UN=Useless?

#1
This august organisation took 2 years to organise the Copenhagen Summit.That was a failure.

They also tried to end the war in Bosnia,and organise aid.near failure.

Their 'efforts' in Dharfur seem to be limited to setting up a mini luxury city for themselves,in that inhospitable area.

What is the future for this talking shop? Does it have one? Should it be scrapped?
 
#3
The UN is only as good as the efforts the member nations put in to it. They could start by paying their contributions in full and on time. They could also find a way to require nations to provide enough troops for multinational missions.

But what is to be done in a world with one superpower? How could UN "solve" Bosnia when one side was receiving covert support? How do they get adequate will to tackle eg Darfur unless certain big players stimulate it?

IMHO, UN is bloated and needs to be much leaner and better staffed (abolish national quotas in favour of continental quotas perhaps?). It needs sharper fangs, and until a way is found to US play nicely (though OB's rhetoric is moving in that direction), don't have high hopes.
 
#7
Perhaps they have gone the way of hte League of Nations.....

Perhaps we need a new, fresh organisation with little or no red tape.
 
#8
vampangua said:
The UN is only as good as the efforts the member nations put in to it. They could start by paying their contributions in full and on time. They could also find a way to require nations to provide enough troops for multinational missions.

But what is to be done in a world with one superpower? How could UN "solve" Bosnia when one side was receiving covert support? How do they get adequate will to tackle eg Darfur unless certain big players stimulate it?

IMHO, UN is bloated and needs to be much leaner and better staffed (abolish national quotas in favour of continental quotas perhaps?). It needs sharper fangs, and until a way is found to US play nicely (though OB's rhetoric is moving in that direction), don't have high hopes.
Agreed.....the UN is a sum of its parts, its member nations. As as long as member states fail to resolve issues, this will be mirrored in the UN.

What the UN needs is wholesale reform, starting with the Security Council, the abolition of permanent members, US, UK, France, China and Russia, and the abolition of the veto. Reform in the Secretariat has already commenced, but until the big 5 are dealh with we will be going nowhere.

Its also sad to note how little people actually know about the UN. Some of its institutions have done great work, WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR and so forth. Its a pitty that so many focus on the blabberings in the SC, carried out by the old cold war gang, and have no idea of its wider portfolio.
 
#9
I've a very good friend who has served and is still serving in UN missions all over the gaff as a civvy and some of the tales he tells me about the bungling incompetance at the upper echelons of it would make your eyes bleed. They almost sound as bad as our Govt.
 
#10
muhandis89 said:
This august organisation took 2 years to organise the Copenhagen Summit.That was a failure.

They also tried to end the war in Bosnia,and organise aid.near failure.

Their 'efforts' in Dharfur seem to be limited to setting up a mini luxury city for themselves,in that inhospitable area.

What is the future for this talking shop? Does it have one? Should it be scrapped?
Current Affairs?

News?

Analysis?
 
#13
Bell206 said:
The UN=incompetent and corrupt. Nothing more than a traveling cocktail party for the upper echelons.
The scientific name for smallpox is variola, a medieval Latin name which means 'blotchy pimples'. A victim's body becomes covered in knob-like blisters. Each blister is filled with pressurised pus and the blisters develop inside the mouth, the nose, ear canals and inside the rectum. The pain is agonising. This is the form of smallpox you get if you're lucky, and you may just survive it. Blinded and disfigured perhaps, but you may survive. In confluent type smallpox the blisters merge together like a cobblestoned street until the patient's skin is being torn away from his or her body. This is usually fatal. The most extreme form is flat hemorrhagic smallpox, where the skin doesn't form blisters. Instead it darkens until it looks charred and can slip off the body in sheets. For some reason this type of smallpox is most extreme amongst teenagers. Traditionally smallpox kills about one out of every three people it infects.

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson, then President of the US, took the decision to help improve Soviet-Americans relations by backing a Soviet demand in the UN for an attempt to eradicate smallpox from the planet. At the time the campaign began smallpox was still killing two million people a year and success seemed doubtful, but it finally happened, after a decade or more of unrelenting effort.

