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Kofi Annan and the United Nations Reforms

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The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use – of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public. Robert F. Kennedy (1925 – 1968)’I Remember, I Believe,’ The Pursuit of Justice, 1964

In the 16 years since the Cold War ended, we have taken on more than twice as many new peacekeeping missions than in the previous 44 years. Spending on peacekeeping has quadrupled. Secretary General Kofi Annan Investing in the United Nations: For a Stronger Organization Worldwide

Kofi Annan, like George Bush, is a man. Both are in the waning years of their mandate. And like men in high office, both want to leave behind a legacy.

On March 7, 2006, Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke of ‘radical overhaul of the United Nations Secretariat.’ He was following up on last year’s Millenium Summit. He spoke of focussing on six major areas:

  1. People

  2. Leadership
  3. Information and Communication Technology
  4. Delivering Services
  5. Budget and Finance
  6. Governance

He lamented the United Nations budget increase in peacekeeping and field operations. They rose from 50% of U.S. $4.5 billion from 10 years ago to a whopping 70% of U.S. $10 billion budget today.

His recommendations:

  • Convert the temporary peace keeping forces into an elite force of 2500 mobile core of Rapid Reaction Teams.

  • Relocate IT, medical, payroll, translation and document productions departments out of the U.S.
  • Reorganize and streamline internal departments.
  • Trim the staff — a one-time buyout of about 1000 extra staff.
  • Consolidate Management Reports from over 30 to under 6.
  • Streamline Purchasing – eliminate wastage and fraud.

His plans and recommendations will have to be approved by the 191 member organization before being implemented.

His glaring omissions stood out through the 43-page report. He failed to streamline the contributions from member countries, address raising financing issues, and deal with the reform of the Security Council.

The UN operations are hampered by its dependence on financial support from member countries. And when big players like US withhold their contributions in what appears to be blatant arm twisting, the world suffers. As of September 2005, the US arrears to the UN exceeded $1.246 billion.

U.S. arrears to the UN currently total over $1.3 billion. Of this, $612 million is payable under Helms-Biden. The remaining $700 million result from various legislative and policy withholdings. Of course, there are no current plans to pay these amounts.

If the UN is to become a more effective world body, there is a dire need to reform the Security Council and to streamline contributions from member countries and raise independent financing for a Rapid Reaction Team that can land in any trouble spot within 18-20 hours.

Security Council Reforms

The other 190 member countries of the world have to get their act together and convince a reluctant uni-power to play along. To be effective as a moral, political and viable powerhouse, the UN Security Council needs to be revamped to deal with the geo political realities of this century. Right now it is stuck in the ground realities of 1946.

To make the UN responsive, powerful, and active the SC (Security Council) should be modified and reformed. The US, Russia and China should retain their permanent seats. France and UK should be replaced. Five or six more countries should be added from amongst Germany, India, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico etc. to reflect all the continents and the new geo-political alignment.

Financing of RRT – Rapid Reaction Team

Governments rich or poor import oil and drivers buy gasoline. The UN should impose a mandatory one cent per liter consumption tax to be collected by the individual countries or by the oil suppliers and remitted to the UN directly to finance this RRT.

It is important that this RRT be seen as an important and independent peacekeeping arm of the UN.

According to estimates there are 800 million cars on the road world wide. A lowerd estimate of the yearly gasoline consumption would be about 360 liters per vehicle. Calculating at a low average world price of US 50 cents a liter, taxed at one cent per liter would yield $1.44 billion to the UN coffers.

These are conservative estimates. Local government, military and commercial gasoline consumption is not figured in this calculation. If they are also included then this total would go up. Then the rate can be reduced to half a cent or less per liter consumed. Or the additional amount can be directed to a trust fund for natural calamities.

Today the world needs more than ever a powerful and effective world body. Or it will go the way of the League of Nations.

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  • Dave Nalle

    So he left out the one really important suggestion – abolishing the UN alltogether.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’m with Dave on this. We don’t need the UN. Period.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    I’ve yet to see anyone who calls for ending the UN demonstrate thorough knowledge of what the United Nations Organization actually does. Most can name a few things they don’t like about it, and some of these problems are even true. However, most of the vociferous opponents of the UN are completely ignorant about the vast majority of UN activities.

    I’d like to see Dave, Ruvy, or someone else with similar competence attempt to argue not only against the UN’s flaws (which are also found in almost every national government), but with full recognition of its many successes as well, and to explain exactly why they think the world doesn’t need those activities to continue.

    That would be far more convincing to a thoughtful reader than a blanket statement ending with a one-word sentence whose only purpose is to emphasize a punctuation mark.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Drinking has many defenders, but no defense” This quote of Abraham Lincoln used to be found on the Snelling Avenue bench near the #4 bus stop that led away from Hamline University in St. Paul, where there are many drinkers.

    What is said about drinking, unfortunately, can also be said about the UN. I used to have a book that detailed the peacekeeping efforts of the UN over the many years. Even this relatively objective (it attempted to give the UN a good name) account was forced to admit many failures.

