It Will Never Pass

According to this news item, the House International Relations Committee has drafted a bill that will require sweeping reforms at the United Nations. If they donít comply then the United States will withhold up to 50% of its yearly dues.

The United Nations is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. The organization relies on member states paying yearly dues in order to remain solvent, but in recent years many governments have cut back on the amount of money they pay. Private donations are also falling off mainly because people are finally waking up to the fact that the organization is completely inefficient and wasteful, if not downright inept and corrupt. Their handling of the tsunami crises, as well as their attempts to steal credit for the good works of others, certainly didnít help matters any.

So far as the HIRC is concerned, it has been one of the driving forces in the United States government to bring accountability to the UN. Itís a thankless job, but someone should have done it long ago. Making future dues payments conditional on reforms is brilliant, and it hits the UN where it hurts.

But I think the bill is doomed to failure, even though I think itís a good idea and wouldnít mind seeing it in place. There are two reasons for this.

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Good Stuff

First thing’s first.

Murdoc Online is asking for your help. He wants anyone who has a link that states what the United Nations has done to help the tsunami victims to let him know. He’s rather droll when he frames his request, but it’s a sincere one.

Let me say that this is something that I’m very interested in myself. If there is evidence that the UN actually fed someone or worked to save lives in danger from the tsunami crises, then I’ll gladly put the link up here for all to see.

Please note that press conferences where the UN claims credit for work that others have done isn’t good enough. We need a link to a news report, something where the author was standing next to a line of refugees receiving food from UN personnel.

The next item I’d like to bring to your attention is this post at The Diplomad. They respond to some of their critics by pointing out where the majority of money donated to the UN actually goes. It’s certainly an eye opener.

If you do click on that last link, check out the first comment. It’s worth a read.

They’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do

This news item has the headline “UN SAYS TSUNAMI DONORS MOVING WITH RECORD SPEED”.

International donors have moved with record speed to meet a near $1.0 billion appeal for immediate aid to victims of Asia’s tsunami, with over 70 percent already raised, the United Nations said Tuesday.

(snip)

“This has never happened before that two weeks after a disaster we have $717 million that we can spend on immediate emergency relief effort,” Egeland told a final news conference.

The news item points out that the $717 million comes from 80 countries. According to this post from The Diplomad, the US has pledged about the same amount, and we’ve been spending more than $5 million a day by using our military to move the aid to the affected region. So far as I know, the United Nations still hasn’t fed a single refugee.

I found it interesting that the article discussed ways that the UN was thinking of implementing so people could track what happens to the money. They make no bones of the fact that the Oil for Food debacle has caused this sudden concern for transparency.

It looks like the UN is hurting due and trying to shore up their damaged credibility.

In closing, I’d like to point to this BBC article, which says that the UN’s own watchdog agency has confirmed that UN troops have been sexually abusing the people they’ve been tasked with protecting. Some of the victims were children, and it would appear that the abuse is still going on even though the UN knows about it.

I suppose the victims of the tsunami should thank their lucky stars that the US military is at the fore when it comes to aid.

Diplomad is on Fire!

The authors of group blog The Diplomad has been very critical of the United Nations in the past, but right now I figure they’d volunteer to drive the bulldozers if we kicked them out of New York and wanted to turn the complex into a parking lot for our SUV’s.

What got them so upset? The UN’s response to the tsunami disaster in Asia.

They got to grumbling a little bit when the UN started to claim that the US wasn’t doing enough. But then the authors, who have a man on the ground in one of the ravaged countries, started to wonder when the United Nations was actually going to show up.

But they really started to get up a head of steam when the United Nations started to take credit for the work that the American military was doing.

There’s lots more there, such as the tale of a UN team that arrived in one of the tsunami ravaged countries, set up shop in a 5 star hotel and demanded that the hotel staff provide 24 hour catering.

I can’t do justice to it. Just click on this link and keep scrolling down.

Rope a Dope?

So I’m reading Instapundit, and the good professor has a link to this LA Times op-ed. The author, Max Boot, points out that the scandals at the United Nations haven’t received the same attention from big media that they should. He also points out that the UN is corrupt, inept and impossible to reform.

But Boot also says that leaving the UN is “unrealistic”, and that the institution is useful for a variety of skullduggery. He doesn’t go so far as to say that the UN actually makes any progress in it’s stated purpose, which is to promote peace and lessen human misery. (Nor does he adequately explain why it’s “unrealistic” to want to leave an organization that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Oh, well. Maybe in the next op-ed.)

Then I see this news item. It would appear that the White House, reacting to calls from a few US politicians for the UN Secretary General to resign, has issued a statement of support for Kofi Annan. The United States Ambassador John Danforth has even said “We have worked with him very well in the past. We anticipate working with him very well in the future.”

One could take this on it’s face value. The Executive Branch doesn’t want to see Annan leave because he’s done some good in the past. (I can’t seem to think of anything so stellar as to wash away the stain of the Congo sex-slave reports or the Oil for Food corruption. But I’m sure that something will come to me.)

Or you could, like myself, be a wary and suspicious type who thinks that this is just a clever ploy. The first step in leaving the UN would be to so thoroughly discredit them that a majority of the American people would gladly see it wither and die from lack of US support. This would be very difficult if those who support the UN could say that things were about to improve since a new hand was at the helm. With Kofi still in they can’t whitewash anything.

It’ll take awhile to find out how it’s going to pan out. Come back in 10 years and we’ll see.