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United Nations Reform

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 18th April 2006.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 9:30 am, 18th April 2006

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way, because the Minister has raised perhaps one of the key points about the issue of UN reform. Our group discussed the responsibility to protect, which features in our report, but the whole matter was encapsulated in our discussions with the Kenyan permanent representative to the UN. Leading him on, I asked, "Should we have intervened sooner in Darfur?" and he said, "Yes." I asked, "Should we be intervening in the possible dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea?" and he said, "Yes." I then asked, "Should we have intervened earlier in the Zimbabwe situation?" and I got a great deal of waffle. In the middle of it, however, was the word "solidarity", and that is the problem with the UN organisation: there are too many vested interests, so it is difficult to achieve agreement between 191 nations.