Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Crisis at the United Nations

The United States has finally taken the logical action. Everyone knew the party couldn't last forever. But now it is over. The United States has been paying 23% of the budget of the UN, funds 48 per cent of the UN's World Food Program and 41 per cent of the UN High Commission for Refugees. And what have we gotten? Endless abuse. When Kofi has messed up his budget and needs cash, who comes through? The United States. Now the US is asking the UN to reform itself and Ambassador John Bolton is doing the asking! Some of our complaints as listed by the Telegraph newspaper of the UK:
  • Only last week the UN was described as incompetent, corrupt and in urgent need of change by the Volcker commission, the organisation's own report into the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.
  • Elsewhere in the organisation, Washington looks on enraged as countries such as China and Cuba are voted on to the UN's human rights commission.
  • America is appalled too by the UN bureaucracy, where staff are appointed according to nationality and where pay aims to match that of the most generous member state.
  • Yet few UN civil servants are ever held to account, as the oil-for-food report underlined. Even before it was published, Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, said: "I don't anticipate anyone resigning." No one did, despite blistering attacks on named staff including Mr Annan himself.
They won't even do anything when they got caught with the largest misuse of funds in history - the "Food for Oil" program. So Bolton stepped in:
Yesterday, with just 24 hours to go before world leaders convene for the UN's 60th birthday summit, Mr Bolton was still refusing to agree a shopping list of ambitious policies designed to change the world. Many are in stark opposition to the policies of President George W Bush's administration. Why, the Americans are asking, should we go along with this?
The "ambitious policies" are the same old stuff from the UN's bureaucrats. Empty words about reform. And solid proposals to get the US to pay more. In past years our diplomats went along with most of this nonsense. But now the party is over for the UN. What does the United States want the UN to do? To promote democracy. To stop glorifying dictators. The have the Human Rights Commission to be composed of countries that uphold human rights, not the abusers like Sudan and Libya. To get rid of corruption that has been allowed to entrench itself and grow. Hopefully change can begin now.

No comments: