Reading the latest blog of the “Foreign Policy” magazine (http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/) and working with the information service of the United Nations (UN), I started to wonder what impact the leaks will have on the UN itself.
I am a believer in power politics and therefore from a very realist strand; although I hope the UN will reach a point in its near future that we will be able to refer to it as a “world government” or at least a platform where agreements are made that have a real impact on OUR future (and here I refer to the global population – poor/rich/developing/developed world, every single human being); especially impacts on topics like climate change, poverty reduction, gender equality, protection of children, human rights, disarmament (small arms and nuclear weaponry) and so on.
I created this idea of the worst case scenario and this is as that the UN will fall apart – very unlikely though. As it is a “weak” institution anyway (and here I refer to a former UN General Secretary – http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/empire/2009/09/20099305353418854.html) it will stay so and will not be torn apart by the leaks. Again, power politics run the show. Just think about it; the Security Council is supposed to be THE tool/mechanism in global peace/security issues, but what happens if a (the) super power decides to ignore the decision made by this body!? (Little hint: http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/02/05/sprj.irq.powell.transcript/index.html). What mechanisms are in charge to refrain powers from ignoring decisions?
The future of a strong UN is pushed further back and this is something that will have further implications on decisions on global issues as mentioned above. Trust is a key in a strong UN and in my point of view, fundamental trust has been undermined by publishing all the information.
It is maybe entertaining to some reading about the latest version of “Batman and Robin” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-medvedev-putin-russia) though it creates a very unpleasant atmosphere in diplomatic relations/foreign affairs. Especially considering the fact that both of these powers can veto each other in Security Council decisions (still keep in mind the relative power of the SC as discussed in the AJ program above).
But did Assange go to far? It is a clash of freedom of the press (and Wikileaks has to be seen as something like this) and the security of civilians, corporations and states. I support the freedom of the press and therefore I think it was to some extent good that the public became aware of what high politics is doing behind our back. The publication of the list of the US global security list is a problem though and here Mr. Assagne maybe went a little bit too far! A little common sense here would be advantageous. Given the hostility of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda towards the US and providing them with a strategic paper on what to attack to hurt the US (and as many entities to secure are not in the US) and the global society is going to far.
It is now time to wait on the outcomes of the latest leaks but I doubt that anything of this will foster international co-operation. Another thing to wait for is for how long will the global media cover this topic!? The hype about Assagne, Wikileaks and the analysis of cables will not provides us with any too positive outcomes either…
I try to set a good example now and stop herewith to write about Wikileaks (at least for today). Further hot topics to keep in focus this week are the disputes on the Korean peninsula (I mean, what else do we need for a “great” story – alliances, power politics and a historical, long-standing conflict merging into something that could become another dark spot in human history – thrilling, isn’t it!?), possible other riots/conflicts due to elections in Haiti and Ivory Coast and the Climate Conference in Cancun (Mexico).
Try to stay tuned, cause it is an interesting world we are living in…