January 14, 2010
The following letter was published in the Financial Times on 12 January 2010:
From Mr Stanley Crossick.
Sir, Richard Haass recognises that multilateralism is necessarily superseding hegemony and bilateralism, but finds difficulty in identifying a multilateral system that works ( The case for messy multilateralism January 6th). There is only one solution: to remove the veto and allow decisions to be made by (qualified) majority. The composition of the majority can be flexible.
However, this necessarily involves a pooling of sovereignty – abhorred by the US on the grounds of its own exceptionalism, and by China as an interference with its domestic freedom.
Actually, voting by majority remains a last resort, as consensus should always be sought, but the threat of majority voting facilitates achieving consensus, as we see in the European Union.
This, then, is my version of functional multilateralism.