Thursday, March 20, 2003
UNtimely Obituary - 20th March 2003, 18.33

It is a pity that there isn't a William Tell principle along the lines of the Peter Principle: say, that as soon as switzerland joins an international institution, its days are numbered. Many undertakers have been writing the obituary for the United Nations since last Friday and it would be a great pleasure to see this institution dismantled. However, it is unlikely at the moment and Terence Corcoran (named after Conran?), a Canadian journalist, tells us why,

The Iraq process collapsed for the same reason the climate change process survived. UN momentum is derived from the support, or lack of support, of scores of petty nations and protectorates. Cameroon could not be swayed on Iraq, but it would have thrown its support behind the Kyoto agreement.

It is the vast bureaucratic empire in which all countries are represented and in which so much diplomatic capital has been expended which keeps this boondoggle together. The cost of withdrawal for any country may be too high because there are no alternatives.

Consider the UN's latest fiasco. they are sending a Blix clone, Maurice Strong, to North Korea to sort the issues there. And for anyone who defends the WHO or China, it appears that the former has not publicised the fact that the latter was unwilling to co-operate in providing samples on the respiratory virus spreading from South-east Asia. There's more:

The WHO, for example, just secured a global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an agreement that will give it far more powers over tobacco trade than it now has over the spread of infectious disease. In recent years, the WHO has shifted massive resources to fighting non-communicable problems such as mental health, diet issues and cancer control. Real communicable diseases that cross borders and kill innocent people -- malaria, TB, and now SARS -- have been downgraded.

The UN is one empire that should be dismantled.


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