Monday, August 29, 2005

America - Rot at heart of UN revealed

The Times (UK) reviews an insiders book on the deep seated corruption at the heart of the UN. Something I've been saying for a long time.

Having worked for more than a decade in the UN secretariat, Pedro Sanjuan, a former political affairs director, argues in his book The UN Gang that America needs to get tough with “the crooks, the hardened criminals, the spies, the terrorist sympathisers, the nepotists and the racists at the UN [who] don’t like to be interfered with”.

Sanjuan warned last week that even John Bolton, the controversial new US ambassador, would find it hard to push through reforms without heavyweight political support from the White House and the US Congress. [...]

In an eyewitness account of what he describes as “thievery and other immoral excesses”, Sanjuan blames successive secretary-generals for encouraging a “culture of corruption” in the 1980s and 1990s.

So, why aren't there some checks and balances on the UN?

Sanjuan warned that US and other member states were virtually impotent when it came to checking up on activities in the secretariat. “Can a member state — the US, for example — ask to see the UN’s books, if any books are kept at all? The answer is a very diplomatically worded ‘no’.”

That should be at the top of the list of reforms.

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