Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Article: Kofi Annan's legacy of failure

I might have certain conservative ideals, but the work of the Heritage Foundation in regards to the United Nations is a tad bit disconcerting to say the least. One of the Foundation's "scholars", Nile Gardiner, took aim at outgoing UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and basically blew him to smithereens.

I'm not in a position to say much at all about the UN, but have some preliminary thoughts after reading his recent piece, "Kofi Annan's legacy of failure".

First off, the SG can only do what member states allow him to do. He has a mandate, and it is driven by the political will - or lack thereof - of member states.

Secondly, such scathing criticism of an international public servant is unwarranted simply by virtue of all that Annan has done to bring the cause of development and peace to the eyes and ears of the world's citizens. Never before has an SG done so much to bridge the great divide between the private sector and the public sector.

The Millennium Development Goals are yet another achievement worth celebrating, because at least now, countries are making the effort to eradicate this great scourge that has killed more people than any world war.

I could go on and on, but it upsets me to see all this criticism heaped on to the shoulders of someone who can only do so much. Maybe Gardiner's intellect can be better directed towards the deeds (or misdeeds?) of those in the Bush administration who would very much prefer to strangle the UN by threatening to withhold dues.