Here’s something you don’t see everyday…
Updated! See Bottom
A “leader” taking the hit for his own transgressions, and that of his organization.
Before I start, I want to make one thing clear, this post has two parts. They are equal in value and equal in their criticism towards the two “leaders”. Just to make that clear, I see no difference between the two.
So on to Leader #1 “taking the hit”,
“This report unambiguously rejects the notion that business as usual at the United Nations is acceptable,” he said.”
Mr Annan said the findings were “deeply embarrassing”.
“The inquiry committee has ripped away the curtain, and shone a harsh light into the most unsightly corners of the organisation.
“None of us – member states, secretariat, agencies, funds and programmes – can be proud of what it has found.”
So the question becomes, will Kofi Annan announce his resignation when the UN meets in coming weeks? I certainly think he should… he has at least indicated that he is embarassed of the reports findings, so what else can and should he do.
Nothing. He’s got to be out of there.
So now comes the moment of irony and hypocrisy… come on, you knew it was coming… it’s the UN!
Paul Volker, former US Fed chief, and leader of the inquiry said, “that the problems were not an aberration but ran deep in the UN, which had been designed 60 years ago in a “simpler time”.”
He also said, “”Our assignment has been to look for mis- or maladministration in the oil-for-food programme, and for evidence of corruption within the UN organisation, and by contractors. Unhappily we found both,”
Alright.. here’s the kicker,
“Responding to the report, the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said it demonstrated that the credibility of the UN depended on those reforms.”
“The [US] administration opposes language that would urge those council members not to use their vetoes to block intervention in states where such crimes are being perpetrated.”
This is precisely one of the key reforms that would bring the UN out of it’s 60 year-old time capsule… and remember that the US,
“would eliminate new pledges of foreign aid to impoverished nations, scrap provisions that call for action to halt climate change and urge nuclear powers to make greater progress in dismantling their nuclear arms.He has also objected to language that urges nations to observe a moratorium on nuclear testing and to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”
So really, where is the reform going to come from exactly? Dumping Kofi Annan and a few of his cohorts certainly isn’t going to change anything.
It seems to me that a lot of people at the UN, including the US, are simply paying lipservice to this report and to the calls for reform generated by the populace and member states.
Next week during the summit we’ll see just how serious Kofi Annan was, and just how persistent member nations will be to force through the reforms that are so desperately needed to modernize and legitimize the UN.
On to Part 2:
There is another level of irony and hypocrisy here as well, something I touched on yesterday.
And that is the currently unnoticed scandal perpetrated by the Coalition Provisional Authority while Iraq was under their (and by extension, US) control.
All the same elements as those in the UN scandal are there on the surface for the CPA. One look at the story in the Guardian makes that quite clear.
So where is the call for inquiry?
Where is the call for justice?
What is the difference between Saddam building himself palaces in Baghdad with money gained from illicit trade… and an American official or contractor keeping a bit of a “nest egg” for himself?
THIS is the reason people are so cynical about government… this inherent hypocrisy in the system.
When will George Bush say that he is “embarassed” for what happened?
When will George Bush announce his resignation as I hope, and actually expect, Kofi Annan will?
Abu Aardvark has an excellent rundown of the 1000 page report and picks out the important conclusions in a concise manner.
Please, if you have any interestt at all in UN reform… READ THIS. (and then come back and talk about it. 🙂 )