US Blocks Permanent UN Security Council Seat for Germany

I missed this in the Financial Times Deutschland on Friday, and so now the article has retreated beyond that pay-per-view barrier. But luckily the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant caught it in time, and so passes along the FTD’s report that Washington is blocking Germany’s desired permanent seat on the UN Security Council (and presumably the veto that goes along with that).

German Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder is apparently serious in wanting to follow up his contention that Germany’s standing in the world (third-largest economy; biggest nation of the European Union; etc.) justifies that status, and so has been trying to gather support for that permanent seat for months. But the American government stands in the way. The Volkskrant article quotes from an unnamed American diplomat that this just isn’t the right time to put through this change. Why? “Since Germany became a [non-permanent] member of the Security Council [for the last year-and-a-half] we’ve had more problems than ever,” that diplomat explains. According to this account, Germany was the country responsible for derailing the American attempt to get immunity for its soldiers from the International Criminal Court. And of course we all remember Germany teaming with France at the Security Council to counter American attempts to get the sort of resolutions passed that they wanted in the run-up to the War in Iraq. What’s more, reports the Volkskrant, the American powers-that-be don’t really like Germany’s current UN ambassador, Gunter Pleuger; he’s regarded as a sort of hair-splitter.

Be that as it may, it’s pretty clear that the particular personality of one ambassador or another should not be a factor in weighty questions of this sort. In any event, when contacted about this a German government spokesman denied any such American blocking of Germany’s UN desires.

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