UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan defended the United Nations, which is beset by scandals from the Iraqi oil programme to sexual abuse by peacekeepers, as "vital to humanity" in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.This was an article I was hoping to fisk to death, but unfortunately it was one of those $$$ subscriber articles. Vital to humanity? Surely he can't have said that with a straight face. Let's wait for the quote.
"I have served the UN all my life. I have done, and am still doing, everything I can to correct its imperfections, and to improve and strengthen it," he wrote in an opinion piece. "And I believe profoundly in the importance of that task, because a strong UN is of vital importance to humanity."Annan has been at the UN since 1962, and thus must surely know as well as anyone else that the UN has done next to nothing for humanity in that time. They have a horrid record on pretty much everything under the sun. On one of the biggest issues today, they can't possibly do much worse:
Terrorism: The United Nations accepts and circulates statements from state sponsors of terrorism that either denounce terrorism or claim they are victims of terrorism, while also electing them to positions on the UN Security Council (Syria), Human Rights Commission (Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Libya), and International Law Commission (Iran, Syria). This is something they're proud of. Only 43 of 189 UN Member States supported a resolution opposing the financial support of terrorism.
...But that's really not enough. Let's now do a checklist by country:
Morocco/Western Sahara: The United Nations arrived in 1991 with a few goals: stop "restrain local security forces, identify and register voters, conduct the referendum, certify the results, and supervise the losing side's withdrawal or disarmament." By 1997, they had achieved none of these. By the end of 1998, peace looked likely, but even today the UN have not completed the rest of their goals.
Rwanda: The United Nations had chances to stop genocide, but didn't. 500-to-800,000 people died, and the UN showed no serious interest in prosecuting those responsible. Independent reports accepted by the UN found Kofi Annan was mostly to blame, as he ignored numerous reports.
East Timor: The United Nations was slow to establish basic institutions, and has been sloppy in its overall running of most aspects of East Timor. But then again, since this was a mission the UN didn't even want, and the UN supported Indonesia running East Timor in 1999, it's almost understandable. Even Marxists lost confidence in the UN over this, and they supported East Timor.
Sudan: The United Nations refused to condemn slavery in Sudan (who happen to be on the Human Rights Commission at around the same time), yet are more than happy to celebrate the end of slavery even though they admit it's still going on [more here]. Human rights abuse resolutions against Sudan are hushed up because they're led by the United States. The Darfur genocide showed once again the UN doesn't act against genocide until it's too late, and even then won't admit it's genocide.
Iran: The United Nations refused to condemn human rights abuses by Iran in 2002, a stance they continued in 2004. This was part of a weakening stance by the UN on human rights abuses in general. The UN was also lazy on Iran's nuclear progress.
Sierra Leone: The United Nations sent in peacekeepers - but there was not enough of them, and they weren't properly armed. 500 of them were taken hostage in one month alone.
Liberia: The United Nations appears to be allowing Liberia to head down the same path as Sierra Leone. The UN was unable to do anything about large caches of arms and the militias who controlled them.
Zimbabwe: The United Nations supported Zimbabwe's position as overseer of human rights abuses, despite Zimbabwe being one of the worst offenders in the world.
The UN has also proven themselves virtually useless in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Bosnia [more], Kosovo [more], Colombia [more], Haiti, etc, etc...
The list goes on. I'm yet to see any evidence that humanity needs the United Nations to survive. If anything, the less the world has to deal with the UN, the better off we are.
(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)