Monday, May 03, 2004

Politics of UNreality 

The "international community" accountability update:

From Agence France-Presse: "UN chief Kofi Annan warned that United Nations employees will be stripped of their immunity and be 'dealt with severely' if a probe finds they were involved in corruption in the Iraq oil-for-food program."

From "The Daily Telegraph": "The United Nations has threatened to fire two officials who wrote an expose of sleaze and corruption during its peacekeeping missions of the 1990s. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, is understood to have favoured an attempt to block publication of the memoir, 'Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures, a True Story from Hell on Earth', due to be published next month. Still reeling from the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal, officials in the upper echelons of the UN are alarmed by the promised revelations of wild sex parties, petty corruption, and drug use - diversions that helped the peacekeepers to cope with alternating states of terror and boredom."

And from Per Ahlmark, a former deputy prime minister of Sweden: "Not since Dag Hammarskjold has a UN leader been as acclaimed as Annan... But a leader ought to be judged by his or her actions when important matters are at stake. Annan's failures in such situations are almost invariably glossed over... Between 1993 and 1996, Annan was assistant secretary-general for UN peacekeeping operations and then undersecretary-general. One of the two great disasters for which he bears a large share of the blame is the Serbian slaughter of 7000 people in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, perhaps the worst massacre in post-war Europe... No one should be surprised by the UN's inaction, because only the year before it had demonstrated utter incompetence in facing the fastest genocide in history – the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in just 100 days. UN forces in Rwanda in 1994 were Annan's responsibility before and during the crisis... One might think Annan far too compromised to become secretary-general but the UN doesn't work that way. Instead of being forced to resign after Rwanda and Srebrenica, he was promoted to the post... Even subsequent revelations about Annan's responsibility for the disasters in Rwanda and Bosnia did not affect his standing. On the contrary, he was unanimously re-elected and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."


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