Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Story of the Day-October 24, 1945: UN officially comes into existence

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The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 to replace the League of Nations, in the hope that it would intervene in conflicts between nations and thereby avoid war. The organization began with fifty countries signing the United Nations Charter. The organization's structure still reflects in some ways the circumstances of its founding. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, each of which has veto power on any Security Council resolution, are the main victors of World War II or their successor states (alphabetical order): the People's Republic of China (which replaced the Republic of China in 1971); France; Russia (which replaced the Soviet Union in 1991); the United Kingdom; and the United States.[1]

There are currently 192 United Nations member states , encompassing almost every recognized independent state. From its headquarters in New York City, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year. The organization is divided into administrative bodies, including the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who assumed the post on 1 January 2007.

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United Nations
The United States was a key force behind the establishment of the United Nations (UN) at the end of World War II. The term, the "United Nations," was first used on 1 January 1942 in an agreement that pledged that none of the Allied governments would make a separate peace with the Axis Powers. The actual Charter of the United Nations that was finalized in 1945 was very much a U.S. document, in contrast to the Covenant of the LEague of Nations that had been based primarily on both U.S. and British drafts. The UN Charter flowed from discussions at Dumbarton Oaks (outside Washington, D.C.) in 1944 between the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and later China. Fifty governments signed the Charter in June 1945. UN membership exceeded 120 by the early 1970s, was over 150 by 1980, and reached 185 nation-states by the 1990s. Despite the central role of the United States in the establishment of the UN, and in many of its subsequent operations, Washington's relationship with the organization has not been without friction over the years.

The Origins and Establishment of the United Nations

There is considerable debate about the United States' motives for the establishment of the UN. From the point of view of some commentators, the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933–1945) viewed the UN as a potential pillar of a wider effort to construct an international order in which U.S. manufacturers and investors would be able to continue to benefit economically following the end of World War II. Other observers emphasize the role of liberal (or Wilsonian) idealism in the foundation of the UN and its importance as an effort to move beyond the Great Power rivalry of the pre-1945 era. Related to this perception is the view that Roosevelt envisioned the UN as a vehicle by which the Soviet Union could be brought into a more cooperative and less confrontational international order. From this perspective, the UN was a way of maintaining and broadening the alliance after 1945 between the victorious powers in World War II.

At the same time, even if the establishment of the UN represented an immediate response to World War II, it built on rather than displaced the ideas about, and the practices of, international relations that had emerged prior to the 1940s. For example, the UN was clearly a successor organization to the League of Nations. But, given the discredited reputation of the League, the UN could not be established directly on its foundations. Many observers regard the UN as an improvement on the overall structure of the League of Nations. From the perspective of the United States and its wartime allies, one of the most significant improvements was to be the way in which the UN was even more explicitly grounded in the principle of the concert (or concerted action) of the Great Powers. The notion that the Great Powers had unique rights and obligations in international relations was already a major element behind the establishment of the League of Nations, particularly its main decision-making body, the Council. In the UN, however, the major allied powers were given permanent seats on the Security Council, which came with the right of veto on any UN security initiative. The main framers of the UN also sought to enlarge the organization's role in social and economic affairs (in contrast to the League). This flowed from the knowledge that a broad international effort would be required to deal with a range of problems related to reconstruction following the end of World War II. There was also a sense that mechanisms for countering the kind of wholesale violation of human rights that had characterized the Nazi regime needed to be set up. Furthermore, in light of both the Great Depression and World War II there was a growing concern that economic inequality and poverty facilitated crisis and war.

The Operation and Growth of the United Nations

The Security Council, as already suggested, is the most important body of the UN. It is in permanent session and is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has the power to call on the armed forces of member governments to provide peacekeeping forces and to intervene in conflicts and disputes around the world. The Security Council was established with five permanent members and ten rotating members. The permanent members are the major allied powers that won World War II: the United States, the Soviet Union (now Russia), Great Britain, France, and China (Taiwan held the Chinese seat until 1971). The five permanent members all have an absolute veto on any resolution of the Security Council. After 1945 international power politics, as played out at the UN, were directly linked to the (sometimes dubious) proposition that these five states were the most politically and militarily significant in world affairs. The veto also meant that although these five powers were prevented, in theory, from using force in a fashion that went against the UN Charter, their veto in the Security Council protected them from sanction or censure if they did engage in unilateral action. The Security Council thus represented a major arena for Cold War politics at the same time as the Cold War, which pitted its members against each other, ensured that the ability of the Security Council to act was often profoundly constrained.

While the Security Council's focus was on issues of peace and war, the General Assembly was given particular responsibility for social and economic issues. Over the years, as this brief has grown, a range of specialized, often semiautonomous, agencies have emerged. For example, the International Labor Organization, which had been set up by the League of Nations, was revitalized. The UN also established the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, not to mention the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Development Programme. By the 1990s there were nineteen separate UN agencies. Some of the most significant UN organizations that emerged after 1945 now operate almost entirely independently. This is particularly true of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank).

The Cold War, Decolonization, and the United Nations in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s

The UN, as already emphasized, was profoundly shaped by the emerging Cold War. In this context the United States increasingly perceived it as an important element in its policy toward Moscow. For example, a U.S. Department of State memorandum in April 1946 observed, "[t]he Charter of the United Nations affords the best and most unassailable means through which the U.S. can implement its opposition to Soviet physical expansion." Meanwhile, Moscow's early resistance to Washington's preferred candidates for the presidency of the General Assembly and the post of the UN's first Secretary-General ensured that the UN would be an important forum for the wider Cold War. The UN was also directly involved in and shaped by the rising nationalist sentiment against colonialism and the move toward decolonization, as well as the question of racial discrimination that was directly or indirectly connected to the colonial question. For example, the UN passed a resolution on 29 November 1947 that called for the end of the British mandate in Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state, with Jerusalem being put under international administration. The Arab delegates at the UN were unhappy with these proposed arrangements and responded by walking out of the General Assembly. On 14 May 1948 the state of Israel was officially proclaimed, followed by the start of open warfare between the new state of Israel and neighboring Arab states. A cease-fire was eventually agreed to under the mediation of Ralph Bunche (a U.S. citizen and senior UN official), who subsequently received the Nobel Peace Prize. Israel was formally admitted to the UN in May 1949. The conflict between the Dutch colonial government in the Netherlands East Indies and the de facto government of the Republic of Indonesia was also brought before the UN in the late 1940s. The United States exerted its influence inside and outside the UN, and in March 1949 the Dutch government agreed to move quickly to decolonize and recognize Indonesian independence. The Cold War backdrop was important in this trend. The United States was concerned that Moscow's support for national liberation movements, such as that in Indonesia, might enhance the influence of the Soviet Union, and it realized at the same time that U.S. support for decolonization would advance U.S. influence.

The Korean War (1950–1953) was a turning point for the UN, and for U.S. Cold War policy. In September 1947 the United States placed the Korean question before the General Assembly. This was done in an effort to wind back the United States' commitment to the Korean peninsula. Subsequently the General Assembly formally called for the unification of what was at that point a Korea divided between a northern government allied to the Soviet Union (and later the Peoples' Republic of China, or PRC) and a southern government allied to the United States. Following the outbreak of war between the north and the south on 25 June 1950, the Security Council quickly began organizing a UN military force, under U.S. leadership, to intervene in Korea. This was made possible by the fact that Moscow had been boycotting the Security Council since the start of 1950. The Soviet Union was protesting the fact that China's permanent seat on the Security Council continued to be held by the Kuomintang (KMT) government that had been confined to Taiwan since the Chinese Communist Party's triumph on the mainland at the end of 1949. In Korea it quickly became clear that the United States (and its UN allies) were entering a major war. The resolutions of the General Assembly on Korean unification were soon being used to justify a full-scale military effort against the North Korean regime. The initial aim of U.S.-UN intervention to achieve the limited goal of ending northern aggression was quickly transformed into a wider set of aims, centered on the reunification of the peninsula under a pro-U.S.–UN government. The ensuing conflict eventually brought the PRC directly into the war.

