Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, Commissioner, to be honest, it is quite bizarre that at the very time when we are seeing ever more globalisation with global politics and economics becoming more interdependent – think of the number of multinationals around – and unfortunately, also as criminal organisations begin to operate and cooperate internationally, the United Nations is proving weak in certain areas and at this very time is often pushed to one side. I believe that many in this House share my group´s feeling – and my own – that the United Nations is the one global political institution that needs to be strengthened, that represents the rule of international law, and should not be pushed aside, as it was over Iraq. All this is reflected both in the spirit and the letter of Mr Laschet´s report.
Nevertheless, an honest and objective observer has to acknowledge that the United Nations has proved weak on a number of occasions. There has been a whole series of wrongdoing, genocide and crimes against humanity where the United Nations has been ineffective. Some people see this as a justification for pushing the United Nations to one side – and often these are the very people who have used their veto to prevent the United Nations from taking rapid action, as in the case of the situation in the Middle East.
I believe, however, that the United Nations needs to be strengthened, to become more efficient, and to be given the opportunity to intervene promptly. Let me make it clear that I believe this includes the possibility of taking preventative action where necessary, because if anyone is able and suited to act as the world´s policeman, then it is undoubtedly the United Nations. I am very pleased that Mr Laschet has taken up one of my ideas, which was drafted in conjunction with my group, namely that we need to create a regulatory framework that allows the United Nations to intervene promptly in cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It should not be left to the discretion of individual countries, states or governments to identify such cases and then intervene. It should be international institutions that identify impending danger. In that way, the United Nations ought to be able to intervene promptly and, if necessary, to take preventative action. The United Nations would not need its own army for this. Reference has been made to NATO, and, although I do not want to overestimate its capacities, NATO could become involved if the United Nations gave the green light, taking action to uphold law and order and seeking to prevent crimes against humanity.
Reforming the Security Council along these lines is certainly essential. The changes would need to include a seat for the European Union, but at the same time we must ensure that we do not end up multiplying vetoes and blocking tactics. Let me say once more: we have had enough of this world where individuals, individual governments and individual states think they can police the world. If there is one role the United Nations was made for, it is the role of upholding law and order throughout the world, and doing so with the full support of the European Union.