Friday, November 26, 2004
[F]or fully more than eight years, from 1995-2004, the secretary-general's son was in one way or another on the payroll of Cotecna, which for almost five of those years held a crucial oil-for-food inspection contract with the U.N. Secretariat.
While we at TigerHawk have never been big fans of corruption of blood, one cannot help but wonder whether Annan's gag order, which really is indefensible, isn't there to protect his family and cronies.
Why is the oil-for-food gag order indefensible? The United Nations should be the most transparent organization on the planet. After all, its staff has immunity from prosecution and its constituents are all the people of the world, so what possible argument could there be against full freedom-of-information? Why would the United Nations have any legitimately secret dealings? Is there any question that it is a profoundly corrupt organization without the least shred of credibility? How can an organization of thieves be called upon to police the kleptocracies of the world?
Regrettably, I agree with you. It has become a caricature of the organization that it was supposed to be. Basically it's an organization that let's the closed (and repressive) countries of the world gang up and beat up on the open ones (giving them a much greater forum than they merit), without holding them accountable for the many more atrocities they commit than the nations they excoriate. For example, while Israel has committed some sins, the Arab world has committed far greater ones, especially on its own people. Yet, at one point a few years ago, there were 8 panels investigating human rights abuses in Israel (one chaired by a Syrian and vice-chaired by a Libyan) and one on China, with none investigating any other country. Until the U.N. holds every accountable to substantially higher standards than it apparently holds itself or many of its member nations, it will not be accorded the respect it otherwise could garner.