Sarko the (Interim) Security Council Reformer

Globe-trotting negotiator extraordinaire (and French President) Nicolas Sarkozy has taken up his next daunting challenge: reforming the UN Security Council.


“With The United Kingdom, France will plead for an interim solution which in my view is the only one capable of unblocking this issue which is not only not moving forward but is moving backwards,” Sarkozy said in a speech on foreign policy.

Sarkozy said the permanent members of the Council should include an African and Latin American state and India, adding that the membership of Germany and Japan could be discussed, and that a temporary reform would make it possible to test options.

Having taken the lead in peace efforts as EU president during last August’s war in Georgia, and sidestepping the current Czech EU president to attempt the same in Gaza recently, Sarkozy seems to have a taste for the role of international mediator. And while the notion of an “interim” Security Council reform seems almost inherently dubious — why would countries accede to joining the body only temporarily? — the idea of trying something to rev up the project’s momentum is appealing.

Despite being stalled for so long, the urgency of Security Council reform is no less great, and perhaps the difficulty of Sarkozy’s international diplomacy efforts of late is what impelled him to make the suggestion of this latest gambit over dinner with British Prime Minister Brown. He may find, of course, that reforming the Security Council could prove even more daunting than negotiating peace in Georgia or Israel.

(image from flickr user guillaumepaumier under a Creative Commons license)