Robert Skidelsky
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Articles from The Times

At last, a power of sense at the UN
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Monday, March 28, 2005

 
LIBERALS ON both sides of the Atlantic are dismayed by President Bush’s nomination of the arch-hawk John Bolton as US representative to the UN. They are wrong; Bolton’s appointment may give the UN just the shot in the arm it needs. It promises serious US interest in UN reform; it challenges the UN to get serious.
 
The UN needs not more liberalism but more relevance. Its charter, the custodian of international law, was fashioned to deal with a much narrower set of threats than now exist. Today, in an age of transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation, the sole superpower, the United States, is strongly tempted to ignore the charter and “break the law”.
 
But the US lacks both legitimacy and resources to be the sole world policeman.

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A new system is crawling from the Soviet wreckage
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Saturday, October 16, 2004

 
TOMORROW the people of Belarus will be asked to approve a constitutional change allowing their President, Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, a third term. No one doubts the result. As Joseph Stalin once said: “It’s not how people vote that matters, it’s who counts the votes.”
 
Why should anyone mind? Belarus is a small, Soviet-style republic of ten million inhabitants, carved out of the old Soviet Union, and squeezed between Russia, Poland, two Baltic states and Ukraine. With a “repressed” economic and political system, it is a pariah in Europe and a seeming embarrassment to its sponsor, Russia. Its importance lies not in its eccentricity, but in the fact that it is a pacemaker for a half-conscious attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.
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