It was initially thought that U.S.-UN intervention in Korea indicated that the UN had overcome the paralysis that had afflicted the League of Nations in any conflict where the rival interests of Great Powers were involved. But, once the Soviet Union resumed its seat on the Security Council in August 1950, Moscow challenged the validity of the resolutions of the Security Council that underpinned UN operations in Korea. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union was also highly critical of Secretary-General Trygve Lie's keen prosecution of UN actions in Korea. Moscow opposed his reelection in 1951, but the United States managed to ensure that he remained in the post until the end of 1952. At the same time, Moscow's delegation at the UN avoided having anything to do with the Secretary-General, dramatically weakening his position. In the wake of the signing of an armistice agreement in Korea on 27 July 1953, U.S. influence at the UN went into relative decline. Another result of the Korean War was two decades of Sino-U.S. hostility. Until 1971 Washington successfully prevented all attempts at the UN to have the PRC replace the KMT in China's permanent seat in the Security Council.

The decline of U.S. influence in the 1950s was primarily a result of the way in which the process of decolonization increasingly altered the balance of power in the General Assembly. A key event in the history of decolonization and the growth of the UN was the Suez Crisis that followed the seizure of the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956 by the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser (1954–1970). The canal was of considerable commercial and strategic importance to Great Britain and France. Despite the objections of the Security Council, London and Paris, with the support of the Israeli government, attacked Egypt. The UN responded, with U.S. and Soviet support, by setting up and dispatching a 6,000-strong United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to manage a cease-fire and the withdrawal of Anglo-French troops from the Canal Zone. The UNEF, which continued to operate as a buffer between Egypt and Israel from 1956 to 1967, was important for the history of future peacekeeping efforts. It flowed from a resolution of the General Assembly and clearly set the precedent (not always followed) that UN peacekeeping forces should work to prevent conflict between opposing sides rather than engage in the conflict.

The growing significance of decolonization for the UN became clear when, following Congo's independence from Belgium in 1960, a UN force (Opération des Nations Unies au Congo, or ONUC) was asked to intervene. The UN operation in the Congo, from July 1960 to June 1964, was the biggest UN action since the war in Korea in the early 1950s. The Congo crisis started with a mutiny in the former Belgian colonial military establishment (Force Publique) that had become the Armée Nationale Congolaise following independence. When troops attacked and killed a number of European officers, the Belgian administrators, and other Europeans who had remained behind after independence, fled the country, opening the way for Congolese to replace the European military and administrative elite. Shortly after this, Moise Tshombe led a successful secessionist effort to take the wealthy Katanga province out of the new nation. At the end of 1960 President Kasa Vubu dismissed the new prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, and a week later Colonel Joseph Mobutu seized power, holding it until February 1961, by which time Lumumba had been killed. Meanwhile, Belgian troops intervened to protect Belgian nationals as civil war spread in the former Belgian colony. The assassination of Lumumba precipitated a Security Council resolution on 21 February 1961 that conferred on ONUC the ability to use force to stop the descent into civil war. Prior to this point ONUC had only been allowed to use force in self-defense. During operations in the Congo, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in a plane crash and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Even with upwards of 20,000 UN-sponsored troops in the Congo, however, a cease-fire was not agreed to and Katanga was not brought back into the Congo until 1963. All ONUC troops were withdrawn by the end of June 1964, in part because the UN itself was on the brink of bankruptcy (a result of the French and Soviet government's refusal to contribute to the costs of ONUC). It was not until the UN operation in Somalia in 1992, almost thirty years later, that the UN again intervened militarily on the scale of its operation in the Congo in the early 1960s.

The Un and the Third World in the 1970s and 1980s

By the 1970s the emergence of a growing number of new nation-states in Africa and Asia over the preceding decades had clearly altered the balance in the UN in favor of the so-called "Third World." This shift was readily apparent when the Sixth Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in April 1974 passed the Declaration and Programme of Action for the Establishment of a New Economic Order. This represented a formal call for a New International Economic Order in an effort to improve the terms on which the countries of the Third World participated in the global economy. In the late 1970s the UN also established the Independent Commission on International Development (the Brandt Commission), presided over by former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt. However, by the start of the 1980s, calls at the UN and elsewhere to address the North-South question were increasingly rebuffed, particularly with the Debt Crisis and the subsequent spread of neoliberal economic policies and practices. With the support of Margaret Thatcher's government in Britain (1979–1990) and the administration of Ronald Reagan (1981–1989) in the United States, the IMF and the World Bank increasingly encouraged the governments of the Third World to liberalize trade, privatize their public sectors, and deregulate their economies. This trend was strengthened by the end of the Cold War, by which time virtually all branches of the UN had become sites for the promotion of economic liberalism and what has come to be known as globalization.

The United Nations After the Cold War

The Cold War had undermined the expectation, prevalent in the late 1940s and early 1950s, that the UN would provide the overall framework for international security after 1945. With the end of the Cold War, however, the UN was presented with an opportunity to revive the major peacekeeping and security activities that many of its early proponents had anticipated. For example, while the UN dispatched a total of 10,000 peacekeepers to five operations (with an annual budget of about $233 million) in 1987, the total number of troops acting as peacekeepers under UN auspices by 1995 was 72,000. They were operating in eighteen different countries and the total cost of these operations was over $3 billion. Early post–Cold War initiatives were thought to augur well for the UN's new role. The major civil war in El Salvador, which had been fueled by the Cold War, came to a negotiated end in 1992 under the auspices of the UN. Apart from El Salvador, the countries in which the UN has provided peacekeepers and election monitors include Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, East Timor, Macedonia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, and the Western Sahara. While Cambodia and East Timor, for example, are seen as UN success stories, the failure of the UN in Angola and Somalia highlights the constraints on the UN's role in the post–Cold War era.

The UN's new post–Cold War initiative in relation to peacekeeping was linked to the appointment of Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary-General at the beginning of 1992. Shortly after taking up the new post, Boutros-Ghali presented the Security Council with his "Agenda for Peace." This document laid out a range of major reforms to facilitate a greatly expanded peacekeeping role. Boutros-Ghali wanted member states to provide permanently designated military units that could be deployed quickly and overcome the UN's well-known inability to act quickly in a time of crisis. A number of states expressed an interest in such an arrangement at the same time as changes were made at UN headquarters in New York. The UN military advisory staff was expanded with a focus on intelligence activities and long-range planning, and efforts were made to enhance communications between officers on the ground and UN headquarters. There was even some talk of forming a multinational military establishment, made up of volunteers that would be under the direct control of the UN. These initiatives made little progress, however, in the context of an organization comprised of nation-states that were very wary of providing soldiers and equipment in ways that might diminish their sovereignty. Furthermore, there was little or no possibility of a more effective and united intervention by the UN in situations where the national interests of the major powers were thought to be at stake. At the same time, the fact that a number of countries, including the United States and Russia, fell behind in their payment of dues to the UN suggested the prospects for a more activist and revamped UN were still limited. As a result of concerted U.S. opposition, Boutros-Ghali was not reappointed as Secretary-General for a second term, further dampening the momentum toward a more assertive UN. His replacement, Kofi Annan, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, has emerged as a much more cautious and conciliatory Secretary-General.

United Nations
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Ban Ki-moon (born June 13, 1944)[1] is a South Korean diplomat and the current Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated college, accepting his first post in New Delhi. In the foreign ministry he established a reputation for modesty and competence.

Ban was the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. Ban was initially considered a long shot for the office. As foreign minister of Korea, however, he was able to travel to all the countries on the United Nations Security Council, a maneuver that turned him into the campaign's front runner.

On October 13, 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. On January 1, 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan, and passed several major reforms on peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and Darfur, where he helped persuade Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow peacekeeping troops. to enter Sudan.

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United Nations Timeline

United Nations Timeline

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United Nations: 62 glorious years
In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter.

The Organization officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when China, France, former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, India and a majority of other signatories had ratified the Charter.
United Nations Day is celebrated on every 24th of October. United Nations Day is part of United Nations week, which runs from October 20th to October 26th.

The United Nations was founded to be devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization, as described in the United Nations Charter.

Observance of ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ on October 2

The United Nations declared October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi as `International Day of Non violence.`

In a message on Mahatma Gandhi’ birth anniversary, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “Gandhi’s peaceful struggle helped birth an independent India and inspired countless people around the world, is needed now more than ever amid rising global tensions, intolerance and conflict.”

The Mahatma’s inspiration is needed now more than ever.”

The Secretary-General hoped the day would help to advance true tolerance and non-violence at every level, from individuals all the way up to Governments.

“May this Day help spread Mahatma Gandhi’s message to an ever wider audience, and hasten a time when every day is a day without violence.”

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Major Achievements of the United Nations
The United Nations was established in the aftermath of a devastating war to help stabilize international relations and give peace a more secure foundation.

Amid the threat of nuclear war and seemingly endless regional conflicts, peace-keeping has become an overriding concern of the United Nations. In the process, the activities of blue-helmeted peace-keepers have emerged as the most visible role associated with the world organization.

The United Nations, however, is much more than a peace-keeper and forum for conflict resolution. Often without attracting attention, the United Nations and its family of agencies are engaged in a vast array of work that touches every aspect of people's lives around the world.

Child survival and development. Environmental protection. Human rights. Health and medical research. Alleviation of poverty and economic development. Agricultural development and fisheries. Education. Family planning. Emergency and disaster relief. Air and sea travel. Peaceful uses of atomic energy. Labour and workers' rights. The list goes on. Here, in brief, is a sampling of what the United Nations organizations have accomplished since 1945 when the world organization was founded.

1. Maintaining peace and security - By having deployed a total of 54 peace-keeping forces and observer missions as of September 2001, the United Nations has been able to restore calm to allow the negotiating process to go forward while saving millions of people from becoming casualties of conflicts. There are presently 15 active peace-keeping forces in operation.

2. Making peace - Since 1945, the United Nations has been credited with negotiating many peaceful settlements that have ended regional conflicts. Recent cases include an end to the Iran-Iraq war, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, and an end to the civil war in El Salvador. The United Nations has used quiet diplomacy to avert imminent wars.

3. Promoting democracy - The United Nations has enabled people in many countries to participate in free and fair elections, including those held in Cambodia, Namibia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Mozambique, Nicaragua, South Africa, Kosovo and East Timor. It has provided electoral advice, assistance, and monitoring of results.

4. Promoting development - The UN system has devoted more attention and resources to the promotion of the development of human skills and potentials than any other external assistance effort. The system's annual disbursements, including loans and grants, amount to more than $10 billion. The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in close cooperation with over 170 Member States and other UN agencies, designs and implements projects for agriculture, industry, education, and the environment. It supports more than 5,000 projects with a budget of $1.3 billion. It is the largest multilateral source of grant development assistance. The World Bank, at the forefront in mobilizing support for developing countries worldwide, has alone loaned $333 billion for development projects since 1946. In addition, UNICEF spends more than $800 million a year, primarily on immunization, health care, nutrition and basic education in 138 countries.

5. Promoting human rights - Since adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the United Nations has helped enact dozens of comprehensive agreements on political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights. By investigating individual complaints of human rights abuses, the UN Human Rights Commission has focused world attention on cases of torture, disappearance, and arbitrary detention and has generated international pressure to be brought on governments to improve their human rights records.

6. Protecting the environment - The United Nations has played a vital role in fashioning a global programme designed to protect the environment. The "Earth Summit," the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, resulted in treaties on biodiversity and climate change, and all countries adopted "Agenda 21" - a blueprint to promote sustainable development or the concept of economic growth while protecting natural resources.

7. Preventing nuclear proliferation - The United Nations, through the International Atomic Energy Agency, has helped minimize the threat of a nuclear war by inspecting nuclear reactors in 90 countries to ensure that nuclear materials are not diverted for military purposes.

8. Promoting self determination and independence - The United Nations has played a role in bringing about independence in countries that are now among its Member States.

9. Strengthening international law - Over 300 international treaties, on topics as varied as human rights conventions to agreements on the use of outer space and seabed, have been enacted through the efforts of the United Nations.

10. Handing down judicial settlements of major international disputes - By giving judgments and advisory opinions, the International Court of Justice has helped settle international disputes involving territorial issues, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, diplomatic relations, hostage-taking, the right of asylum, rights of passage and economic rights.

11. Ending apartheid in South Africa - By imposing measures ranging from an arms embargo to a convention against segregated sporting events, the United Nations was a major factor in bringing about the downfall of the apartheid system, which the General Assembly called "a crime against humanity." Elections were held in April 1994 in which all South Africans were allowed to participate on an equal basis, followed by the establishment of a majority government.

12. Providing humanitarian aid to victims of conflict - More than 30 million refugees fleeing war, famine or persecution have received aid from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees since 1951 in a continuing effort coordinated by the United Nations that often involves other agencies. There are more than 19 million refugees, mostly women and children, who are receiving food, shelter, medical aid, education and repatriation assistance.

13. Aiding Palestinian refugees - Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has sustained four generations of Palestinians with free schooling, essential health care, relief assistance and key social services virtually without interruption. There are 2.9 million refugees in the Middle East served by UNRWA.

14. Alleviating chronic hunger and rural poverty in developing countries - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has developed a system of providing credit, often in very small amounts, for the poorest and most marginalised groups that has benefited over 230 million people in nearly 100 developing countries.

15. Focusing on African development - For the United Nations, Africa continues to be the highest priority. In 1986, the United Nations convened a special session to drum up international support for African economic recovery and development. The United Nations also has instituted a system-wide task force to ensure that commitments made by the international community are honoured and challenges met. The Africa Project Development Facility has helped entrepreneurs in 25 countries to find financing for new enterprises. The Facility has completed 130 projects which represent investments of $233 million and the creation of 13,000 new jobs. It is expected that these new enterprises will either earn or save some $131 million in foreign exchange annually.

16. Promoting women's rights - A long term objective of the United Nations has been to improve the lives of women and to empower women to have greater control over their lives. Several conferences during the UN-sponsored International Women's Decade set an agenda for the advancement of women and women's rights for the rest of the century. The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) have supported programmes and projects to improve the quality of life for women in over 100 countries. They include credit and training, access to new food-production technologies and marketing opportunities, and other means of promoting women's work.

17. Providing safe drinking water - UN agencies have worked to make safe drinking water available to 1.3 billion people in rural areas during the last decade.

18. Eradicating smallpox - A 13-year effort by the World Health Organization resulted in the complete eradication of smallpox from the planet in 1980. The eradication has saved an estimated $1 billion a year in vaccination and monitoring, almost three times the cost of eliminating the scourge itself. WHO also helped wipe out polio from the Western hemisphere, with global eradication expected by the year 2000.

19. Pressing for universal immunization - Polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis still kill more than eight million children each year. In 1974, only 5 per cent of children in developing countries were immunized against these diseases. Today, as a result of the efforts of UNICEF and WHO, there is an 80 per cent immunization rate, saving the lives of more than 3 million children each year.

