Roger L. Simon

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

After the notorious Great Oil-for-Food Heist, Kofi Annan’s “reform,” as Claudia Rosett points out, calls for buckets more money:

For the core [UN] budget alone, the U.S. has been assessed this year for well over $400 million, or somewhere in the neighborhood of more than 10 times the amounts paid by China and Russia combined. That’s despite the reality that though both those countries also find funding enough at home to field lively military programs, both–like the U.S.–enjoy permanent seats on the Security Council. And neither is exactly a force for enlightened governance.

That’s disturbing. But if there is one item in all Mr. Annan’s talk of reform that should provoke distinct horror, cold sweats, and mighty fears over the trajectory of the U.N., it is a small cipher embedded in Mr. Annan’s tastefully printed and expensively bound proposal for U.N. reform, “In Larger Freedom,” Annex item No. 5(d). That would be the proposal that developed countries contribute 0.7% of their gross domestic income to the cause of “official development assistance.”

For the U.S. alone, where gross national income now totals about $11 trillion, that would add up to more than $82 billion per year–by itself more than 10 times what the U.N. has already failed miserably to manage well. And though Mr. Annan does not spell out exactly how such official aid would “officially” reach its intended beneficiaries, the clear implication is that it would go through the “official” U.N.–generating a great gush of cash, with no more need for the U.N. to worry about reform, or Mr. Annan and his successors even to strain themselves sending staffers to lobby Washington, or signing self-laudatory Op-eds.