There were several key elements which won the battle. But perhaps the most important factors were people, persistence and money. At the peak of the Eradication program a hundred and fifty thousand people were working on it, mostly for very low wages. For a year and a half every house in India was called on once a month by an health worker to see if there was a case of smallpox in it. There were a hundred and twenty million houses in India. The money came from governments, from non-government charity organisations, and from business groups like the Lions Club and Rotary International.

On October 26, 1977, the last case of naturally acquired smallpox occurred in the Merca District of Somalia. One of the greatest curses of all time had been lifted from humanity.

Which demonstrates exactly what the UN can achieve if it's allowed to, and if it were less constrained by screeching primates in the developed world who get their political views from Rupert Murdoch.
 
#14
littlejim said:
Bell206 said:
The UN=incompetent and corrupt. Nothing more than a traveling cocktail party for the upper echelons.
The scientific name for smallpox is variola, a medieval Latin name which means 'blotchy pimples'. A victim's body becomes covered in knob-like blisters. Each blister is filled with pressurised pus and the blisters develop inside the mouth, the nose, ear canals and inside the rectum. The pain is agonising. This is the form of smallpox you get if you're lucky, and you may just survive it. Blinded and disfigured perhaps, but you may survive. In confluent type smallpox the blisters merge together like a cobblestoned street until the patient's skin is being torn away from his or her body. This is usually fatal. The most extreme form is flat hemorrhagic smallpox, where the skin doesn't form blisters. Instead it darkens until it looks charred and can slip off the body in sheets. For some reason this type of smallpox is most extreme amongst teenagers. Traditionally smallpox kills about one out of every three people it infects.

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson, then President of the US, took the decision to help improve Soviet-Americans relations by backing a Soviet demand in the UN for an attempt to eradicate smallpox from the planet. At the time the campaign began smallpox was still killing two million people a year and success seemed doubtful, but it finally happened, after a decade or more of unrelenting effort.

There were several key elements which won the battle. But perhaps the most important factors were people, persistence and money. At the peak of the Eradication program a hundred and fifty thousand people were working on it, mostly for very low wages. For a year and a half every house in India was called on once a month by an health worker to see if there was a case of smallpox in it. There were a hundred and twenty million houses in India. The money came from governments, from non-government charity organisations, and from business groups like the Lions Club and Rotary International.

On October 26, 1977, the last case of naturally acquired smallpox occurred in the Merca District of Somalia. One of the greatest curses of all time had been lifted from humanity.

Which demonstrates exactly what the UN can achieve if it's allowed to, and if it were less constrained by screeching primates in the developed world who get their political views from Rupert Murdoch.
At last someone talking sense on here!
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
zazabell_012 said:
Its also sad to note how little people actually know about the UN. Some of its institutions have done great work, WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR and so forth. Its a pitty that so many focus on the blabberings in the SC, carried out by the old cold war gang, and have no idea of its wider portfolio.
littlejim said:
The scientific name for smallpox is variola, a medieval Latin name which means 'blotchy pimples'. A victim's body becomes covered in knob-like blisters. Each blister is filled with pressurised pus and the blisters develop inside the mouth, the nose, ear canals and inside the rectum. The pain is agonising. This is the form of smallpox you get if you're lucky, and you may just survive it. Blinded and disfigured perhaps, but you may survive. In confluent type smallpox the blisters merge together like a cobblestoned street until the patient's skin is being torn away from his or her body. This is usually fatal. The most extreme form is flat hemorrhagic smallpox, where the skin doesn't form blisters. Instead it darkens until it looks charred and can slip off the body in sheets. For some reason this type of smallpox is most extreme amongst teenagers. Traditionally smallpox kills about one out of every three people it infects.

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson, then President of the US, took the decision to help improve Soviet-Americans relations by backing a Soviet demand in the UN for an attempt to eradicate smallpox from the planet. At the time the campaign began smallpox was still killing two million people a year and success seemed doubtful, but it finally happened, after a decade or more of unrelenting effort.

