Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Congress finally acts on UN scandals

Gingrich, Mitchell to Lead Task Force on U.N. Reform
Associated Press, on Fox News

As more and more scandals from the UN body pile atop the Oil for Food debacle, Congress has finally MANDATED a "task force" to determine "practical ways" to deal with the organization's activities headed by George Mitchell and Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich and Mitchell, in an opinion piece in Wednesday's editions of the Washington Times, said the task force "will focus on the United Nations from the perspective of American interests and American responsibilities, not on the basis of an abstract notion of international community or of the concerns of other countries."

And what actions will the Congress take when the report results, due this summer, come in? I hold out little hope for much of anything as Congress has ignored previous reports on reform in the past.

Mitchell noted that there have been a number of reports on U.N. reform over the years that have been largely ignored.

He expressed hope that the task force report could have an impact because it is mandated by the Congress, a power center that he said has the ability to have a strong say over U.N. operations. The United States is the leading contributor to the United Nations.

Gingrich specifically took aim at the UN Human Rights Council, which granted a seat on the commission to Sudan while that gov't itself was involved in the genocide that the UN still, to date, refuses to recognize. Calling a spade a spade would entail more action than talk.

While it is admirable that Congress, filled with elected officials that have been present for decades, ignoring the inefficiency of the UN, has finally decided to mandate the task force, I suspect they will lack the cajones to actually deal with the widespread corruption within the UN today.

As if to ward off possible American disinvolvement, Kofi Annan is sending it's new chief of staff to meet with US critics and supporters on the heels of the latest OFF scandal report by Paul Volcker.

Mark Malloch Brown's (search) high-profile trip is aimed at informing U.S. lawmakers about ongoing U.N. management and administrative reforms and appears to be the opening salvo in a new offensive by Annan to present the world body in a more positive light."

Positive light... now that's a trick I doubt even Houdini could pull off.

No comments: