United Nations - beyond a joke

A Zimbabwean politician is about to take the Chairmanship of the UN Sustainable Development Commission. What kind of example is this setting to the world? Be a tin-pot dictator, starve your population, catastrophically treat your economy and trample all over democracy but you can still have a seat at the table?


I'm glad to see that the UK is taking a lead in this, but shouldn't they give the combined UN gravy-train a small reminder of what their original remit was?

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom...

Preamble to the United Nations Charter
I think of the UN in the same way I think of Communism: a beautiful concept with no chance of successful practical application.
why why why have the African countries agreed to nominate him?

is it a case of wanting more of their own people at the table, and as a result aren't too picky about who it is??
UN gravy-train ............you should see the UN married accommodation in New Rochelle New York..£1000000.....properties..... jobs for the boyz and money for old rope!!
I got p*ssed off with the UN in Boz when I saw their compound chock full of brand new 4x4s sitting doing nothing. The explanation: the first lot in got brand new vehicles, so all the subsequent postholder had to get brand new ones as well so as not to make them feel like they were second raters. Couldn't have them treated differently after all.

Incidentally, they were second raters. More interested in their pay and conditions than in the reason for their being there.
It was ever thus:I

n 1960, the UN stood by when the democratically elected Prime Minister of the newly formed Democratic republic of Congo was arrested following a military coup led by Joseph Mobutu (later President) and handed over to supporters of the Katangan seccessionist movement of Moise Tsombe. After being flown to Katanga, Lumumba was savagely beaten in full view of UN troops who were ordered not to intervene. He was eventually executed by a firing squad commanded by a Belgian Officer.

For a truly shocking read see the book 'The Assassination of Lumumba' by Ludo de Witte. After the Western powers refused to help him defeat the rebel movement Lumumba appealed to Russia. This set the alarn bells ringing in Washinton who commissioned their CIA man in DRC to kill Lumumba. When he was captured it was a golden opportunity for the US and Belgium (former Colonial power) to get what they wanted without dirtying their hands and the UN was placed under enormous pressure to do nothing. The UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, had Lumumba's blood on his hands as surely as if he had fired the fatal shot.

Lumumba was buried at the site. However Tsombe was told by a witchdoctor that the body had to be destroyed or Lumumba's spirit would haunt him. Three weeks after the execution, the body was exhumed, cut up with a hacksaw, dissolved in a barrel of acid and the sludge thrown from an aircraft into the Congo River. - You couldn't make it up!

Oh yes - The UN has a lot to answer for.
Ahhh....the UN, let's look at some of their shining examples from recent history; Srebrenica, Rwanda, Somalia, need I say more. Possibly the most corrupt, inefficient, inept, self promoting, waste of money organisation I've ever had the misfortune to work with, sounds familiar doesn't it Tony?

The UN has always been a joke and would be funny if the images of Srebrenica weren't so clearly imprinted in my mind.......that sums the UN up, they could of acted and didn't, just left those poor people to their fate...still scares and upsets me even today.

Now they want to install that Zimbabwean crminal to such an appointment, it beggars belief!
The last bit of the link is just as damning. Putting forward a candidate from Belarus - the last one party state in Europe - to the UN Human Rights Council. For shame.
The UN? Totally bollox IMHO.

I remember UN workers fresh out of college in Afghanistan shouting at their Afghan 'servants' because their food was "too spicy" or "oily". It was like the Raj, but without any of the fun - the tennis courts were appalling.

One of the baskets spent UN money on a big plasma screen telly.

boris7 is quite right. They don't expect to be in-country for more than 6 months before moving on to the flash New York apartment and the trousering of far too much cash. They are in it for the short term and thus nothing gets done.

The Rwandans called UN workers "whenwes". Cos while they were stuffing their fat faces with as much food as a Rwandan ate in a month, every conversation began with "when we were in Cambodia", or "when we were in so-and-so".

They are a blight upon all nations recovering from conflict.

Rant over
Further to numerous rants about the UN. There have been a number of highly publicised cases of abuse of women and children by some UN troops in DR Congo. To combat this military rules have been introduced including banning the use of prostitutes. While any breaches are inexcusable, it is often hard for a soldier from a third world army to understand why he can't do something that is perfectly legal in his own country. Given the number of troops and the abject poverty of the locals, it is perhaps surprising that there are not more cases. Factors limiting potential excesses are military discipline, soldiers confined to camp and without civilian clothes and the general tempo of operations against a determined and well equipped rebel force.

What, however, does not make the press, is that more offences are committed by the 3140 UN Civilian staff in DRC than by the 17000 military. Often living within the local community, they are far more able to ply their evil trade with more or less impunity. However, when media focus forces the UN to clean its act, up it is always with the high profile prosecution of a few blue helmets.

There is evidence to suggest that there is a hard core of paedophiles operating within the UN who take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people on earth, always moving onto another mission before they are caught. Some of the reports on the offences committed by UN civilians are frankly stomach-churning.
Another good book is 'The Best Intentions' by James Traub, which I am reading at the moment.
Explains the UN under Kofi Annan and highlights the sheer hypocricy of the organisation when places like Kosovo and Bosnia kicked off but no-one would intervene in such places as Rwanda and the Ivory Coast because they were deemed as strategically unimportant.
Also has a good piece on Kofi Annan the man. V Recommended.


