Saturday, January 13, 2007

UN scandals will be judged

Cross posted from The Hill Chronicles:

Annan musing over his time in office, told his last news conference that the UN should not be judged by its scandals.

"The UN is a UN that co-ordinates tsunami relief, a UN that is pushing for equality and a UN that is fighting for human dignity and the rights of others."

That is most laughable. Consider how the UN does not consider Israel a charter member. Consider the anti-Semitism that transpired over 2006. It was Annan himself that blamed Israel for the Hezbullah lead war against Israel. What a dichotomy. Lets look at the UN scanals that will be judged.

Problems for the U.N.

Kofi Annan is gone, but his scandals remain: The United Nations said it would launch an investigation after the London Daily Telegraph reported allegations that U.N. personnel have abused children in southern Sudan.

If these were U.S. troops, it would be proof that Bush is Hitler, and America is evil. Since we’re talking about the U.N., though, it’s just one of those regrettable incidents that can’t be helped, really.U.N. Peacekeepers.

Ending Abuse by U.N. Peacekeepers

In recent years, there have been harrowing reports of U.N. peacekeepers and personnel, notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Sudan, committing crimes ranging from rape to forced prostitution of women and young girls. The numbers, as reported by senior U.N. officials, are shocking:

…319 soldiers, police or civilians serving on missions have been investigated for sexual misconduct over the past three years, and 180 have been dismissed or repatriated.

These numbers do not include allegations levelled at members of the U.N.’s own staff. According to an internal U.N. report, these total 91, including 13 alleged to have had sex with minors, 15 who gave jobs in return for sex, 17 who had sex with prostitutes, five who face allegations of rape and one person who is alleged to have committed sexual assault.

The victims of these crimes are refugees—many of them children—who have been terrorized by years of war and look to the U.N. for safety and protection. In addition to the horrors that these victims have suffered under the protection of the U.N., such revelations of sexual exploitation and abuse undermine the credibility of U.N. peacekeeping.

Indeed, a 2005 report described U.N. operations as deeply flawed and recommended a number of steps to punish misconduct, including withholding salaries and requiring nations to pursue legal action against perpetrators. The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations adopted a new code of conduct and new training for U.N. personnel, and Secretary-General Annan declared a U.N. policy of "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse.

However, these policies have not greatly improved the situation. Although peacekeepers found guilty of misconduct or criminal activity are now dismissed and sent back to their countries, they are rarely punished. The model status of forces agreement for U.N. troop contributors clearly grants troop-contributing countries jurisdiction over military members participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations, and the U.N. does little when countries fail to investigate, try, and punish those guilty of such crimes. As a result, serious allegations continue to emerge, with the most recent coming from Sudan.

Sexual exploitation and abuse in U.N. operations undermines the credibility of U.N. peacekeeping and must be addressed through an effective plan and a commitment to end abuses and ensure accountability. Secretary-General Ban must make addressing the problem of sexual misconduct and abuse a priority.

Oil for Food Scandal

Oil-for-Food had its beginnings in the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq following Saddam Hussein’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. After the 1991 Gulf War, the U.N. imposed economic sanctions on Saddam’s regime. Concerned that the sanctions were hurting the people of Iraq, in 1996 the Security Council established the Iraq Oil-for-Food Program (OFP). Under strict U.N. control, Iraq would be allowed to export oil and import food and humanitarian supplies.

Over time, the program grew. Over seven years, $65 billion worth of oil was sold through the program and $38 billion of goods was imported into Saddam-controlled Iraq. Inspectors, monitors, and local bureaucrats oversaw oil sales, imports, and distribution of the humanitarian aid. The other $27 billion went to Kuwaiti war reparations, to the UN for administrative costs, and to Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

Saddam evaded and abused the sanctions program as much as possible. He smuggled oil out of Iraq. He demanded kickbacks from both sides of the OFP: purchasers of oil and suppliers of goods. The GAO estimates that he earned $10 billion from smuggling ($5.7Bn) and kickbacks ($4.4Bn).

The UN gives validity to zealots and bigots. It helps to keep tyrannical dictators in power. It gives a voice to international terrorists.

The U.N are bigots and anti-Semitic

Delay. Negotiate. Recommend. Study. Reconsider. Do nothing. This is the game the UN has played in nearly every international crisis. It is the reason North Korea remains a threat after 50 years. And it is the reason why a terrorist nation such as Syria can be given a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

The UN is buried under scandals. It has Oil-for-Food scandals. Smuggling scandals. And theft scandals.

UN peacekeeping missions — with their record of rob, rape and pillage — can actually bring fear to the local citizens they are supposed to protect.

To have heard Annan speak of all these issues they are just rumors and lies skewed by misinformed people - the U.N. according to Annan is romanticized. But it will not matter, the U.N. will be judged - they are fooling no one.

by Layla Gonzalez
Copyright © 2006-2007

3 Comments:

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It is my understanding that the United Nations has provided substanial support to terrorists around the world. I find supporting people who believe blowing up men, women and children simply to promote a religious cause to be completely at odds with what a United Nations organization should be doing.

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