“The” Community of Nations

April 6, 2009

Reuters reports: U.N. Divided over North Korea rocket launch.

North Korea fired a long-range rocket on Sunday, provoking international outrage, but a divided U.N. Security Council failed at an emergency meeting to agree on a reaction to Pyongyang’s defiant move.

Western countries and Japan said the action violated a 2006 Security Council resolution demanding that Pyongyang not launch any more ballistic missiles and that it suspend all activities linked to its ballistic missile program. The resolution followed the nuclear test and missile tests by North Korea.

“With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations,” U.S. President Barack Obama said.

Has “the community of nations” replaced the “international community”? Regardless, the Reuters article makes clear that there is no such thing as “the” community of nations:

The 15-nation Security Council held a closed-door session in New York on Sunday afternoon but China and Russia had already made clear they would use their veto power to block any resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.

Further, China and Russia were “backed” by Vietnam and Libya. So, I guess “the” community of nations does not include (at least) North Korea, China, Russia, Vietnam, and Libya.

I don’t mean to be too flip here; North Korea poses a serious problem, and the situation presents no easy solutions. But I wish President Obama would recognize that among the non-solutions to this problem is reliance on “the” community of nations.

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