Yeah, sure... The UN is a slow, bureaucratic nightmare where thuggish regimes can tie the hands of democratic countries.... that's a given. But, at least when the UN acts, it really acts to make a better world... or at least better lives for those it's trying to help.
Oh, wait. I'm wrong on that, too...
UNITED NATIONS, March 24 - A report on sexual abuse by peacekeepers recommended Thursday that offending soldiers and their commanders be punished by their home countries, that payments made to them be recovered and put into a fund for victims and that the United Nations make compliance with these measures a condition for taking part in its missions.I'm not sure whether Annan meant to say "Such abhorrent acts are a violation of the fundamental duty of care that all United Nations peacekeeping personnel owe to the local populations that serve them," because that is (in effect) what has been happening under his watch.
Secretary General Kofi Annan commissioned the report from Prince Zeid Raad al Hussein, Jordan's ambassador to the United Nations, after evidence emerged that blue helmeted peacekeepers and civilian staff members had had sex with women and girls in Congo in exchange for food and money, and, in some cases, had committed rape. The report also recommended that the United Nations make counseling and medical care available to victims and provide assistance for "peacekeeper babies" left behind when the troops rotate back to their own countries.
Prince Zeid, a former military officer and civilian peacekeeper in Bosnia, said that current efforts to curb abuses were "ad hoc and inadequate" and that exploitative behavior was widespread.
In a cover letter, Mr. Annan said that while peacekeeping had brought stability to many countries over decades, the record had been damaged by acts he termed "unconscionable" and that present measures were "manifestly inadequate."
"Such abhorrent acts are a violation of the fundamental duty of care that all United Nations peacekeeping personnel owe to the local populations they serve," Mr. Annan said, adding that a "fundamental change in approach was needed."
But don't worry, Billy Bob will fix that whole sex slavery problem up in a jiffy when he's Secretary General!
That's a shame
March 27, 2005Now... if you read the entire article, there is just ONE speculation that Annan is depressed. The heading makes it sound like Annan is truly saddened by what has happened under his watch... And then provides no statement from Annan or his close advisors to that effect, just this speculation from "one close observer:"
Depressed Annan close to quitting over UN scandals
KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.
Depending on the findings of the report, by a team led by the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, Annan may have to choose between the secretary-generalship and loyalty to his son.
One close observer at the UN said Annan’s moods were like a “sine curve” and that he appeared near the bottom of the trough.Now, what the heck is a "close observer?" Does Mark Steyn count as one? Do I???
(What has happened to journalists?)
ARC: St Wendeler