Yet Another Unsuccessful Attack against the United Nations?

Thursday, 03 May 2018 958 Views 0 Comments
Yet Another Unsuccessful Attack against the United Nations?

I have not seen an organization more terrifying at its best, yet more sappingly frustrating at its worst, than the UN. Over 70 years ago, its establishment was greeted as the great hope for the future of humankind; it was supposed to be the answer to the global convulsion of violence. But today, the body is wieldy on several counts, and I dare dismiss it as undemocratic, expensive for nothing, incompetent, shameful and pointless.

(i) Undemocratic because it is a den of self-protecting dictators who politicize everything, even life-threatening issues, making sure to protect their own and their allies’ interests. One only needs looking at the politics of its security council to understand how undemocratic this institution is.
(ii) Expensive for nothing because it has spent more than half a trillion USD since its establishment: It pays mouthwatering salaries and allowances to many of its incompetents. Peacekeeping alone accounts for up to 9 billion USD annually, with only 110,000 peacekeepers deployed in 14 locations globally, most of them in Africa; while some of these missions have taken longer than expected to close, others (AMISOM) have no clear termination plan. And they dare claim they are ‘broke’ in the face of growing humanitarian crises the world over.
(iii) Did I say “incompetents”? Oh yes, I did! The UN is a den of inept, amateurish, blundering, half-arsed, not good enough, leaving much to be desired, fellows! And this is not to say there are not good people in the institution, far from that! BUT, if you understand the game of football (soccer, if you wish), you’d know that a team struggles that relies on one key player to win a game. Nuff said!
(iv) The organization is shameful. Besides being bloated with incompetence, its modus operandi is marred by so much red tape. If you think its distressing bureaucracy is not enough to warrant the label ‘shameful,’ look at its institutional cover-ups of corruption and how it goes to war in the name of peace, is a bystander through genocide and ethnic cleansing, and is silent or indifferent to serious human rights violations by various governments. That an organization should be passive towards those it is supposed to be serving remains a mystery to me, and it is a shame!
(v) Finally, if the UN didn’t exist, it’d have to be invented somehow. ECOWAS has proven times without number that the world can be better without the UN. Yet, every attempt to reform it has so far been quixotic and unproductive as trying to have a dog lay eggs. So, Yes! It is pointless!

I do not (and I echo Dag Hammarskjold) expect that the UN should lead humankind to heaven, but it SHOULD, at least, be able to lead it out of hell. But again … Who am I? This is more likely to pass as yet another unsuccessful attack at the UN.

Hubert Kinkoh

Hubert Kinkoh currently works with the African Leadership Centre, Nairobi, as Fellowship Administration Intern and Research Assistant. He is a holder of an MA in Peace Studies and International Relations (with Honors) from Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Nairobi-Kenya. His thematic research interests span everything Africa; forced migration and human security; women, peace and security; youth, peace and security; transitional justice in post-conflict societies; and the political economy of conflict. Geographically, Hubert’s research interests include the Horn of Africa, East Africa and the African Great Lakes Regions.

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