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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

June 09, 2005
10 Questions - 2 (The U.N.)
2. The UN: Do you honestly believe that an organization as bureaucratic, nepotistic, fractured and politicized as the UN will ever be a trustworthy foreign policy instrument? Your reform prescriptions do not address the fundamental problem of uneven political will to confront key challenges; until that is addressed, isnít the UN doomed to be a talkshop or worse?

Yes, I do. Why not?

Our government is bureaucratic, nepotistic, fractured, and politicized. It's also sometimes corrupt, inefficient, lazy, stupid, and secretive. Any organization staffed by human beings will be vulnerable to the failings that human beings are prone to.

We already wiped the slate clean once (The League of Nations) and we can't take that route again. If we do, it simply sends the message that any time things get too complicated, we'll just erase the problems and spend a trillion dollars or so building a new entity. How many times can we do that before we teach the world that these international organizations can be ignored because they're temporary?

The U.N. is what we have. (It's disingenuous to act as though the USofA has never contributed to the U.N.'s problems.)

Does it need reform? Yes. Is John Bolton a reformer? He is not. He's a paranoid, partisan hack with the diplomatic skills of a rabid weasel.

It's unfair to dismiss the U.N. as a "talkshop" although it's had more success in some areas than others.

"Uneven political will to confront key challenges" is probably the heart of the question, but that's just too vague. Which challenges? Who defined them as "key"? Who opposed them? The question is too broad to answer in a few words, but let me say that you can re-make the U.N. again and again, giving it different names and playing around with the structure, and you're going to run into the same issues.

Even if you restructure the organization so that we can force agreement with our issues, that won't give us the power to force countries to fall into line with our solutions.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:06 PM