February 25, 2003

UNSC Watch The first in

UNSC Watch

The first in a series monitoring the progress of the US-UK-Spanish resolution through the UNSC apparatus. Note, of course, that decisions on substantive matters require nine votes, "including the concurring votes of the five permanent members." This, according to the U.N., is known as the rule of "great power unanimity," more commonly referred to as the veto power.

Sponsors:

U.S., U.K. and Spain

Affirmatives

Bulgaria

Probable Yes Votes:

Chile, Angola

Toss-Ups:

Mexico, Pakistan, Cameroon, Guinea

Likely Absentions:

Russia, China

No:

Syria, Germany, France(?)

If Putin abstains dare Chirac veto? That (and getting three of the toss up countries on board) are the key questions at this hour.

Update: The U.S. has dispatched the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to Angola and he will travel onwards to Guinea and Cameroon. Note that the U.S. is Angola's largest purchaser of oil. Cameroon is considered a traditional French ally but there are increasing U.S.-Cameroonian economic ties of late. Guinea may espouse a pan-African approach giving inspectors more time to stress its traditional independence from great powers (though this time France and Germany will be bearing down on it in addition to the U.S.). Guinea also has a military force trained and equipped by the U.S.

On Mexico and Chile, we can be sure Madrid is applying pressure as well as Washington. Vincente Fox, previously burned by Washington when bilateral relations were demphasized post-9/11, will be the harder sell.

Posted by Gregory at February 25, 2003 11:59 AM
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