Book Reviewer
What about the book called 'The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business' by Graham Hancock at Amazonian Clicky

Goes into great deal about how all the aid money is p!ssed up against the wall by actually being spent on rich westerners who live the lives of the very gods.
So how many of you hurling abuse at the UN have actually worked for the organisation other than as a soldier? Hmmm? Anyone of the above? Guess that means your opinions are based on sweet fúck all knowledge.

I worked for the UN in Kosovo for a year as a member of UNMIK (for those who don't know me I am a retired Gunner officer).

A bunch of more incompetent and corrupt cúnts would be hard to find on this planet. Any people with real ability were shunted sideways and into non-jobs so as not to embarass the useless twáts in charge.

Procurement officers would routinely take bribes and price-fixing of contracts was rampant. e.g. If Joe Bloggs wanted to put up a corrimec (which he already owns) he can get a local company to do it for about 300 Euros. This includes electricity, water and sewage. If the UN wanted it done they ended up paying between 1,500 and 3,000 Euros PER CORRIMEC!

The UN decided that it was perfectly acceptable to have Zimbabwean policemen act as trainers for the local force. WTF??

The UN is ruled by the administrators. They care nothing about the mission or effectiveness, just so long as they are getting their allowances and duty free goods. Any initiative is strangled at birth by mountains of paperwork and mind-numbing bureaucracy.

The UN is one of the most PC organisations on the Earth, so God help you if you remark on the fact that nearly all the "gentlemen" from central african states seem to be rather challenged in the integrity department, or if it is wise that the POLAD to your boss is shagging a married Albanian KPC (KLA) commander.

When the local police caught two Pakistani gentlemen shagging rather young girls (ten years old) in Prizren, what did the UN do? Thats right! Refused to waive their diplomatic immunity and flew them back home, where guess what? There was no action waiting to be taken against them. Surprised? I was when they were flown back to face charges, but that was because the US raised a stink and the KPC threatened to re-arm themselves a la KLA style and start attacking the UN.

Or there was the little time when I wanted to open an insurance company in Kosovo for my then boss (before I worked for the UN). There was only the small problem of the UN Supervisory Authority. They wanted the official deposit of a couple of million Euro (fair enough) and then a 'licence payment' of 500,000Euro. To a personal account. Strangely I declined.

There were one or two good guys, but they were swimming against an unremitting tide of shite.

And breathe....

The UN exists only to perpetuate its own existance. Anyone who believes otherwise is a deluded fool (so that is 99% of the tree huggers then).

Disband the UN and replace it with a "Democratic Club" of nations: you can only join if you are a democracy, don't torture people, don't invade neighbours, grant equal rights to ethnic minorities and women, etc. These countries should then agree have a free-trade zone amongst themselves while dictatorships (China, Zimbabwe, etc) are denied access to our markets, denied support from the World Bank and IMF, etc.
I worked with the UN many moons ago in southeast asia......and did they have one "jolly time".....we used to call them.... D O E........ the dept of enjoyment and no activity.......


Book Reviewer
Well, there you are then . . . straight from the horses mouth. And yay verily we know fcuk all about UN and its workings, but despite this, we are all in agreement it seems.

A bunch of self serving, useless corrupt perverts who are stealing good oxygen whilst watching the world burn. Are they members of the labliar party too then?
Hats off to you Dread
The UN is a waste of time and resources, countries with military and economic might are not at all bothered by the UN, they ignore it when it suits them. We play by the rules too much.
Dread - I read the start of your post and had you down as one of those posters who love to hurl abuse at fellow members for whatever reason. Then I read the rest and I fully agree with your assessment.

Not only are many of the civilian staff solely concerned with feathering their nests they have no understanding of the military and are often downright dangerous. One ruling in DRC was that troops could be carried on helicopters but not weapons. These had to go on a separate airframe. When challenged this was relaxed to weapons could be carried - but only in a locked box. This was in case any of the Indian troops decided to hijack the (Indian) military helicopter. Imagine the chaos when the aircraft landed on a hot LS and the weapons were actually needed.

The majority of UN civilians look down on the military until, of course, gangs of machete-weilding locals are on the rampage when they demand to be rescued from their plush apartment outside the protection zone where the aforementioned rough soldier types live.

The one exception tends to be the UN volunteers. However, these are mostly well-meaning kids or middle-aged housewifes whose kids have flown the nest. Their lack of awareness if frightening and it is an absolute miracle that more are not harmed as they walk alone through some of the most crowded and poor cities on earth thinking that they blend in so well.

Dread - I assume you had never worked with the UN before you left the Gunners or perhaps you might have considered another career?

Yes, I am one of those soldiers who you think have fcuk all knowledge. However after four tours with the UN (Force Troops, Military Observer, HQ Staff on Ops and HQ Staff in New York) I've seen enough to know that this is not where my second career lies!

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