Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Big 8

The Big 8 represent 56% of the world’s people, 72% of the world’s wealth, and a hold relatively small share (9%) of the world’s oil reserves. Henry Kissinger, saying the Security Council doesn’t represent “current realities,” has called for a similar grouping of leading world nations.

The current Security Council has five permanent members. The U.S., China, and even Russia should be permanent members. But today, so should India, Brazil and Japan. Adding the three non-European powers would enlarge the permanent membership to eight. So what about the UK and France? Should they be there? Not as individual nations with only 60 million people each. Permanent membership for the UK and France is a historical anachronism left over from World War II. United Germany has more people, and is more economically powerful.

The European Union, with 500 million people, 27 countries, and an economy twice the size of #2 China, could fill two permanent seats. So the permanent 5 would then become the Big 8, with two EU representatives, the U.S., China, Russia, India, Brazil and Japan. The Big 8 collectively represent Europe (3 seats), Asia (3 seats), North America, and Latin America. That mix is far better than today’s Security Council permanent members, or the so-called "Group of Eight," a largely white, European-origin group made up of the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, and Japan.

The world has changed since 1945, and even since 1975, when the “Group of Six” (Canada and Russia came later) was formed. It’s time the world’s leading nations honor the change, include China, Japan, India and Brazil, and reduce the ranks of Europeans and North Americans.

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