    There are many international organizations that, were the UN to really attempt to be a world government, could be cabinet ministries. Some examples are the World Meteorological Union (I may have the name wrong on that one), the FAO, the World Heath Organization, the International Labor Organization, the Universal Postal Union. One could go on for quite a while.

    But the bottom line is that all of these organizations could exist without the superstructure of the United Nations General Assembly, or the Security Council.

    When you read through the list of General Assemby resolutions, you find a myriad of them condemning this little country for sundry “violations” of this or that, and a mere few that condemn evil dictatorships for the evils they perpetrate.

    When you look at the “peace” the UN has kept in Hebron, for example, you find that it has done nothing. When you look at the actions of the UN with respect to Arab refugees living in DP camps after 50 years (you woudl think the Arab nations where these DP camps are would give enough of a damn about these people to absorb them in their society. What does this say about Arab virtues of charity and brotherly love?), you find that basically the UN does nothing but allow terror to grow in the midst of these camps.

    From my perspective as a witness to many of the failures of the UN in being fair, even-handed, honest, open , accountable, transparent, not to mention even effective, the conclusion is hard to avoid? Who needs them?

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    I think if wild extremists like Ruvy or Dave want to go round calling for the abolition of the United Nations, they really ought to be coming up with more positive solutions. Unless their pov is that the various countries of the world simply should not have a methodolgy for addressing issues of global concern, which I see as simply ludicrous.

    I’m sure the “most powerful country in the world” hosts the UN whilst simultaneously undermining it and sulking like a dumb high school jock when it doesn’t always get its own way.

    I’m also aware that one of the countries that has most selfishly and deliberately flouted more UN resolutions than any other whilst setting up its illegal nuclear weapons programme also doesn’t seem to like the visibility that being part of our funny human world usually entails.

    Funny that…

    We should absolutely remove the UN HQ from the USA, it’s frankly a scandal that it is there at all, given the USA’s irresponsible international policies and heinous betrayal of the organisation it sponsored and co-founded.

    From Wikipedia:

    “The term “United Nations” was coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, to refer to the Allies and also that there are 204 states in the UN. Its first formal use was in the January 1, 1942 Declaration by the United Nations, which committed the Allies to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and pledged them not to seek a separate peace with the Axis powers. Thereafter, the Allies used the term “United Nations Fighting Forces” to refer to their alliance.

    The idea for the UN was elaborated in declarations signed at the wartime Allied conferences in Moscow, Cairo and Tehran in 1943. From August to October 1944, representatives of France, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union met to elaborate the plans at the Dumbarton Oaks Estate in Washington, DC. Those and later talks produced proposals outlining the purposes of the organization, its membership and organs, and arrangements to maintain international peace and security and international economic and social cooperation. These proposals were discussed and debated by governments and citizens worldwide.

    On April 25, 1945, the UN Conference on International Organizations began in San Francisco. In addition to the Governments, a number of non-governmental organizations, including Lions Clubs International, were invited to assist in drafting the charter. The 50 nations represented at the conference signed the Charter of the United Nations two months later on June 26. Poland had not been represented at the conference, but a place had been reserved for it among the original signatories, and it added its name later. The UN came into existence on October 24, 1945, after the Charter had been ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council — Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and the United States — and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.”

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Well, Ruvy, you’ve shown you know a little more about the United Nations than most people I’ve seen rant against it before. Most of the UN’s successes are achieved quietly, by facilitating international cooperation on a myriad of practical issues, and are rarely mentioned in major news headlines.

    It’s not enough to merely assert all this useful work could be carried out just as effectively in the absence of the United Nations.

    I can certainly understand how a citizen of Israel could form an emotional opposition to the General Assembly and the Security Council. However sympathetic I might be to that emotional response, it does not add up to a persuasive argument for abolishing the entire United Nation Organization.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris, I can’t argue with your idea to move the UN out of the USA. Sinking it in the ocean wouldn’t be a bad idea, but if that is not possible, moving it to Geneva would be a grand idea. That way all the virtuous adulterers who work there can enjoy Geneva weekends without having to fly all the way to Switzerland…

    The UN started out as a great idea, an attempt to replace the League of Nations with something more effective that would help preserve the peace. They even attempted to solve the big problem the Brits dumped in their lap, the problem of Mandate Palestine. And they came up with a half-assed decent solution. It might have worked had the Arabs accepted it, as we did. But people who want the entire cookie usually wind up with none, and that happened
    here. Had the Arabs accepted partition, the problem would have been solved.

    But they didn’t, did they? And they still want the whole cookie, to boot. Some of us have had to reexamine our own views in that light.

    Oh yes, we were talking about the UN, weren’t we?

    Were the UN even-handed in its actions, I could understand keeping around. But it isn’t. It is that simple. An unfair judge does not deserve his bench. He desrves the park bench instead.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    If we abolish every organization that fails to be perfectly even-handed in every single one of its actions, we will soon find ourselves with no remaining institutions of any size, as none will prove able to meet such a lofty standard.

    Clearly, Ruvy, your primary objection to the United Nations stems from your perception that it has failed to adequately defend the state of Israel. Certainly it could do better in its relationship to Israel, as could many of the national governments of its member states. However, the problems in the world community’s relationship with Israel (and in Israel’s relationship with the world community) would not be solved by abolishing the UN.

