Showing posts from 2022

The Origins of the UN Veto and Why it Should be Abolished

By Augusto Lopez-Claros The birth of the United Nations With the entry of the United States into the war in December 1941 efforts were set in motion for the creation of a new organization that might provide a secure basis for peace and prosperity. The organization that emerged from the efforts at the San Francisco conference in 1945 was the United Nations, but the work leading to this outcome was the result of long and delicate negotiations. On January 1, 1942 the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China and 22 other nations then fighting the Axis powers created an alliance in which members pledged to work for the establishment of a broad-based and effective system of international security. The name adopted for this alliance was United Nations, suggested by President Roosevelt himself. This was no small act of imagination. In early 1942, the war effort was not going well for the United States and its allies; Japan had made major territorial gains in Asia and G

Russia Must Pay for Ukraine’s Reconstruction

By Augusto Lopez-Claros Last week, on the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I was contacted by a radio station in Moscow. The journalist, who had interviewed me before, wanted to hear my views on the current situation. In my remarks I focused on the likely impact on the Russian economy of the sanctions which were then being contemplated. I told him that I feared that the impact would be devastating and that it would lead not only to a huge economic contraction, perhaps as large as that seen during the global financial crisis in 2009 when the Russian economy contracted by close to 8 percent, but that it would also contribute to substantially widen the gap with respect to China and India, two other emerging market giants. Russia’s recent dismal economic performance As best as I could I described to the journalist the gist of the insight conveyed by the chart below, which shows that over the period 2000-2021 the Russian economy has, broadly speaking, expanded by a facto