in which the five permanent members have struggled to maintain unity over thorny world issues.

“There is no sugar-coating the fact that we fundamentally disagreed with what they (the Russians) did in Georgia,” said US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday as he laid out his country’s priorities during the Assembly session.

“But we also recognize we have other areas of common interest on other issues we should continue to work on,” Khalilzad said.

One such issue is the Iranian nuclear standoff, which joint diplomatic efforts by the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have failed to resolve.

Foreign ministers of