20. Reducing child mortality rates - Through oral rehydration therapy, water and sanitation and other health and nutrition measures undertaken by UN agencies, child mortality rates in the developing countries have been halved since 1960, increasing the life expectancy from 37 to 67 years.

21. Fighting parasitic diseases - Efforts by UN agencies in North Africa to eliminate the dreaded screw worm, a parasite that feeds on human and animal flesh, prevented the spread of the parasite, which is carried by flies, to Egypt, Tunisia, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. A WHO programme also has saved the lives of 7 million children from going blind from the river blindness and rescued many others from guinea worm and other tropical diseases.

22. Promoting investment in developing countries - The United Nations, through the efforts of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has served as a "match-maker" for North-South, South-South and East-West investment, promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance, industrial cooperation and technology transfer and cost-effective, ecologically-sensitive industry.

23. Orienting economic policy toward social need - Many UN agencies have emphasized the need to take account of human needs in determining economic adjustment and restructuring policies and programmes, including measures to safeguard the poor, especially in areas of health and education, and "debt swaps for children."

24. Reducing the effects of natural disasters - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has spared millions of people from the calamitous effects of both natural and man-made disasters. Its early warning system, which utilizes thousands of surface monitors as well as satellites, has provided information for the dispersal of oil spills and has predicted long-term droughts. The system has allowed for the efficient distribution of food aid to drought regions, such as southern Africa in 1992.

25. Providing food to victims of emergencies - Nearly 815 million people are currently suffering from chronic malnutrition, including 300 million children. In 2001, the World Food Programme (WFP) distributed 4.2 million tons of food to 77 million people in 82 countries for a total operational expenditure of $ 1.74 billion. 20 million people received, through development projects, aid in food-for-work projects to promote agriculture, improve the environment, and in school feeding, health, and nutrition projects, and 57 million people were offered assistance through short- and long-term operations.These beneficiaries include internally displaced people, refugees, and victims of natural disasters such as floods and drought.

26. Clearing land mines - The United Nations is leading an international effort to clear land mines from former battlefields in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Rwanda and Somalia that still kill and maim thousands of innocent people every year.

27. Protecting the ozone layer - The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have been instrumental in highlighting the damage caused to the earth's ozone layer. As a result of a treaty, known as the Montreal Protocol, there has been a global effort to reduce chemical emissions of substances that have caused the depletion of the ozone layer. The effort will spare millions of people from the increased risk of contracting cancer due to additional exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

28. Curbing global warming - Through the Global Environment Facility, countries have contributed substantial resources to curb conditions that cause global warming. Increasing emissions from burning fossil fuels and changes in land use patterns have led to a build-up of gases in the atmosphere, which experts believe can lead to a warming of the Earth's temperature.

29. Preventing over-fishing - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) monitors marine fishery production and issues alerts to prevent damage due to over-fishing.

30. Limiting deforestation and promoting sustainable forestry development - FAO, UNDP and the World Bank, through a Tropical Forests Action Programme, have formulated and carried out forestry action plans in 90 countries.

31. Cleaning up pollution - UNEP led a major effort to clean up the Mediterranean Sea. It encouraged adversaries such as Syria and Israel, Turkey and Greece to work together to clean up beaches. As a result, more than 50 per cent of the previously polluted beaches are now usable.

32. Protecting consumers' health - To ensure the safety of food sold in the market place, UN agencies have established standards for over 200 food commodities and safety limits for more than 3,000 food containers.

33. Reducing fertility rates - The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), through its family planning programmes, has enabled people to make informed choices, and consequently given families, and especially women, greater control over their lives. As a result, women in developing countries are having fewer children - from six births per woman in the 1960s to 3.5 today. In the 1960s, only 10 per cent of the world's families were using effective methods of family planning. The number now stands at 55 per cent.

34. Fighting drug abuse - The UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) has worked to reduce demand for illicit drugs, suppress drug trafficking, and has helped farmers to reduce their economic reliance on growing narcotic crops by shifting farm production toward other dependable sources of income.

35. Improving global trade relations - The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has worked to obtain special trade preferences for developing countries to export their products to developed countries. It has also negotiated international commodities agreements to ensure fair prices for developing countries. And through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which has now been supplanted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations has supported trade liberalization, that will increase economic development opportunities in developing countries.

36. Promoting economic reform - Together with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations has helped many countries improve their economic management, offered training for government finance officials, and provided financial assistance to countries experiencing temporary balance of payment difficulties.

37. Promoting worker rights - The International Labour Organization (ILO) has worked to guarantee freedom of the right to association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, promote employment and equal remuneration and has sought to eliminate discrimination and child labour. And by setting safety standards, ILO has helped reduce the toll of work-related accidents.

38. Introducing improved agricultural techniques and reducing costs - With assistance from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) that has resulted in improved crop yields, Asian rice farmers have saved $12 million on pesticides and governments over $150 million a year in pesticide subsidies.

39. Promoting stability and order in the world's oceans - Through three international conferences, the third lasting more than nine years, the United Nations has spearheaded an international effort to promote a comprehensive global agreement for the protection, preservation and peaceful development of the oceans. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994, lays down rules for the determination of national maritime jurisdiction, navigation on the high seas, rights and duties of coastal and other states, obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment, cooperation in the conduct of marine scientific research and preservation of living resources.

40. Improving air and sea travel - UN agencies have been responsible for setting safety standards for sea and air travel. The efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have contributed to making air travel the safest mode of transportation. To wit: In 1947, when nine million travelled, 590 were killed in aircraft accidents; in 1993 the number of deaths was 936 out of the 1.2 billion airline passengers. Over the last two decades, pollution from tankers has been reduced by as much as 60 per cent thanks to the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

41. Protecting intellectual property - The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides protection for new inventions and maintains a register of nearly 3 million national trademarks. Through treaties, it also protects the works of artists, composers and authors world-wide. WIPO's work makes it easier and less costly for individuals and enterprises to enforce their property rights. It also broadens the opportunity to distribute new ideas and products without relinquishing control over the property rights.

42. Promoting the free flow of information - To allow all people to obtain information that is free of censorship and culturally unbiased, UNESCO has provided aid to develop and strengthen communication systems, established news agencies and supported an independent press.

43. Improving global communications - The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has maintained and regulated international mail delivery. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has coordinated use of the radio spectrum, promoted cooperation in assigning positions for stationary satellites, and established international standards for communications, thereby ensuring the unfeterred flow of information around the globe.

44. Empowering the voiceless - UN-sponsored international years and conferences have caused governments to recognize the needs and contributions of groups usually excluded from decision-making, such as the aging, children, youth, homeless, indigenous and disabled people.

45. Establishing "children as a zone of peace" - From El Salvador to Lebanon, Sudan to former Yugoslavia, UNICEF pioneered the establishment of "Days of Tranquillity" and the opening of "Corridors of Peace" to provide vaccines and other assistance desperately needed by children caught in armed conflict.

46. Generating worldwide commitment in support of the needs of children - Through UNICEF's efforts, the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force as international law in 1990 and has become law in 166 countries by the end of September 1994; following the 1990 World Summit for Children convened by UNICEF, more than 150 governments have committed to reaching over 20 specific measurable goals to radically improve children's lives by the year 2000.

47. Improving education in developing countries - As a direct result of the efforts of UN agencies, over 60 per cent of adults in developing countries can now read and write, and 90 per cent of children in these countries attend school.

48. Improving literacy for women - Programmes aimed at promoting education and advancement for women helped raise steadily the female literacy rate in developing countries from 36 per cent in 1970 to 56 per cent in 1990 and to 72 per cent in 2000.