    The same holds true for the troubles in the relationship between the world community and the United States.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Yeah, Ruvy’s usual fairly logical but anything to do with that part of the world trips him out! Comparing an international organisation to a judge, classic!

    Seriously, it seems a bit much to expect the UN to protect Israel as Israel ignores it whenever it wants to, the UN and the rest of the whole world sometimes.

    On a superficial level, I sometimes like to think of the 200+ countries in the world as the guests at a party. I can handle the idea of picturing 200 people much more easily than 8 billion.

    By extension, the UN is this big house we can all go hang out at, chew the fat, get to know one another a little better and that seems like a good thing to me.

    Whilst we’re at it, let’s not forget all the other activities of the United Nations; in addition to being the global talking shop it also does a whole bunch of other fantastic work. If you guys are seriously proposing that the world would be a better place without all this, well, frankly we are truly not living in the same world at all – and I don’t like yours one little bit.

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    Dave and Ruvy:

    So he left out the one really important suggestion – abolishing the UN alltogether.

    where did you read that into this?

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    in a sense the UNO is the upper house of the world…reforms should be two pronged:

    internal – leading to efficiency and curbing waste

    external – that would enhance its clout and power

    our world is a little safer place with the UNO…and it could be a little more safer

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Actually, now I’m thinking about it, it’s hard to think of many other clubs that would allow one of its members to run up such a massive tab as the USA has and not only still allow it the full run of the place but actually seem prepared to let the belligerent but delinquent upstart run the show. Incredible!

    Let’s suspend the USA until it pays up…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’d like to see Dave, Ruvy, or someone else with similar competence attempt to argue not only against the UN’s flaws (which are also found in almost every national government), but with full recognition of its many successes as well, and to explain exactly why they think the world doesn’t need those activities to continue.

    I didn’t say I wanted the UN’s functions to cease to exist, just the UN. There’s a huge difference. Yes, the UN performs some very desirable roles in the world. But the structure and nature of the organization is so flawed and it is run so badly that it really needs to be rethought from the ground up.

    Christopher Rose actually provides a perfect example of the incredibly flawed thinking that is part of the problem with the UN.. He seems to think that the US is being a ‘belligerent but delinquent upstart’ because we’ve held back some of the funds we are supposedly obligated to provide the UN. What he fails to realize is that the US pays almost a quarter of the UN’s total budget as well as providing additional facilities and services at no cost without which the UN could not function. For this the US receives essentially nothing from the UN except for hate and abuse. Every program of the UN and every expenditure benefits other countries, most of whom pay almost nothing to the organization.

    In fact, the 10 top participating countries provide 80% of the total funding for an organization with 190 some members. Those countries pay assessments based on arcane criteria which disproportionately tax the original founding Western nations out of proportion to their share in the world economy. None of these 10 countries receive any benefit from the UN in exchange for their support.

    There are a lot of people who want to reform the UN, not just the US, and that’s part of the problem. Almost all of the reforms which get proposed from within the UN are aimed at sticking it to the major western powers which founded the organization without taking their needs into consideration. UN supporters want to ‘democratize’ the security council – which means taking power away from the permanent members and getting more troublesome small nations onto the council, in essence turning it into something like the laughable Human Rights Commission which is dominated by the worst human rights abusing member nations.

    The purpose of the UN was and has always been to try to assist poorer and more primitive nations in rising to a level of government and economy where they can participate in world diplomacy and the world economy on a more effective footing to their benefit and to the benefit of the countries around them, on the theory that modern, prosperous countries are more likely to be good neighbors, not go to war and not abuse their own populations. This purpose benefits the peaceful and prosperous nations which founded it by making a safer international environment.

    Today that function has been turned on its head, and the UN has become a tool of the uncivilized and economically backwards to use against the nations which founded it to help them out. The nations which should really be thought of as ‘client states’ rather than full members of the UN have made it into a forum for promoting destructive political agendas, unrealistic and unproductive programs, and massive fraud and corruption.

    The UN no longer serves the purpose for which it was intended and therefore ought to be replaced with something which does – a new UN which returns to the altruistic goals of the original, with full membership restricted to the nations which actually fund the origanization (perhaps the top 25) and most nations returned to client state status where they continue to benefit from UN programs but have no role in running the organization.

    As for awareness of UN programs, I’m very familiar with them. Some of them are great. I’m a big fan of UNESCO and the work which it does, at least in theory. It’s probably the single most important program of the UN and defines what the UN is supposed to do. But it has enormous problems. It has the highest budget of any UN group, but it has a history of internal corruption, massive budgetary fraud, inefficiency and pandering to dictatorships rather than actually fulfilling its educational and democratizing mandate.

    UNESCO spends about $300 million a year on its programs. The US runs similar programs of its own which duplicate virtually every program UNESCO has and spends almost $40 billion a year on them – 20 times the budget of the entire UN. The Peace Corps alone has a higher yearly budget than UNESCO does.

