Friday, May 11, 2007

U.N. Insanity

In what alternative universe does this actually make sense?

Zimbabwe, which is enduring economic collapse and environmental degradation, could become chairman of the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development when a formal vote of its 53 members takes place today.

If so, Francis Nhema, Mr Mugabe’s environment and tourism minister, will lead the body charged with monitoring the world’s pledges made at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

By any rational measure I can think of, Zimbabwe would be one of the last countries we’d look to for leadership on anything (other than, perhaps, thuggery and maintenance of gerontological dictatorships). On “sustainable development” in particular, Zimbabwe has an admirable record … of the exact opposite! Their economic infrastructure has completely imploded under Mugabe’s rule. A once-thriving economy has degenerated into one of Africa’s worst economic basket-cases — and if you know anything about Africa, you know it’s tough to stand out amongst their economic basket-cases.

And yet the U.N. is quite likely to hand control of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development. Sadly, we can’t even claim this is some sort of bureaucracy fart — the U.N. really does seem to make a habit of this particular flavor of ludicrousness. Remember when the U.N. Commission on Human Rights was chaired by Libya?

It’s past time to simply get rid of the U.N. It’s doing more harm than good in the world. The few branches of it that are actually doing defensible work should be “spun out” into standalone charitable efforts — and the rest of it demolished. Some sort of monument at Turtle Bay would be appropriate — the inscription could read:

Here once stood the headquarters of an organization created with the idea that all nations were created equal. After some experience, it became clear that all nations were not created equal, so the experiment was terminated.

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