49. Safeguarding and preserving historic cultural and architectural sites - Ancient monuments in 81 countries including Greece, Egypt, Italy, Indonesia and Cambodia, have been protected through the efforts of UNESCO, and international conventions have been adopted to preserve cultural property.

50. Facilitating academic and cultural exchanges - The United Nations, through UNESCO and the United Nations University (UNU), have encouraged scholarly and scientific cooperation, networking of institutions and promotion of cultural expressions, including those of minorities and indigenous people.

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The Oil-for-Food Programme, established by the United Nations in 1995 (under UN Security Council Resolution 986) and terminated in late 2003, was intended to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing Iraq to rebuild its military.

The programme was introduced by United States President Bill Clinton's administration in 1995, as a response to arguments that ordinary Iraqi citizens were inordinately affected by the international economic sanctions aimed at the demilitarisation of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, imposed in the wake of the first Gulf War. The sanctions were discontinued in 2003 after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the humanitarian functions turned over to the Coalition Provisional Authority.

As the programme ended, there were revelations of corruption involving the funds.

George galloway on iraq and oil for food scandal

The scandal that is the United Nations
We will probably never know the full truth of the United Nations' oil-for-food scandal. We will probably never see any of those implicated in the scandal punished. And that's just the way the U.N. wants it.

The oil-for-food program began as a humanitarian plan to soften the sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The U.N. would allow Iraq to sell a certain amount of oil each year, provided that the profits were used to buy food, medicine and other necessities for Iraq's people.

Instead, the oil was allotted to politically connected insiders, allegedly including the head of the oil program himself. The insiders got rich while Iraq's people suffered. One beneficiary of the program was U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's own son, who was employed by a firm that played a key role in the scandal-plagued program.

After months of resisting questions, Annan last year relented and appointed former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker to investigate. Just over a week ago, Volcker released a preliminary report. It found "grave" conflicts of interest in the program. A final report is due later this year.

Yet there is reason to doubt the finality of that final report.

Volcker's inquiry has been given sharply limited investigative powers. It can't subpoena documents, and it cannot force anyone to testify.

Many on the inquiry's staff are drawn from the U.N.'s own ranks and seem to share its institutional prejudices: The inquiry's communications director had to resign in September after she gave an interview to a British newspaper in which she seemed to equate President Bush with Osama bin Laden.

Annan has said he will waive diplomatic immunity for any U.N. official who has done wrong. This promise means little. Which government would prosecute that official? Not the U.S. — the officials are not U.S. citizens, their offenses didn't take place on U.S. soil, and none of the documents in question was sworn under U.S. law. It's unlikely that Switzerland or Cyprus would wish to take action. And though the victims of the wrongdoing are the people of Iraq, the Iraqi courts are not exactly ready to indict, extradite and try suspects in a hugely complex financial conspiracy.

Meaningless 'reform'

The likeliest result of the inquiry, then, is that an official or two will be condemned in the final report — and that in lieu of prosecutions, the U.N. will commit itself to a round of "reforms" intended to prevent such scandals in the future.

But U.N. reform is also a mug's game. It should be remembered that Annan was once regarded as a reformer. President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright engineered the retirement of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and his replacement by Annan in 1997, in hopes that Annan would usher in a new era of integrity and accountability.

Such hopes have been disappointed. Under Annan, scandals have continued to accumulate at the U.N. Oil-for-food is only one entry in a list that also includes sex trafficking by U.N. officials in Bosnia and the Congo.

As for the clean break with the abuses of the past, that did not happen either: The Volcker commission names Boutros-Ghali as one of those who may have improperly profited from the oil-for-food program. (He dismisses the allegation as "silly.")

A core of corruption

It's time to wake up to reality: The U.N. scandals are not unfortunate accidents. They are not incidental blots on the reputation of an otherwise idealistic organization. The scandals are inherent in the very structure of the U.N. It could be said that the U.N. itself is the scandal.

Since the 1990s, the United Nations has aspired to larger and larger responsibilities. From Bosnia to Cambodia, from Iraq to the Congo, U.N. officials have administered vast aid programs — and sometimes even taken over the functions of governments.

But these officials don't answer to taxpayers or voters. They answer to the U.N. secretary-general — who, in turn, answers to dozens of different governments. Many of these governments are authoritarian, corrupt and unaccountable themselves.

And their dirty ways of doing business are almost inevitably absorbed by the world bodies in which they are given a decisive role.

As a result, the office of the U.N. secretary-general acts like the management of an old-fashioned corporation before the advent of shareholder activism. It uses other people's money for purposes of its own. Senior managers engage in profitable side ventures that top management may or may not know about. Questions are dismissed as irrelevant and impertinent. (It was not until January, for example — and then only under extreme pressure — that the U.N. made any of its internal audits of the oil-for-food program available to U.S. congressional investigators.)

The problem is not merely that the individuals in charge of the corporation are bad or dishonest, although of course many of them are. The problem is that they are presented with perverse incentives — with few or no controls on misconduct.

The U.N. can sometimes be a useful forum for the world's governments to exchange views. But the idea that the U.N. secretary-general can act somehow as a global representative — or that the U.N. staff can function as an honest and effective international civil service — should be discredited forever by the oil-for-food scandal.

And the next time the world needs some humanitarian work done, let it be done by the International Red Cross.

UN Speech: Human Rights Nightmare

The U.N.'s Spreading Bribery Scandal: Russian Ties and Global Reach,2933,168591,00.html
NEW YORK — How widespread is the corruption at the United Nations? The multibillion-dollar Iraq Oil-for-Food (search) scandal was just the beginning.

Now the issue is becoming the scale of corruption in the U.N.'s normal operations — and which individuals and corporations are reaping the benefits of a network of bribery and conspiracy that investigators have just begun to uncover. So far, those identities are still a mystery — but perhaps not for much longer.

Last Friday, federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted the head of the U.N.'s own budget oversight committee, a Russian named Vladimir Kuznetsov (search), on charges of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes paid by companies seeking contracts with the United Nations.

Kuznetsov, who has pleaded innocent, allegedly took a cut so openly that he had part of it deposited into the United Nations' own staff credit union in New York.

Kuznetsov's arrest is the latest twist in the scandal involving the U.N. procurement department, which was the longtime post of Alexander Yakovlev (search), another Russian U.N. official recently fingered by U.S. federal investigators.
On Aug. 8, Yakovlev pleaded guilty to federal charges of corruption, wire fraud and money laundering, after a FOX News investigation revealed his unauthorized ties with a U.N. contractor, IHC Services, and details leading to his secret offshore bank account. Federal investigators have now alleged that from 2000 on, Yakovlev did at least some of his grafting in partnership with Kuznetsov, transferring bribe money to him via the Antigua Overseas Bank in the West Indies. Allegedly the bribe money was obtained in exchange for providing inside information to companies seeking U.N. contracts.

The Yakovlev-Kuznetsov scandal joins a growing list of cases of U.N. misconduct, waste, theft and abuse. They include bribe-taking under Oil-for-Food, sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers in West Africa, sexual and financial misconduct — including outright larceny — at U.N. offices in Geneva, and business ties between the son of Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) and one of the Oil-for-Food inspection firms hired with Yakovlev's input, Swiss-based Cotecna Inspection (Cotecna has denied any wrongdoing).

In yet another scandal that emerged just last week, the United Nations disclosed that its Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon, including the commanding officer, has engaged in "significant financial misconduct" — though the world body has refused to provide details of what was done wrong or how much money was involved.

