Roger L. Simon

Requiscat in Pace - the United Nations

Of course, it will still be there in name, serving discount lunches to diplomats in the cafeteria, and the Secretariat Building will not yet be turned over to The Donald to be retrofitted as a gold-plated hotel/casino in Turtle Bay, but it might as well be, considering the pallid reform package the General Assembly was able to muster today. The Washington Post sums up:

The negotiators were forced to put off action on some of the thorniest and most ambitious goals, including proposals to expand the U.N. Security Council, to create an independent auditing board to scrutinize U.N. spending, and to impose basic membership standards for a new Human Rights Council so that chronic rights abusers will not be able to join.

So, despite all, the Volcker Report on Oil-for-Food’s call for independent auditing evidently had no impact (the endless corruption spigot’s still on), ditto the Koizumi electoral smash. Despite its vastly stronger economy and healthier system, Japan stays off the Security Council for the benefit of trivial France and dysfunctional Russia. It’s hard to see what Cuba and Venezuela – the only countries not to sign the compromise document – have to complain about. They can employ whatever totalitarian pactices they wish and still be assured places of importance on the UN Human Rights Commission, possibly edge out Libya for the presidency.

Over the next few days, speeches will be made by world leaders, advances proclaimed and journalistic appraisals written, but what we are watching are the death throes of an organization. Even after the revelation that the United Nations had presided over the greatest financial scam in world history, the Iraq Oil-for-Food programme, the organization was not able to make the most paltry effort at reforming itself. No one – certainly not the United States – is going to give it serious funding from now on. The UN is now a ghost ship, heading up the East River. Wave good-bye. It’s gone.