Thursday, May 08, 2008

Southern Democracies With Eastern Autocracies?

One reason why I continue to think the association of democracies idea is problematic is that the world's "southern democracies" are very ambivalent about breaching the protective wall of state sovereignty. I blogged earlier this week about a pitch that might resonate with some of them.

But the current UN Security Council wrangling over Myanmar/Burma is quite instructive. France, as TWR readers may know, wanted to invoke the "responsibility to protect" to get the Security Council to authorize relief efforts that would bypass the Burmese military junta.

We are told that, in addition to Russia, China and Vietnam, South Africa also argued strongly behind closed doors that the Security Council should get involved. Panama also doesn't see a role for the Security Council, according to its ambassador, while Indonesia's representative seems to feel that relief work can best be undertaken by the Asian states.

First on Kosovo, now on Burma. So far, "southern democracies" still seem to place a greater premium on preserving state sovereignty and integrity. This is something that I am frustrated that so many of the advocates of the LOD/COD idea just won't address. But ignoring it doesn't make it go away.

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