Amid all this, the U.N. procurement scandal at headquarters stands out as especially important, because the graft is not confined to any one program, but radiates from the United Nations' administrative core. Kuznetsov held an influential post in which he passed judgment on line items in the U.N. budget. Yakovlev, who held various portfolios in procurement during his 20-year career, dealt with contractors operating in places as far-flung as Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He even managed the architectural contract for the U.N.'s proposed $1.2 billion renovation of its Manhattan headquarters.

While there is no proof that in every case Yakovlev solicited bribes, there is by now enough evidence to invite investigation into all contracts he dealt with. Secretary-General Annan has ordered a review of the procurement department and put the organization's new controller in charge, but has not lifted the secrecy behind which Yakovlev operated in the first place. The investigation, according to a U.N. spokesman, is "ongoing."

The amounts at issue in this alleged Russian bribery ring are quite likely far larger than the "several hundreds of thousands" so far cited by federal investigators. The most recent report from Paul Volcker's Oil-for-Food investigation dwelled at length on Yakovlev's failed attempt in 1996 to solicit a bribe related to an Oil-for-Food contract. But Volcker also noted in passing that Yakovlev had received more than $950,000 in bribes from companies that "collectively won more than $79 million in United Nations contracts and purchase orders."

Volcker did not elaborate, presumably because the graft involved U.N. activities outside his Oil-for-Food mandate. But the hundreds of thousands that according to federal investigators allegedly passed from Yakovlev to Kuznetsov via secret bank accounts in the West Indies hint at a pie even bigger than $79 million.

(The Volcker committee delivered its main report on Oil-for-Food on Wednesday. Read more by clicking here.)

Procurement and budgeting corruption may escape Volcker's scrutiny, but they are central to the mandate of Annan.

This scandal touches on almost everything the secretary-general is supposed to control. It is by way of procurement contracts, for goods and services ranging from cappuccino and paper clips at U.N. headquarters, to air freight services and food rations for peacekeeping troops worldwide, that the United Nations spends the billions contributed every year by member states — of which U.S. taxpayers provide the largest slice.

So which contractors paid the six-figure bribes mentioned by federal prosecutors and by Volcker? And what did they get in return? In almost all cases, the United Nations keeps secret most details of its procurement contracts, including which procurement officials handled specific deals. The international organization still refuses to disclose the names of all the firms Yakovlev dealt with.

U.S. federal investigators, who are clearly not done with their own probe, have lifted the curtain only a little further.

So far U.S. authorities have cited four unnamed "foreign firms" in connection with the Yakovlev-Kuznetsov case, and provided only a bare description of their activities. One firm is described in the federal summaries as involved in "the airlifting of United Nations supplies to foreign countries." Two more were described in Yakovlev's guilty plea as firms helping additional firms get U.N. contracts — companies known in U.N. parlance as "vendor intermediaries" — which strongly implies that yet more companies are involved.

In a June 20 report, FOX News uncovered close personal links between Yakovlev and one "vendor intermediary." That report led to his resignation from the United Nations, and his subsequent arrest. The firm identified by FOX News is IHC Services (search), a company with offices in New York and Milan, Italy, that in 1999 supplied nearly $2 million worth of portable generating sets to U.N. peacekeepers and, according to its CEO, Ezio Testa, has helped a wide variety of suppliers obtain other U.N. contracts.

A report issued last month by Paul Volcker's U.N.-authorized probe into Oil-for-Food provides clear clues to the identity of yet another U.N. contractor that dealt intensively with Yakovlev though nothing in the report suggests any impropriety in the contractor's U.N. dealings.

The report includes in its back pages a heavily redacted copy of a letter to Yakovlev from an unknown correspondent, dated May 4, 2005, and a memo from Yakovlev dated June 6, 2005. These documents include scribbled annotations by Yakovlev and were apparently released by Volcker solely as part of a set of handwriting samples. All personal and corporate names except Yakovlev's were blacked out by the investigators.

Even so, the documents provide more information than perhaps Volcker intended. The letter discusses food services costs for U.N. peacekeeping missions in Liberia, Eritrea and Burundi, and refers to pricing and delivery amendments to the supply contracts. The memo includes references in Yakovlev's handwriting to peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Cyprus, Western Sahara and the Golan Heights.

Piecing together the details with information from other sources, FOX News has learned that the contractor referred to in both documents is Eurest Support Services Worldwide (search), or ESS, a food services company that has become one of the biggest suppliers of food rations for U.N. peacekeepers around the world. ESS is in turn a subsidiary of the Compass Group, a British-based firm that operates in 90 countries and bills itself as the world's largest food services company, with revenues last year in excess of $21.6 billion.

When asked to discuss the Volcker documents, a spokesman for ESS declined, citing client confidentiality agreements.

But it is intriguing that ESS not only dealt with Yakovlev, but had close ties with IHC Services, the vendor intermediary with which Yakovlev had unauthorized ties. According to an ESS Web site press release, dated Sept. 13, 2004, ESS formalized these ties by establishing a special "Best in Class" business partnership with IHC last year. This partnership was hailed in the same press release by ESS's CEO Peter Harris. The press release has since been removed from the ESS web site, though FOX News has obtained copies from two different sources.

The IHC-ESS partnership was to be managed, according to the press release, by an ESS official named Andy Siewert. According to a food service industry insider, Siewert was also the main liaison between ESS and the U.N. procurement department, and spoke frequently of meeting with Yakovlev, who in recent years managed many of the peacekeeping food service contracts.

Contacted by FOX News, Siewert referred all questions to the Compass Group (search) media relations department, which referred all questions to a public relations firm, the Brunswick Group (search), as did ESS CEO Peter Harris. The Brunswick Group refused to comment on the grounds of client confidentiality.

Since 2000, ESS has won food contracts via the U.N. procurement department with U.N. peacekeeping forces in places such as East Timor, Liberia, Burundi, Eritrea, Lebanon, Cyprus and Syria. The company has just won an additional contract to feed the expanding peacekeeper force in strife-torn Sudan, which could grow to 15,000 personnel. U.N. officials estimate the total value of the institution's current peacekeeping contracts with ESS at more than $237 million. Including optional renewals and add-ons the total could run as high as $351 million.

In a previous report this past June, FOX News identified another U.N. contractor that dealt with Yakovlev. This was an architectural firm, Renato Sarno (search), based like IHC in Milan, which was hired by the United Nations in 2001 under Yakovlev's supervision on a $44 million contract to provide architectural services for the renovation of U.N. headquarters in New York. That contract was apparently dropped after the preliminary phase for reasons the U.N. has not explained, and it is now under scrutiny by congressional investigators.

The fact that both Yakovlev and the recently indicted Kuznetsov are Russian citizens raises additional urgent questions about where this scandal might lead.

Kuznetsov, while serving as a member, then chairman, of the U.N.'s General Assembly budget advisory committee, held a dual appointment as a Russian government official. Yakovlev joined the U.N. staff in 1985, when all Russian appointees were nominated by the former Soviet regime. Since at least 2000 Yakovlev has worked closely with at least two other Russians in the procurement department, as documented in e-mails and other records seen by FOX News, and according to some of his former U.N. colleagues he has been in frequent contact with the Russian embassy. Records seen by FOX News show that Yakovlev maintained an apartment in Moscow.

Yakovlev was also heavily involved in the United Nations' hiring of inspection firms to monitor Saddam Hussein's oil sales and relief purchases under the 1996-2003 Oil-for-Food program, in which Russia topped the global list of both oil buyers and relief suppliers. Indeed, in the first of three interim reports this year from the U.N.-authorized probe into Oil-for-Food, led by Volcker, Yakovlev was presented as a star example of U.N. integrity. Only after his wrongdoing was brought to light by FOX News did Volcker produce evidence that Yakovlev was himself embroiled in corruption schemes.

