August 21, 2006

United Nations

Last year, I worked with my schools Model UN program to help teach the skills I felt were vital in establishing the next generation of diplomats, politicians, and maybe even revolutionaries, but after the actions or inaction of the UN this summer in Lebanon, I have become completely disillusioned with the UN. It is clear now that the UN is nothing more than an arm of the US State Department. And to think of it as any kind of voice for the world is not only simple-minded, but dangerous.

This impotent organization could not even muster up enough courage to condemn an attack on its own forces, without the approval of the US. The United Nations is simply a tool of the winners of WWII to extend their victory and power over the rest of the world. It is not a neutral place for nations to air their grievances, but a
place for the imperialistic, powerful countries to gain bureaucratic okays for their selfish agendas. So I ask people to please not look to the UN for any answers in global affairs. The idea of the UN may have been altruistic and for the good of the world in its inception, but it has been hijacked. A reliance on the UN is a disservice to the less-development nations of the world. And until these nations have a legitimate voice in global affairs, we will be faced with global terror and war.

Many people have argued that it is still important for the students to learn the kills that the Model UN teaches, but I can't see how leanring about a useless organizaton can be helpful to anybody.

Anyway,I saw these pictures on The PeaceTrain and wanted to add a brief intro to why I posted them here. I felt they were powerful, insightful and beautiful:


  1. Just read your post and it coincides well with the way I have been feeling too. The photos really 'hit the nail on the head' as the saying goes. If you haven't already, read "Emergency Sex [and other desperate measures]: True Stories From A War Zone". The three authors all worked for the UN from Cambodia through to the turmoil in Liberia. Ken was a lawyer (US), Heidi a secretary (US) and Andrew a doctor (NZ). Although there are moments of hope in their personal stories, it is also very clear how disillusioned they felt once they really understood the organisation they worked for. There are some absolutely horrific memories in here, especially the work they did in Somalia, Liberia and Rwanda. Experiences like having to exhume graves of thousands of Tutsi or Muslim Serbs is compelling reading but also devastating. It is still unbelieveable that the UN and the world did not try to do more. Apologising after the fact means nothing. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments - the original purpose of the UN is a farce today.

  2. That's sort of the fundamental paradox of the UN. Without a standing army, the ONLY function it can serve is as a forum for grievances. It does that very well, IMO--there's plenty of General Assembly rhetoric from Libya lecturing the UK on human rights. But if there is NO country willing to intervene in Lebanon, Rwanda, or anywhere else, why would we expect "The UN" to be able to do something about it?

  3. these pictures are indeed powerful.

  4. what a great and knowledgable campaign .. thanks for posting