Annan: Don’t Pull the UN’s Plug
Posted by ssbg on June 18, 2006
Kofi Annan warned the United States yesterday not to pull the plug on the United Nations by defunding Turtle Bay. Annan assured the US that the world body would reform itself despite the slow progress thus far:
Secretary-General Kofi Annan predicted on Thursday the United Nations would avert a budget crisis threatened at the end of the month over the slow pace of U.N. reforms and implicitly warned the United States against trying to "pull the plug" on the world body."The reform will proceed, and the cap on the budget will be lifted. There will be no crisis as far as I can see this month," Annan told a news conference.
Rich nations, pushed by the United States, imposed a cap on the U.N. budget in December in hopes of increasing pressure on developing nations to approve long-delayed management reforms by June 30. …
Annan told reporters he saw no signs Washington was backing away from reforms or that Malloch Brown's remarks had left them "much more difficult" to negotiate.
"For someone to say that 'because you have not reformed to my satisfaction I am going to pull the plug and stop all the activities,' it is going to be a very hard sell for all the member states to swallow and rightly so." Annan added.
Annan says that the General Assembly will never stand for a permanent imposition of a budget cap, but it isn't up to the General Assembly. The nations paying the bill for the UN do so voluntarily, and we do not see the UN as a positive force in the world. In fact, what we see is a world body that too often allows its leadership to reflect that of most of the member nations: autocratic, unaccountable, and almost absolutely corrupt. The lack of mechanisms to hold management responsible for its actions spring from the undemocratic nature of the organization as well as its members, and the ongoing corruption and atrocities involved in its operations embarrass and anger those of us footing the bill for them.
As a matter of principle, we do not intend to keep funding any international organization that refuses to reform itself and continues to allow its agencies to prostitute refugees for food and water. After the billions of dollars lost in the Oil-For-Food scandal that went directly into the pockets of a dictator that the UN assured us could be contained. While it's difficult to believe that this organization serves any purpose for anyone with the kind of rank corruption it practices, it certainly dosn't serve the purposes of democracy or advancement. With its structure and its general membership, it serves only to keep a status quo and to tie the hands of those nations willing to take action to rectify wrongs and spread democracy and freedom.
If the UN can reform itself into an agency that serves those ideals instead of self-perpetuation and the venal needs of its management, then perhaps we can see our way to funding it fully. Otherwise, we can and should simply walk away from the UN and encourage the democracies of the world to form a separate multilateral organization that actually works for the advancement of the only values that have proven themselves beneficial to humanity and a deterrent to war: self-determination through representative democracy. When the nations of the world all have that freedom, that organization will fulfill the promise that the UN has so tragically failed.