    The idea that the US doesn’t ‘pay up’ as Christopher suggest, is ridiculous. The US is doing the UN’s job for it and paying massively to do so. When we are paying the equivalent of the entire UN budget just for international child health programs which duplicate the work of UNICEF, how can you suggest that the US is not pulling its weight. The fact is that by not funneling all of that aid money through the UN it gets used more efficiently without feeding the culture of corruption which has come to dominate the UN.

    Ask yourself this. Which is more important, the good work which the UN is supposed to do and which the US is now doing unilaterally because the UN can’t perform its function, or merely paying money into the UN just because it’s there?

    Dave

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    Dave:

    The UN no longer serves the purpose for which it was intended and therefore ought to be replaced with something which does – a new UN which returns to the altruistic goals of the original, with full membership restricted to the nations which actually fund the origanization (perhaps the top 25) and most nations returned to client state status where they continue to benefit from UN programs but have no role in running the organization

    two sides of the same coin:)

    some including me will favour reform…to make the UNO more effective

    you argue for its demise and rebirth…any ideas on how to assemble the 190 + nations to seek a consensus on a new world body along your ideas? and a follow up to that…what happens in the meantime?

  • Dave Nalle

    I don’t think we SHOULD assemble the 190 nations. Most of them are just recipients of UN assistance. I don’t see why they should have much of a say in how that assistance is raised and apportioned. That’s something to be determined by those who give the assistance not those who receive it.

    As for what happens in the meantime, if you read my article, the UN’s role in providing international aid is minuscule compared to that of the US. I imagine the transition would hardly be noticable.

    And the key thing here is that if there were a a restructured UN or replacement organization, if it were well run and properly dominated by the main contributing nations, then it’s much more likely that the US and other nations which provide massive aid outside of UN programs would participate more fully in the UN and substantially increase its funding by diverting more of that aid through the UN or UN replacement.

    Dave

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Thank you, Dave, for clarifying your position as more than a simplistic call for a United States return to isolationism and withdrawal from the world community. Your first statement on this topic could easily be interpreted that way, and I’m glad you have now demonstrated more awareness of reality than Comment #1 made you appear to have.

    That being said, it seems highly unlikely to me that the majority of the world’s national governments would accept reclassification as “client states” and the subsequent loss of any real voice in world governance. A better option would be requiring every member state to provide some contribution, no matter how small, to the UN’s funding. Nations that make no contribution and receive no aid from the UN could have some neutral status such as “observer.” Only those that chronically receive aid without making any contribution should be relegated to the status of “client state.” If this reform were implemented, I suspect most member states would find some way to contribute to funding the UN’s budget.

    I can understand your frustration with the grindingly slow progress toward the UN’s main political goal of spreading modern democratic values to the oppressed peoples of poorly governed nations. Several of the points you raise deserve serious consideration in any effort to reform the UN, and provide strong arguments for more radical reform steps than those proposed by Mr. Annan. However, abolishing the UN does not strike me as likely to resolve these problems of corruption and inefficiency. Such problems are found in the national governments of every member nation, including the United States.

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    Victor:

    A better option would be requiring every member state to provide some contribution, no matter how small, to the UN’s funding.

    when streamlining contributions from member countries is considered i hope serious thought is given to raising the one cent or half a cent contribution from each country

    even albania has cars!…these can be collected from ‘source’ too if the countries renege the oil suppliers can be co-opted

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Dave: Until you pay your fees, you don’t get a say or a vote as far as I’m concerned. Even the housing development I live on is savvy enough to know that. Sheesh, I thought everybody knew that, but apparently US primacy trumps simple reason according to Lord Nalle.

    The UN is messed up but it should never have allowed itself to be put in that position in the first place. The USA should be suspended immediately. It’s not like we’re talking about a few quid. It’s 1.4 Billion dollars. That’s enough to eliminate poverty in Africa twice over or run the occupàtion of Iraq for a few months.

    It’s no wonder some people simply loathe the USA when such presumptious arrogant drivel is presented.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    In fact, the more I think about it, it becomes pretty clear that a lot of the problems facing both the UN and the world are directly related to the fact that the UN has bent over backwards to accommodate the USA.

    It should have stood up to the USA right from the start and not continually tried to appease it. Everybody knows you can’t appease a bully, right, and the USA is, or was, the biggest kid on the block.

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    Christopher:

    the U in UN stands for United:)

    the UN will be more effective if it is inclusive…the fears and concerns of uni/super power should be addressed as well as the concerns of the less fortunate countries…

    what is the word we tire not of using..democracy?…why cannot the prime world body be not democratic and responsive also?…the veto machinations should also be seen in the light of this give and take…more reason to balance and reform the SC

  • RedTard

    The UN is desperately searching, like all government bodies, for more money, power, and control. The UN’s dream of taxing gas or wrestling control of the internet away from the US and taxing it or any of a number of schemes to increase their authority will soon become reality unless trends reverse themselves. Larger government layers have a tendency to encroach upon smaller one’s “for their own good” of course.

  • RedTard

    “I’ve yet to see anyone who calls for ending the UN demonstrate thorough knowledge of what the United Nations Organization actually does.”

