Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another Bad Day For Ban-ki

Take any hopes of UN reform and bury them in a thick layer of bureaucracy and cover-up.

Today Ban-ki (looking more and more like a Kofi Klone) appointed Alicia Bárcena of Mexico as the Under-Secretary-General for Management -- in other words, she's the one who will be most responsible for reforming the UN. Her qualifications? She's a tried and true UN lackey who's entirely sold out to the UN way of doing things.

The appointment drew this question from an unnamed reporter (odds are, it was Claudia Rosette):
Did the Secretary-General take into account, and how does he maybe allay some concerns that Ms. Bárcena is closely aligned with Maurice Strong, who is tainted by the oil-for-food scandal, and also concerns that there were very strong candidates for the post of management who had tremendous financial background and budgetary understanding and management experience other than, in addition to, or greater experience than Ms. Bárcena herself has?
On that note, the new UN spokesperson quickly called an end to the press briefing.

Meanwhile, the rape of children in Sudan by UN Peacekeepers was a secondary story today, both on the UN News web page and in the press briefing, both of which were dominated by entirely unnecessary babble about the execution of Saddam and the UN position on the death penalty.

Secondary news it might have been, but scandalous nonetheless. In a prepared statement, the UN acknowledged that it has had an investigator on the ground in Sudan for some time, and four blue-helmets have already been dismissed -- not disciplined -- as a result of the investigation. Let's rephrase that: The UN has been aware of the situation for some time and has covered it up, despite promises of transparency.

Further, it still has not found a way to bring charges against Peacekeepers who rape children. "Dismissed" means they are simply returned to their home countries. It is up to prosecutors there to bring charges -- and that rarely happens because the resources required to investigate a crime that took place in another country, against someone who is not a citizen of their country.

So the long and short of it is this: It's business as usual with the rape cases -- continuing problems, continuing cover-ups, continuing free walks for perpetrators -- and it's going to continue to be business as usual administratively -- an Old Girl heads the Old Boy Network -- at the UN.

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