by Ray Fleming

Qatar is the richest country in the world, according to Forbes, and it is also one of the smallest.
It is home to Al-Jazeera TV and will stage the 2022 World Cup. Under the leadership of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa, Qatar is also playing an increasingly important role in Middle East and international politics.

The current president of the 193-member General Assembly of the United Nations, Nasser Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, is a Qatar diplomat with long UN experience; over the weekend he said in New York that the UN is “not fit for purpose”. Qatar took the lead in the recent UN Security Council resolution calling for Syria's President Assad to stand down which was vetoed by Russia and China and that experience has clearly persuaded Qatar that UN reform is necessary and urgent.

Mr Al-Nasser called for an end to the veto held since 1947 by the five permanent members of the Security Council.
He is not the first person to think this arrangement out of date and invidious but past attempts to change it have all failed because of the unwillingness of the US, Russia and China to give up their vetos and the difficulty of deciding which other countries should have the status of permanent members of the Council without making it unwieldy. New ideas from Qatar would be very welcome.


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