    Mostly true in the US, they don’t provide alot of tangible benefits in this part of the world so it’s hard to discern where our money is going. Perhaps if they did something nice for us.

    For the Christopher Rose’s of the world the UN is a great way to stick it to the hated US of America and usher in that big socialist nanny government of which he dreams while handing out fines in his housing development because someone painted their house a color he didn’t like.

  • Dave Nalle

    Thank you, Dave, for clarifying your position as more than a simplistic call for a United States return to isolationism and withdrawal from the world community. Your first statement on this topic could easily be interpreted that way, and I’m glad you have now demonstrated more awareness of reality than Comment #1 made you appear to have.

    It was just a throwaway one-liner. Can’t expect too much detail in a single line.

    That being said, it seems highly unlikely to me that the majority of the world’s national governments would accept reclassification as “client states” and the subsequent loss of any real voice in world governance.

    Well, we certainly could never sell it if presented that way. But in fact, that’s the only way a functional UN can be formed. Certain countries are going to foot the bills and others are going to benefit from the services. How the organization is run should be determined by those who give, not by those who take.

    A better option would be requiring every member state to provide some contribution, no matter how small, to the UN’s funding. Nations that make no contribution and receive no aid from the UN could have some neutral status such as “observer.” Only those that chronically receive aid without making any contribution should be relegated to the status of “client state.” If this reform were implemented, I suspect most member states would find some way to contribute to funding the UN’s budget.

    That sounds like an interesting way to handle it. There’d still be a lot of complaining. No one is as ungrateful as those who are given charity and know it’s charity. One thing which the poor nations could do was provide their land for UN facilities – which would in and of itself benefit their economies.

    I can understand your frustration with the grindingly slow progress toward the UN’s main political goal of spreading modern democratic values to the oppressed peoples of poorly governed nations.

    Frankly, I think they’ve forgotten that this was ever a goal. Too much influence has been given to countries which have no interest whatever in peaceful coexistence and popular government.

    Several of the points you raise deserve serious consideration in any effort to reform the UN, and provide strong arguments for more radical reform steps than those proposed by Mr. Annan.

    Based on his actions Annan has too much at stake in the current corrupt system to ever promote real reform. At the very least it’s time for him to go.

    However, abolishing the UN does not strike me as likely to resolve these problems of corruption and inefficiency. Such problems are found in the national governments of every member nation, including the United States.

    Government by its nature has a certain element of corruption and inefficiency, but the structure of the UN is fundamentally unsound, because it essentially legitimizes dictatorial regimes and tells them that they are morally equal to more reasonable governments, as demonstrated most dramatically by putting some of the worst human rights offenders on the human rights committee.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Let’s face it.

    The original role of the UN was to provide world governance of sorts, a loose confederation of nations that would insure that there would never be a repetition of the internecine conflicts that wracked Europe and Asia for the previous 30 years.

    The preëminence of the United States and the Soviet Union, heading two opposing blocs of nations, prevented this confederation from emerging. So much of the United Nations became a talking shop, whose big goal was to prevent the preëminent powers from starting a nuclear conflagration. Therefore, much corruption, bloat and ill-competence was tolerated in the name of world survival. This is all aside from the UN’s one sided appeasement of Arab states in their attempts to destroy this nation, which I will not go into further in this comment.

    The talking shop theory was alright, as it appeared to work. For the most part, the US and USSR conducted battles on the floor of the UN General Assembly, in the Security Council, or conducted proxy wars. Effective action by the UN was rare. Attempts to bring peace to the former Belgian Congo were sidlined by the probable assassination of the Secretary General, Dag Hammersjöld. Subsequent Secretaries General were much more circumspect in exercising leadership for peace.

    When the USSR collapsed, the bloat incompetence and corruption at the UN continued. As the main financier of the UN, the American government demanded reforms. Once the Cold War was over, there was no need to countenance the corruption at UN HQ. That has been the root of much of the problems of the present incarnation of the UN, headed by a thief whose name in Hebrew translates into “cloud monkey”.

    Th cloud monkey’s proposed reforms are just too little, too late. That is why, in addition to the UN’s one-sided appeasement of Arab states, IMHO it is not really a neccesity any more.

    I don’t neccesarily agree that the UN should be rearranged to be an agency where the richest countries dictate to the poor and thus keep them in poverty. It is bad enough that this is the informal rule of international relations.

    But the multitudinous reams of bullshit bearing paper that are the present product of most of the UN’s efforts today are an unneccessary expense and burden on any nation that contributes to its upkeep.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Firstly, let me correct Mr Nalle’s failure to close his italic tags before my eyes rot.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    /iu ? Classic, must have fat fingers like me!

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Back on topìc:

    Mr Nalle’s proposal in #15 is absurd and reekingly arrogant. (It also illuminates perfectly the intellectual bankruptcy of much of his entire thinking “process”, but let’s save that argument for another column.)

    “I don’t see why they should have much of a say in how that assistance is raised and apportioned. That’s something to be determined by those who give the assistance not those who receive it.”

