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Reforming the UN

The UN is in the midst of a serious, long-term crisis. That crisis will not go away unless its sources are understood and the organization reformed. But a new form of political correctness is making reform difficult.

One major cause of the UN crisis is the change in the international situation after the demise of the Soviet Union and the proliferation of what I call ``incompetent states.'' Many countries that achieved independence as a result of the national liberation movements of the 1940's-1990's have proved themselves incapable of creating the conditions of normal life within their territories. In the age of globalization, they are also hopelessly and increasingly lagging behind developed states.

Moreover, many of these regimes are simply ineffectual and will collapse or dramatically change in the foreseeable future. This will inevitably prove to be the source of long-term political and military instability in large parts of Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, as well as a number of former Soviet republics.

The rise of incompetent states brings about huge challenges: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, religious and ethnic strife, rivalry for natural resources, waves of migration, drug trafficking, and deterioration of the environment.