There were several key elements which won the battle. But perhaps the most important factors were people, persistence and money. At the peak of the Eradication program a hundred and fifty thousand people were working on it, mostly for very low wages. For a year and a half every house in India was called on once a month by an health worker to see if there was a case of smallpox in it. There were a hundred and twenty million houses in India. The money came from governments, from non-government charity organisations, and from business groups like the Lions Club and Rotary International.

On October 26, 1977, the last case of naturally acquired smallpox occurred in the Merca District of Somalia. One of the greatest curses of all time had been lifted from humanity.

Which demonstrates exactly what the UN can achieve if it's allowed to, and if it were less constrained by screeching primates in the developed world who get their political views from Rupert Murdoch.
The point in common with both of these points is that they were humanitarian programs and they succeeded as there was no political mileage to be made by the great powers in playing silly buggers. If for example it was suggested the WHO worked to erradicate HIV/ AIDS and there was a viable plan in place then I imagine funding and political will would poor forth from all quaters. But anything where their is a disagreement between any of the five permanent members will result in the usual round of ritualised dick-swinging and nothing being accomplished.

Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Korea and Iran. All hideous messes from a diplomatic standpoint due to disagreements between 2 or more of the permanent memebers, usually the US and either Russia or China (but between the US and France and Russia and the UK have also happened in my memory)
 
#16
And in response to the Smallpox post by littlejim, we have Malaria so not all good hey?

http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpr...t-the-u-n-bows-to-the-anti-insecticide-lobby/

"In 2006, after 25 years and 50 million preventable deaths, the World Health Organization reversed course and endorsed widespread use of the insecticide DDT to combat malaria. So much for that. Earlier this month, the U.N. agency quietly reverted to promoting less effective methods for attacking the disease. The result is a victory for politics over public health, and millions of the world’s poor will suffer as a result."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/22/health.healthandwellbeing

"In the seven years since its inception, malaria rates have increased," it says. The "loose association" of the partnership "inhibited decision-making and limited accountability".

Technical advice from the WHO was inadequate and sometimes conflicting, according to an internal assessment, because of the lack of clear division of responsibility among partners.

"This administrative turmoil cost lives," says the Lancet. RBM had four leaders in five years."

The problem revolves around ALL members agreeing as Trans-sane has said. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and results in vast quatities of money being squandered on ineffective projects and supporting the lifestyles of UN officials.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
stinker said:
And in response to the Smallpox post by littlejim, we have Malaria so not all good hey?

http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpr...t-the-u-n-bows-to-the-anti-insecticide-lobby/

"In 2006, after 25 years and 50 million preventable deaths, the World Health Organization reversed course and endorsed widespread use of the insecticide DDT to combat malaria. So much for that. Earlier this month, the U.N. agency quietly reverted to promoting less effective methods for attacking the disease. The result is a victory for politics over public health, and millions of the world’s poor will suffer as a result."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/22/health.healthandwellbeing

"In the seven years since its inception, malaria rates have increased," it says. The "loose association" of the partnership "inhibited decision-making and limited accountability".

Technical advice from the WHO was inadequate and sometimes conflicting, according to an internal assessment, because of the lack of clear division of responsibility among partners.

"This administrative turmoil cost lives," says the Lancet. RBM had four leaders in five years."

The problem revolves around ALL members agreeing as Trans-sane has said. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and results in vast quatities of money being squandered on ineffective projects and supporting the lifestyles of UN officials.
QED
 
#19
I'd recommend Reading Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" before advocating use of non-selective pesticides. The argumentation may have come full circle, but the effect of the chemicals haven't.
 
#20
So - why don't we plough greater effort into making the UN better? Is the proposition of this thread that the world really doesn't need a geopolitical body right now that transcends petty local politics and (frankly) lightweights like our present politicians?

Or do we sit in a position of pious comfort because we have a 'commonwealth' of states that either (a) find the commonwealth irrelevant (b) fancy leaving it or (c) are so crooked we are rather ashamed to get photographed alongside them?

Reform may be a good idea but there's a rather isolationist corner of arrse that blithely argues for the small picture and not the big one.
 

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