The UN reform proposed by Kofi Annan, but largely promoted by Washington, has been almost completely rejected by a large number of countries. Likewise, John Bolton’s 750 amendments are not likely to be approved in the short term. All in all, the announced big reform should not cause a commotion in the institutions of the organization. However, the media do not hesitate to echo the aspirations of those who made the international decisions on this topic.

Thus, former French Ambassador Stéphane Hessel expressed in Libération the viewpoint of the Collegium international éthique, scientifique et politique about the reform of the international bodies. This organization is based on the ‘solidarism’ principles of Léon Bourgeois (Nobel Peace Prize in 1920), a theory that supports the establishment of a world democracy although it adapts those principles to accept US dominance. The author asserts that it is necessary to reform the UN so that it becomes an instrument for international democratization, which formally recognizes the rights and duties of each country in a Universal Declaration of Independence, a project that he explains. The author believes that the main challenges that the UN must face today is the erosion of the planet’s natural resources and its cultural diversification; the miscalculated impact of the evolution of technologies and the corporate concentration that has created giants in the world economy. This choice of problems to be urgently treated may seem anodyne; however, it contrasts with generalized consensus that it is the “war on terror” the one that leads to a reorganization of international institutions.

The European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Austria’s Benita Ferrero-Waldner, gives her support to Annan’s plan in El Periodico and in Le Figaro, although she avoids speaking about the structural problems of the United Nations. In effect, the reorganization of the Security Council and the increase of the number of its permanent members are not part of the consensus. Thus, the author limits herself to a UN reform that allows fighting international evils, at the head of which she cites, like the US government does, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The only concrete reforms she supports is the creation of a Commission for Peace Consolidation and a Commission on Human Rights.
Annan’s plan is equally backed by the UN Under-Secretary General Shashi Tharoor in a text spread by Project Syndicate and published by Der Standard, the Korea Herald, Le Figaro, the Taipei Times and the Daily Star, and which will undoubtedly be retaken by other media outlets soon. The writer devotes himself to a difficult task: supporting the plan of reforms and, at the same time, trying to minimize the weaknesses of the United Nations that justify those reforms. He tries to explain the context of the proposals that transform the United Nations, trying to make it look like a natural evolution of an organization that has changed in 20 years. He also avoids commenting on the different measures proposed and focuses on the principles defended by the organization.

In the United States, the speech around the UN reform is quite different. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Newt Gingrich, gives his own vision of the course that the international organization should take, in the Boston Globe and in the International Herald Tribune. The author presided over a US reflection group on the reform of international institutions and this text retakes the philosophy of the project. In order to have Washington back in the United Nations it is necessary to have an organization with only a few obligations for the United States and also that defends “democracy”. The US’s variable geometry of this concept in well known. Actually, rather than defending the reforms, Newt Gingrich attacks the organization and describes it as inefficient and corrupt saying that it is in the hands of the worst tyrannies. The author never says what the organization should do in order to be efficient; his only goal is making it a useful instrument for Washington in a “war for civilization” against a “wing of Islam”. The UN would then go from being a forum of debate for sovereign states to becoming an instrument at the service of rich countries. In the meantime, Democrat Senator for California, Tom Lantos, speaks to the San Francisco Chronicle in a different tone although the ideas are basically the same. His criticism against the United Nations is less virulent but his reproaches and demands are also the same as Gingrich’s. He says he does not like the UN Reform Act of his Republican colleague Henry J. Hyde, but he supports the goal and invites John Bolton to lead the UN reform.
Russian analyst Dr. Nikolai Zlobin, of the Center for Defense Information of Washington, analyzes in the Vremya Novostyey the US stance with regards to the United Nations. In his opinion, Washington has lost interest in an organization that no longer responds to its needs and the reform proposals only aim at preparing a new international organization, like an enlarged G-8 with 20 or 30 countries. That would be the community of democracies that the Atlantists usually ask for.

The interpretation of those statements suggests that Washington wants the UN to submit itself to its authority or disappear. UN economist and expert Jeffrey Sachs is very critical of this behaviour in an interview with Die Tageszeitung. Today, the state only has a short-term interest. However, Iraq and the situation in Louisiana show the weakness of a country that represents only 5% of the world population but intends to impose its will upon the rest of the world. Thus, he affirms that, contrary to the general belief, the United States needs the international community.

Although it is affected by the fragility of international law and the United Nations, the Arab media did not show interest in the UN summit in New York. However, the few analysts who have discussed the issue do not hide their concern. Journalist Mohammed Elkouli denounces in the Albayan the manoeuvres of John Bolton in the United Nations and gives examples of Bolton’s speech in the past. He fears that, through the UN reform, the United States may try to support Israel and, why not, secure a spot for its ally in the UN Security Council.