Magazine article The Nation

Enter, the Gang of Five?

Magazine article The Nation

Enter, the Gang of Five?

Article excerpt

As has been widely reported, the world community is now committed to free elections in Namibia, supervised by the United Nations. What is still pretty much unpublicized is the fact that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council-acting with rare unanimity have told Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar that they want to cut $200 million from the budget that guarantees the elections. That would mean at least 2,000 fewer blue-helmeted troops making sure the South-West Africa People's Organization gets a fair deal at the polls.

The superpowers' might-makes-right logic is that since they contribute nearly 58 percent of the U.N.'s peacekeeping budget they ought to have 100 percent of the say about how much is needed to keep the peace. This highhanded strategy has been denounced not only by Swapo but by Angola and the other front-line states, Cuba, the Organization of African Unity, the nonaligned nations and many major human rights agencies. …

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