The BRIC Wall

We’ll have much more on the implications of what just transpired on the security council, but it’s worth taking note right now of the countries that abstained from voting for a no-fly zone consist of the so-called BRIC countries, as well as longtime security council aspirant Germany. David Bosco notes:  "The fissure in the UN ...

We'll have much more on the implications of what just transpired on the security council, but it's worth taking note right now of the countries that abstained from voting for a no-fly zone consist of the so-called BRIC countries, as well as longtime security council aspirant Germany.

David Bosco notes

"The fissure in the UN between a Western-led interventionist group and a "sovereignty bloc" led by Moscow and Beijing, but with real appeal to key emerging powers like Brazil, South Africa and India... may be one of the most critical dynamics at the UN. For the moment, the West still has the pull to carry the day. Whether that will be true a decade from now is anyone's guess. "

We’ll have much more on the implications of what just transpired on the security council, but it’s worth taking note right now of the countries that abstained from voting for a no-fly zone consist of the so-called BRIC countries, as well as longtime security council aspirant Germany.

David Bosco notes

"The fissure in the UN between a Western-led interventionist group and a "sovereignty bloc" led by Moscow and Beijing, but with real appeal to key emerging powers like Brazil, South Africa and India… may be one of the most critical dynamics at the UN. For the moment, the West still has the pull to carry the day. Whether that will be true a decade from now is anyone’s guess. "

Moreover, this is a debate in which the Western powers are actually pushing for a system under which it is far less likely that their vision of global governance will hold sway. President Obama has already voiced support for permanent membership for India and will face calls to do the same for Brazil when he travels there next week.

Britain has been one of the most enthusiastic backers of this resolution, but when I asked Foreign Minister William Hague what he saw as the ideal Security Council in November, he told me, "We favor the inclusion of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan and African representation in an expanded security council." India, Brazil, and Germany, as we’ve just seen, are highly skeptical of intervention. Pacifist Japan probably falls in that category too. An as-yet undefined African membership is more of a wildcard, but it’s easy to imagine, say, Jacob Zuma or Mwai Kibaki signing up enthusiastically for membership in the sovereignty bloc. 

So while Obama and Cameron may have backed intervention today, they’re ultimately making it less likely that there will be more of these resolutions in the future. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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