Federal investigations into the alleged U.N. procurement bribery ring are continuing. Volcker has promised to release the underlying documentation of his Oil-for-Food probe when it comes to an end, after the main report due out Wednesday and a wrap-up report due in October. That could help identify the unnamed parties Volcker referred to as holding at least $79 million worth of U.N. contracts on which they paid Yakovlev close to $1 million in bribes.

But the real responsibility for coming clean on U.N. contracts lies with the United Nations itself, where Secretary-General Annan's pledges of reform must now contend with scandals spreading well beyond Saddam Hussein's old oil patch.

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U.N. 'peacekeepers' rape women, children
With the United Nations already under fire for the Oil-for-Food mega-scandal and other corruption, sensational allegations of rampant sexual exploitation and rape of young girls and women by the U.N.'s so-called "peacekeepers" and civilian staffers in the Congo is dragging the global body's reputation to an all-time low.

In a new report referring to the widespread sex scandal as "the U.N.'s Abu Ghraib," the London Times provides some specific examples, including:
* A French U.N. logistics expert in the Congo shot pornographic videos in his home, in which he had converted his bedroom into a photo studio for videotaping his sexual abuse of young girls. When police raided his home, the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a law enforcement sting operation. As the Times reported, a senior Congolese police officer confirmed the bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, with a remote control camera on the fourth side.

* U.N. officials are worried that the scandal, which already has netted 150 allegations of sex crimes by U.N. staffers, will explode if the pornographic videos and photos, now on sale in Congo, becoming public

"It would be a pretty big problem for the U.N. if these pictures come out," one senior official told the Times.

* Two Russian pilots paid young girls with jars of mayonnaise and jam to have sex with them, the report adds.

* U.N. "peacekeepers" from Morocco based in Kisangani – a secluded town on the Congo River – are notorious for impregnating local women and girls. In March, an international group probing the scandal found 82 women and girls had been made pregnant by Moroccan U.N. staffers and 59 others by Uruguayan staffers. One U.N. soldier accused of rape was apparently hidden in the barracks for a year.

Congo's Minister of Defense Maj.-Gen. Jean Pierre Ondekane told a top U.N. official that all U.N. "peacekeepers" in Kisangani would be remember for would be "for running after little girls," the Times reported.

* And at least two U.N. officials – a Ukrainian and a Canadian – have been forced to leave the African nation after getting local women pregnant.

Most of the sexual abuse and exploitation, says the report, involves trading sex for money, food or jobs. However, some victims say they were raped, but later given food or money to make the incident appear to have been consensual – "rape disguised as prostitution."

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno told the London paper: "The fact that these things happened is a blot on us. It's awful. What is important is to get to the bottom of it and fight it and make sure that people who do that pay for what they have done."

Despite the fact that the U.N.'s sexual code of conduct is prominently displayed on U.N. facilities Congo – forbidding sex with prostitutes or women under 18 – the U.N. continues to hand out free condoms to "peacekeepers" to protect them from AIDS.

The U.N. has promised to investigate and prosecute the widespread allegations. But, as WND reported last month, the global organization is not known for its forthrightness and candor in such internal investigations. The agency has been criticized for ignoring evidence or wrongdoing in the past – including accusations of rape and murder by "peacekeepers."

In fact, previous revelations of peacekeeping abuses have only been revealed by news organizations. Such was the case in Cambodia in the early 1990s and later in Somalia, Bosnia and Ethiopia.

"I am afraid there is clear evidence that acts of gross misconduct have taken place," Secretary-General Kofi Annan admitted. "This is a shameful thing for the United Nations to have to say, and I am absolutely outraged by it."

Annan said the allegations concerned a small number of U.N. personnel and promised to hold those involved accountable.

"I have long made it clear that my attitude to sexual exploitation and abuse is one of zero tolerance, without exception, and I am determined to implement this policy in the most transparent manner," Annan said.

But Jordan’s Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein, a special adviser to Annan and who led one investigative team, said in a confidential report obtained by The Times: "The situation appears to be one of 'zero-compliance with zero-tolerance' throughout the mission."

The new charges of rape and pedophilia by U.N. troops and workers in Congo are not the first scandal involving U.N. workers and troops in Africa.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's tenure was marked by scandalous charges that he played a leading role in supplying weapons to the Hutu regime that carried out a campaign of genocide against the Tutsi tribe in 1994.

As minister of foreign affairs in Egypt, Boutros-Ghali facilitated an arms deal in 1990, which was to result in $26 million of mortar bombs, rocket launchers, grenades and ammunition being flown from Cairo to Rwanda. The arms were used by Hutus in attacks which led to up to a million deaths. The role of Boutros-Ghali, who was in charge at the U.N. when it turned its back on the killings in 1994, was revealed in a book by Linda Melvern. In "A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide," Boutros-Ghali admits his role in approving an initial $5.8 million arms deal in 1990, which led to Egypt supplying arms to Rwanda until 1992. He says he approved it because it was his job as foreign minister to sell weapons for Egypt.

Back in 1997, there were reports Belgian U.N. troops roasted a Somali boy. A military court reportedly sentenced two paratroopers to a month in jail and a fine of 200 pounds for the offense.

Another Belgian soldier reportedly forced a young Somali to eat pork, drink salt water and then eat his own vomit. Another sergeant was accused of murdering a Somali whom he was photographed urinating upon. Another child, accused of stealing food from the paratroopers' base, died after being locked in a storage container for 48 hours. Fifteen other members of the same regiment were investigated in 1995 for "acts of sadism and torture" against Somali civilians.

The pattern of abuse was not confined to Belgian troops. Belgium was actually the third country in the peacekeeping group to charge troops with serious crimes against Somali citizens -- including rape, torture and murder. In 1995, a group of Canadian paratroopers were investigated for torturing a Somali to death and killing three others.

Gruesome photos were published in a Milan magazine of Italian soldiers torturing a Somali youth and abusing and raping a Somali girl. Paratroopers claim they were specifically trained in methods of torture to aid interrogation. According to one witness, Italian soldiers tied a young Somali girl to the front of an armored personnel carrier and raped her while officers looked on.

U.N. Sex Crimes in Congo
Prostitution, Rapes Run Rampant
Widespread allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of Congolese women, boys and girls have been made against U.N. personnel who were sent to help and protect them -- despite a so-called zero tolerance policy touted by the United Nations toward such behavior.
The range of sexual abuse includes reported rapes of young Congolese girls by U.N. troops; an Internet pedophile ring run from Congo by Didier Bourguet, a senior U.N. official from France; a colonel from South Africa accused of molesting his teenage male translators; and estimates of hundreds of underage girls having babies fathered by U.N. soldiers who have been able to simply leave their children and their crimes behind.

Ravaged by decades of civil war, and one of the poorest countries in the world, Congo has relied on the United Nations for both military protection and humanitarian aid.
"The U.N. is there for their protection, so when the protectors become violators, this is particularly egregious," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch who investigated the allegations on behalf of her organization. "This is particularly bad."

William Swing, a former U.S. ambassador to Congo who now heads the U.N. peacekeeping mission there, admitted the sexual crimes were a black mark on the United Nations.

"It pains us all," he said. "It's absolutely odious. And we're determined to wipe it out."
But Swing said the problem was just recently brought to his attention, and that only a small percentage of the 11,000 U.N. personnel in Congo were involved.

"A few people have managed to basically cause disgrace for the mission and for the U.N., and that's why we're determined to conquer it. I have sent a dozen home," Swing said. But human rights investigators have reported a far wider, even systemic problem, recording more than 150 allegations against U.N. employees in Congo.

