After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The UN - are they really listening?

Newsmaker Tedturner

So I am taking part in another Reuters debate. This time its a conversation about the future of the UN with Ted Turner, who famously donated $1 billion to the UN nearly 10 years ago. Well not exactly to the UN - it is given to a foundation that take the UN name, which he almost exclusively controls and almost exclusively funds (nearly all other income seems to be estimates of the value of voluntary work). Hmmm. I guess 100 million a year buys you a part of the UN!

But lets take this money in context.. this year the UN is on course to spend £4.5 billion (about $9 billion) on peacekeeping alone. Drops in oceans comes to mind - but still if it gets you interviewed by Reuters its worth it.

I guess my real question to Ted is - how can you honestly say that your donation has made a gnat's crotchet of a difference to world peace and security in the past ten years save curing a few children of polio?

I'll be pulling my opinions together over the next day or so - but to start the blog rolling I saw this excellent post by fellow Iraqi blogger, Riot Starter.

She goes to the heart of the crisis in the UN - the Security Council:
The most powerful bodice of all six, and the only one authorized to make binding decisions, is actually out-of-date and incapable of meeting its current-day needs. From my point personal point of view, that's a serious issue that should be addressed properly sometime soon
permanent memberships in the Security Council are exclusive to the former WWII allies, which aren't allied anymore and which makes no sense now.
And the solution:
A Security Council expansion of any kind, in my opinion, is the most pressing need because it facilitates forming functioning resolutions to solve problems more effectively. If an expansion came along with the necessary modifications to the structure and procedure, such as adjustments to absolute majority and two-thirds majority uses, decisions will definitely be more effective because they come from affected state that are granted to have better knowledge about certain problems than any First World nation.
Read it here.

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