    Yeah, like the people in need really don’t know what they need? Let’s all just obey the rich white guy, he’s obviously successful. Please! I nearly puked as this arrogant, patronising snot slithered past my eyes.

    And, “the UN is fundamentally unsound, because it essentially legitimizes dictatorial regimes”. Given that we’ve already established that the United States basically set the UN up and then didn’t like its independent spirit and refused to pay its dues, it seems churlish in the extreme to then criticise it for doing exactly what it was set up to do.

    Now where have we seen that before? Hmm, the creation of the “democratic” Iraqi govt that is currently sending death squads around the country murdering Sunnis would just be the latest example of where pubescent naivity and chronic inability to learn have got this once proud nation we call America. [NB: This is a criticism of US politics, noit the country itself. Thanks]

    Temporal: I don’t believe I wrote anything that is in contradiction of your assertion.

    RedTard: I think you’re simply confused. A bit like your nickname. You do know it’s only in the USA that Red means “right” dontcha? The entire rest of the world, you know, the global democratic majority, go by the usual convention of Red is leftist politics, Blue conservative. This isn’t an example of endearing US individuality, it’s simply one of those cases where your country is wrong but to priggish to put it right.

    “For the Christopher Rose’s of the world the UN is a great way to stick it to the hated US of America and usher in that big socialist nanny government of which he dreams while handing out fines in his housing development because someone painted their house a color he didn’t like.”

    This is such a great example of making up a load of irrelevant nonsense in a shabby and ineffective attempt to undermine my view that it ought to be preserved for all time in a Museum of Vacuity. I guess we’re talking more ‘tard than Red, huh?

    Ruvy, I’m not quite sure what point you were trying to make in your peripatetic diatribe, but you’ve already made the point that you are not happy with the current state of the UN. Neither am I, but I suspect for entirely different reasons.

    I feel that the UN has an ever more vital role to play: in an increasingly complex and fragmenting world it is one of the key bodies linking us all.

    A little more profound understanding by the ruling elites of countries such as the USA and Israel, amongst others, that their voices, whilst vital, vibrant and fascinating, are simply two of the voices in the fantastic choir of humanity would go a long way towards making the UN, and the world, a far better place.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris magisterially concludes,

    “Ruvy, I’m not quite sure what point you were trying to make in your peripatetic diatribe,…”

    Chris, your a big picture type of guy, right? Let’s draw a bg picture for you. You have a neighbor who habitually borrows your torch, your good on. You can only get it back after much nagging, and oftimes when you do get it returned, you realize that the batteries are gone.

    Finally you realize that he is not really borrowing your torch to use it, but to steal the batteries. Your neighbor is a thief.

    Is this guy going to play a big role in your life, or are you going to cut him out if you can?

    The UN is much like this hypothetical neighbor. What little good it does is done in spite of its corrupted charater, not because of it. And you feel it has a greater role to play? It can be on your bill, not mine, and not in my back yard.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Ruvy: You really need to get past this idea that the UN can be compared to your neighbour.

    A better model may be to imagine a small community. Collectively, each according to their ability, all the community contribute towards building a wonderful community centre. That would be the UN.

    Then, the USA is some kind of loutish overactive rich kid teenager that thinks it knows best and goes home sulking when it doesn’t get the adulation it thinks it deserves whilst Israel would be the hunched up old guy in the corner muttering, “huh, kids these days”

    Both of them in their petulance are knocking down the community centre…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris, in my analogy, it’s your neighbor that’s the thief, not mine.

    But paying attention to your own analogy, you need to include in it, to make it more realistic, in addition to the loutish bully and the old man, a bunch of kids systematically destroying each seesaw as it gets built, stealing the parts for the swing, the copper pipes and the rubber. Every now and again some small toy gets donated to the community center that is not immediately stolen. Then you have a pretty good picture of the UN. We haven’t mentioned that the kids are always trying to beat up the old man, but I think you get the point…

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    I didn’t add in too much detail as I wanted to get the central idea across.

    The main point is that the UN is a community asset but some members of the community abuse it.

    And, Ruvy, we’re all neighbours…

  • RedTard

    “Collectively, each according to their ability, all the community contribute towards building a wonderful community centre.”

    A very telling choice of words.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Don’t beat about the dubya, RedTard, tell us what you’re getting at…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    You mean you actually don’t know. Chris? “From each according to his ability, to each according his need.”

    Karl Marx – Communist Manifesto.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Yeah, like the people in need really don’t know what they need? Let’s all just obey the rich white guy, he’s obviously successful. Please! I nearly puked as this arrogant, patronising snot slithered past my eyes.

    It’s not arrogant, it’s realistic. At your job does your boss pay you a salary and then tell you to go out and do whatever you want to do in order to earn it, regardless of what your job description is supposed to be? Oh wait, you live in a socialist utopia – maybe he does. And that’s the point. The recipients of wealth from a charitable organization do not run the organization. It is run by those who fund it and they set the priorities. They should certainly consult with and investigate the needs of the recipients, but it’s their money and therefore they should decide what is done with it.

