Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The UN

Brought up in comments, was the efficacy of the UN. Tired of arguing non-factually, I took a look at some of the links mentioned on The Diplomad. The first link I checked was this one- an overview of the UN's Consolidated Appeals Procces (an emergency response program). If one were to guess where the UN spends the majority of it's humanitarian effort, what would that be (pre-tsunami)? I bet you'd guess incorrectly. The largest (by a third) amount of the CAP goes to "Occupied Palestinian territory." Now, remind me, how much did Arafat's widow get from the Palestinian Authority as a settlement? That would be $22 MILLION PER YEAR for the rest of her life. Yet, these impoverished people need the majority of CAP aid because ....? I'm obviously not arguing that the people are not in need - yet there is certainly something wrong here. For more detail, you can go here.

One only needs to read through the Diplomad to get an idea of how the UN acts "on the ground"; the UN officials staying at 5 star hotels in tsunami ravaged Aceh, for example They exists, merely to exists anymore. Like every other bureaucracy ... it never gets smaller, and supervisors increase their power by hiring incresingly larger staff.

The UN's performance in this disaster has been a disgrace of epic proportions; it's vastly overfunded and overstaffed agencies, allegedly established to deal with precisely this type of event, are MIA. We are now in day 16 (DAY 16!) of the crisis, and the UN is still not ready to act. It is no wonder affected countries want to deal with the US and not the UN. At a minimum, the UN owes the world an apology; the entire upper echelon of the UN and its bloated agencies should resign.

But should I be picking on the UN? Whose 'raison d'etre" is to serve the poor throughout the world? Well, really it's not a bad gig if you can get it. this from Canada Free Press :
"Salary: $293,000 a year. Perks: a free mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side; free servants; a chauffeur-driven car (which parks wherever it wants); 1st class air travel or private jets if he can’t get a flight; 24-hour security protection, etc. The secretary-general gets an additional $25,000 every year for "personal entertainment." That’s where all those pennies kids collect in UNICEF cans go to, folks.
"Tuition: the children of UN employees get school vouchers! Poor kids in Harlem have to stay in their failed schools, but UN employees get private school tuition of up to $12,675 per kid. UN employees who put 7.9% of their lavish pay into the UN pension fund, receive 10% to 60% of their highest three-year salary when they retire. Spouses continue to receive half their husband’s or wife’s pension for life. UN employees don’t pay any income taxes!"

Yet, they are accountable to no one. There are no voters to throw them out of office, and as the recent "oil-for-food" scandal has shown, getting information out of them is next to impossible. As many have said before, the UN isn't out to save the world, but out to line their own pocket under the guise of humanitarian causes.