U.N. Honors The Dishonorable: Zimbabwe
The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles with an unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued exchange rate, soaring inflation, and bare shelves. ... The government's land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, has badly damaged the commercial farming sector, the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products.Robert Mugabe, the postergoon of despots grown long in the tooth who will do anything to cling to power, has made quite a mess of things, eh?
Badly needed support from the IMF has been suspended because of the government's arrears on past loans, which it began repaying in 2005. The official annual inflation rate rose from 32% in 1998, to 133% in 2004, 585% in 2005, and approached 1000% in 2006, although private sector estimates put the figure much higher.
So what have the geniuses at the U.N. done? Slammed together yet another aid package? Negotiated yet another bail-out? No, of course not! This is the U.N., sillies.
No, in the hyper-bizarre mode that can only be the U.N.'s, Zimbabwe was elected today to head the U.N.'s Commission on Sustainable Economic Development. Well, why not give the position to a country that can't sustain economic development itself? The election makes Zimbabwe's Environment Minister Francis Nheme, which presents some problems:
Mr Nheme is the subject of European Union travel ban because he is a member of President Robert Mugabe's government.The vote was 26-21, with most of the yeas other African nations.
That means he cannot travel to the EU to meet ministers on commission business. (BBC)
There is one healthy part of the Zimbabwean economy: It is supplies women and children who are trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The U.N. has taken one of its classic "strong" stands against human trafficking, and has once again shown the power of its convictions by its vote today.