    The value of the opinions of people who when given the choice would rather spend money on guns for their army than food for their people is nil. And since you cannot get to those people to get their opinion on their needs and have to deal with their abusive governments, better to let wiser heads set policy. This problem of letting governments determine how aid is apportioned is what has put Africa in the terrible shape it is in where money which is supposed to go to help the people is siphoned into the pockets of dictators and helps to maintain their regimes instead of helping their people.

    When you reject the idea of the ‘elite’ determining the disposition of aid money you are endorsing the oppression of the people of poor and backwards countries by abusive governments. That is what your altruistic socialism gets you in the real world.

    And, “the UN is fundamentally unsound, because it essentially legitimizes dictatorial regimes”. Given that we’ve already established that the United States basically set the UN up and then didn’t like its independent spirit and refused to pay its dues, it seems churlish in the extreme to then criticise it for doing exactly what it was set up to do.

    If you allow countries which murder their own people and make war on their neighbors to sit at a table with reasonable nations and have an equal voice you are telling them that the community of nations condones their behavior. That’s not ambiguous.

    As for the role of the US. Supporting and encouraging socialism and dictatorship was certainly not what they had in mind when setting up the UN. As you pointed out it was indeed the US which essentially created the organization, and since that organization is not serving the purpose for which it was intended, perhaps it should be the US which restructures it.

    One other point. You harp again and again on how the US has not ‘paid its dues’ to the UN. When you belong to an organization which is not doing what it was intended to do when it was set up, one of the ways you have of expressing your dissatisfaction is to not pay your dues. It’s a perfectly legitimate form of protest, especially considering that the US spends 20 times that much money doing the good work in the world which the UN fails to do. If the UN were living up to its mandate I have no doubt the US would pay its relatively small and (according to the UN charter) essentially voluntary assessment.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    OK, let’s go with Chris’s analogy.

    A better model may be to imagine a small community. Collectively, each according to their ability, all the community contribute towards building a wonderful community centre. That would be the UN.

    When you build a community centre it’s being built for the whole community. Do you hire the architects and engineers and experienced planners in the community to build and run it, or do you have the leaders of street gangs design and build it? The architects ability is to make things. The gang members ability is to destroy things. Therefore you call on the responsible and creative members of the community to build the centre for the use of all.

    In the case of the UN they invite the gang members in to run things and expect the skilled and competent to pay the bills and shut up.

    Then, the USA is some kind of loutish overactive rich kid teenager that thinks it knows best and goes home sulking when it doesn’t get the adulation it thinks it deserves whilst Israel would be the hunched up old guy in the corner muttering, “huh, kids these days”

    Exactly wrong. The USA is the parent who witholds allowance from the spoiled and temperamental child in order to try to compel responsible behavior.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The main point is that the UN is a community asset but some members of the community abuse it.

    Then why let the abusers set the agenda and run the organization – or have any voice for that matter?

    Dave

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Here are the reasons I’d like to see the United Nations terminated:

    1. The Codex Alimentarious Commission Fourth Reich German pharmaceutical lackey, that seeks to destroy health freedom worldwide, through the beastly WTO, by calssifying vitamins and minerals as toxins (!!) that can only be obtained by prescription, at vastly inflated prices, in ridiculously tiny untherapeutic dosages.

    2. The attempt to take over control of the internet root file, and destroy free speech on the world wide web by shutting down websites that express opinions not in harmony with official United Nations doctrine – a censorship grab sponsored, not surprisingly by the likes of China and Viet Nam.

    3. The attempt to replace national sovereignty with global one-world government by such moves as establishing an International Judicary higher in authority than national Supreme Courts, where citizens could be tried, without possibility of appeal, for things not even defined as crimes in their own countries.

    4. Seeking to impose yet another level of taxation on top of the onerous city, county, state, and federal taxes that have already succeeded in sending our standard of living into an accelerating downward spiral.

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, I know where the words came from, I just fail to see what point if any Mr RedTard was trying to make.

    Mr Nalle: Your #35 was just static so I’ve got nothing to toss back at you except for this fresh lump of white noise – here, catch!

    Oh, except to point out that it’s final paragraph perfectly captures the “let’s make rididulous assertions and confuse the hell out of everybody” technique that you seem to like so much.

    There’s really no point in trying to untangle the entire briar patches of unreason you so readily cultivate, David, because you make them grow faster than bamboo. Guess that’s what they mean by bamboozled!

    #36: Yeah, it was architects and experts that built all the ugly housing developments and tower blocks all over the UK. They’re now being torn down and being replaced with more natural housing designed jointly with local community involvement at all stages of the process.

    It was also architects and experts that designed the WTC in NYC. I presume you have read some of the reporting about how bad design contributed to the death count?

    The USA has never yet shown the slightest sign of national or international wisdom in my opinion. It has never actually had an empire, the one superpower that is true of by the way, and doesn’t understand the ways of the world or international politics at all well.

    The presumptious arrogance revealed in a remark like “The USA is the parent who witholds allowance from the spoiled and temperamental child in order to try to compel responsible behavior” is simply staggering in its naivety, gall and role reversal. The USA is acting like a big baby sulk.

    Finally, your #37; not wanting to let the abusers set the agenda or have a voice is exactly what I am proposing. Glad to see you’ve finally understood how delinquent your country is being.

    Richard Brodie: It is not customary practice to “terminate” political or social organisations simply because one disagrees with some of the policies. If we took your approach, there wouldn’t be any political process at all. I guess you’ll be joining the Anarchist movement then, will you?

  • RedTard

    “I know where the words came from, I just fail to see what point of any Mr RedTard was trying to make.”

    Being deliberately obtuse then I suppose. To spell it out I feel you want the UN to become a giant socialist nanny government. You can’t stand that the capitalist US is the richest, most powerful nation on earth. You want the UN to punish your enemy, the US, by taxing them and to whittle away at their sovereign status.

    When you say ‘from each as they are able’ I translate that as punish successful countries like the US by taking away the fruits of their labor (and rewarding failures with subsidies). It’s a different worldview that you can’t understand just as I can’t understand why you want ever larger government intrusion into everyone’s life.

    The difference is that my worldview does not impose on you one bit. You are free to join a commune and donate all of your money to Kofi Annan or the poor or whatever you desire. Your view would force every single nation (and thus every single human being including me) to bow and pay homage to the UN.

    I think the US should make it absolutely clear that the next time the UN even mentions the word tax we plan to pull out and use all of our resources to encourage anyone else to do the same before it is too late.

  • http://www.codexalimentarious.com/ Richard Brodie

    Rose: It is not customary practice to “terminate” political or social organisations simply because one disagrees with some of the policies.

    Thanks for such a detailed and insightful demolition of my objections to the policies with which I “disagree” :(

    If I were a Jew, and I knew that the policy of the THIRD Reich was to kill me, I’m afraid I wouldn’t give much of a shit for your “customary practices”, “ways of the world and international politics”, or any other nuanced diplomatic niceties. My sole concern would be to see the bastards destroyed before they destroyed me.

    The UN through it FOURTH Reich Codex organization, which is a direct descendant of those German pharmaceutical interests which were the principal sponsors of Hitler’s rise to power, is an obvious grave threat to my liberty. And its current anti-vitamin/mineral/herb, pro GMO and irradiated foods thrust is a serious health threat to any person like myself who knows how to keep healthy and live an extended and non-sickly life by consuming organic foods and following the proper individually tailored regimen of highly potent nutritional supplements. In light of this, I thought “terminate” was a rather mildly civil way of saying what I think should happen to this extremely dangerous organization.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Being deliberately obtuse then I suppose

    Based on his responses to me this appears to be what Christopher falls back on when he can’t actually address an argument.

    Dave

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    RedTard: All I can advise is that you actually follow what I wrote, because none of the stuff you are reacting to is reflected in my words, either explicitly or implicitly. But I agree with you that the USA ought to have a time out from the United Nations.

    I’d call it a suspension of course, but I think you’d find it simply amazing to learn that the world could actually get by just fine without the USA. The whole country is on a collective ego trip of galactic proportions and I believe a little time on the substitutes bench would be good for the it.

    Richard: When I first read you on this site you were writing beautifully about language. I can’t really find any response in me to these kinds of comments because they don’t actually make any sense to me.

    Even if they are realistic concerns and I simply don’t understand their importance, I still fail to see how “terminating” the United Nations would leave the world in a better way.

    Dave: In order to address an argument, someone would actually have to make one. So far, all I’ve seen from you was an opinion and a pretty haughty one at that. When you’re ready for a discussion amongst equals, we can talk, until then feel free to enjoy your American daydreams…

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    Richard, are you opposed to the idea that someone denied fair trial in his or her home country should have a neutral court to appeal to?

    Also, in terms of the UN taking over the internet, it’s currently under control of the United States, I’m sure that’s how you’d like it to remain? And you think the US is succeeding in protecting “free speech” on the internet? The US government’s use of search records scares me, and America is the place where internet providers are working to make the internet a “pay for performance marketplace.” Not cool.

    Most arguments for abolishing the UN heard in America are because the UN doesn’t play along with the whims of the US; for example, France gets a bum rap because they didn’t bend over and play nice with us on Iraq. Turns out they were probably right all along. I believe the UN should be reformed, not removed; Chris, I’m with you that as we are all brothers and sisters, we need some entity with the power to make sure soverign nations play together fairly, and in the sense of community, to help those in need. America’s independent streak leads to an “every man for himself” mentality, which I don’t agree with.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    In order to address an argument, someone would actually have to make one. So far, all I’ve seen from you was an opinion and a pretty haughty one at that. When you’re ready for a discussion amongst equals, we can talk, until then feel free to enjoy your American daydreams…

    Christopher, I presented a sensible and fairly moderate argument and suggested ways to address a pretty widely recognized set of problems with the UN. Kofi Annan isn’t suggesting his half-assed reforms because people aren’t complaining to him. The fact is that he’s taking this action in response to harsh criticism from all quarters and not just the US. You can reject my arguments out of hand without consideration if you choose and hide in your socialist fantasyland, but the problems with the UN remain and at least one of us is looking for a solution.

    Dave