And there is what human rights investigators have called "survival sex."
"We have heard cases where they have traded eggs for sex or bread for sex or a jar of peanut butter for sex," said Van Woudenberg. "These are not people who have very much. So they hang around the outskirts of these U.N. bases in order to try and get a handout, a little food. Maybe they can sell some bananas or some peanuts. And it has become not uncommon that peacekeepers invite these girls in -- and of course the younger the better, because there's less chance that they will be infected by HIV/AIDS."
The United Nations has documented cases where this has happened to girls as young as 11, according to Van Woudenberg.

Breaking Curfew

Paying for sex, with food or cash, is strictly prohibited by U.N. rules. And even being in a place where prostitutes are available is supposedly prohibited by the U.N. Code of Conduct.

The United Nations said its crackdown on sex crimes includes a tough dusk-to-dawn curfew for U.N. personnel soldiers and a midnight deadline for civilian employees.

But at Café Doga, in the eastern town of Bunia, ABC News cameras caught a group of U.N. peacekeepers well after the curfew, partaking in drinks, dancing at a bar filled with prostitutes, and later loading several of the prostitutes into U.N. vehicles and driving away.

Swing said he had been unaware of such U.N. fraternization with prostitutes. "Well, perhaps my senior management there wasn't aware of it, and I will find out right away," he said. And when it was pointed out that several of the senior management were in fact leaving at the same time U.N. personnel left with the prostitutes, Swing responded, "I will look into it. It's not yet where we want to be but we will get there, I promise you."

U.N. peacekeeping troops first came to Congo five years ago to stop a raging border war, and the first reports of sex crimes began within a year of their arrival.

Men from roughly 50 different countries make up the U.N. forces in Congo, and the United Nations does not conduct background checks. Furthermore, U.N. troops are exempt from prosecution in Congo.

A contingent of South African troops was removed from Congo after numerous allegations of sex crimes against them. South African Lt. Col. Koos van Breda, accused of sexually molesting his teenage male translator, is now home awaiting trial in military court.

Crime and Punishment?

Congolese officials say scores of young girls in Congo were lured into sex with a senior U.N. logistics officer named Didier Bourguet, a French citizen who photographed his victims having sex with him. In one photo, on Bourguet's hard drive, which was obtained by ABC News, a tear can be seen rolling down the cheek of a victim.

Congolese officials suspect Bourguet was sharing these computer images with others in the United Nations, but he was sent back to France to face prosecution before a full investigation could be completed. He is currently in French custody awaiting trial.

"He is no longer a threat to the Congolese population," said Swing. "He's no longer effacing the image of the U.N. here. And I think it showed that we took it seriously."

Claude Deboosere-Lepidi, Bourguet's lawyer, said his client admits he was involved in systematic sexual involvement with minors that included other U.N. officials, and that the United Nations permitted an environment in which sex with young girls was tolerated.

Swing promised that the United Nations would make an effort to find the young women Bourguet photographed and include them in the U.N. victim support program. No such actions have yet been taken.

In fact, none of the victims interviewed for this story had received any help, of any kind, psychological or financial, from the United Nations.

A Culture of Fear

One 14-year-old girl from Bunia was on her way to the village well for water, local police said, when two blue-helmeted U.N. troops, from Morocco, stopped her. One of the soldiers raped her, she said.

"We know that these people came to bring peace to this country," Dieudonne Shabani, the victim's mother, told ABC News. "So how come the same men who come to bring peace are doing this to my daughter? It really revolted me."

The family took their devastated daughter to the police and a doctor from an aid group filed a rape report with the United Nations. The next day, the family said the Moroccan commander from the United Nations came and insulted them by offering money for the case to be dropped. Nothing has been heard since.

At this point, said the Rev. Alfred Buju, the town's Catholic priest, the people fear the U.N. personnel.

"They're saying even to young girls, be careful to not be taken by those peacekeepers," he said.

Buju had his own exposure to the U.N. problem when he said he witnessed two Pakistani U.N. troops sexually assault a teenage girl in a church convent one morning last spring. After filing a report with U.N. officials, he said he was promised that the two offending soldiers would be expelled from the U.N. mission. But one month ago, Buju said he saw one of the soldiers involved in the assault at a U.N. checkpoint 25 miles away.
No Child Left Behind?

Another gaping problem U.N. officials failed to address is the hundreds of babies born to Congolese women and fathered by U.N. personnel.

Aimee Tsesi, of Bunia, said her 15-year-old deaf mute daughter was raped and impregnated by a U.N. soldier from Uruguay, and that she was turned away at the gates of the U.N. camp when she went for assistance.

"The U.N. is not able to give me food or money for my grandson," she said. "But if the U.N. hadn't brought this soldier here my daughter would not have become pregnant. And I would not be going through this suffering."

"What's going to happen to those children?" Van Woudenberg asked. "These are not women who are likely to find a lot of support for their children. So this is creating a whole different level of problem in the Congo."
And as of now, the United Nations said it will not take direct responsibility for babies abandoned by its troops, though Swing said the mission is "currently looking at a way to have a clearer and more viable paternity policy."

On the issue of reducing sexual misconduct among U.N. peacekeepers, however, Swing took a vow of personal responsibility.

"When you have an issue as serious as sexual exploitation and abuse of poor people you're trying to help, the answer is no, one can never do enough," Swing said. "Did I do enough? No. Do I need to do more? Yes. And I will."

To date, of the hundreds of allegations of sex crimes involving U.N. personnel, only two have faced any kind of prosecution.

"There's a lot of good words being said and I think there's a lot of good will about trying to deal with this, but we're not seeing concrete actions," said Van Woudenberg. "If you rape someone you can go home and never have to face any kind of criminal prosecution or any kind of serious deterrent. "This is unacceptable. How can this go on?"

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House threatens to withhold U.N. dues
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The House of Representatives has approved a measure that would withhold dues from the United Nations unless the world body adopts dozens of reforms.

The bill passed on Friday by a vote of 221 to 184 mostly along party lines in the Republican-controlled House.

A senator said he will introduce the measure in the Senate, where it must pass before going to the White House for the president's approval, but the Bush administration has signaled it does not support such threats.

The reform bill, sponsored by House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, seeks to have the United Nations adopt 39 reforms, and threatens, if the reforms are not adopted within two years, to withhold half of U.S. dues, which amount to roughly one-quarter of the United Nations' operating funds.

Hyde and his supporters argued the financial threat gives some teeth to the U.N. reform bill and asserts Congress' constitutional "power of the purse."

"Most informed people agree that the U.N. is in desperate need of reform," Hyde said during the House floor debate.

"This legislation brings to bear instruments of leverage sufficient to the task, the most important being tying the U.S. financial contribution to a series of readily understandable benchmarks."

The Hyde bill asks the United Nations to streamline its budget and programs with redundant missions, enhance its accountability by creating an independent oversight board and whistle-blower protection, and impose a uniform code of conduct for its peacekeeping forces.

The final bill also included an "oil-for-food" amendment from Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of half a dozen congressional panels probing the defunct humanitarian program in Iraq.

The Barton amendment would require an audit of the work being done by the U.N.-appointed investigative committee led by Paul Volcker to disclose its testimony, interviews, documents, correspondence, memoranda, books, papers, accounts, and records related to the program; information about the involvement of any U.N. employee, office or agency; and investigative practices used to support the findings in its final report, which is due this summer.

Unlike the congressional probers, only Volcker has had access to U.N. documents and staff, who have diplomatic immunity from congressional subpoenas.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed his own extensive reform plan for the 191-nation organization and is seeking to build a consensus for change in time for the annual heads-of-state U.N. gathering in September.

In a written statement Friday, Annan spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general "believes U.S. engagement and leadership in this process is very important but does not feel that withholding dues is a productive route to achieving reform and indeed that it could jeopardize the outcome of the September summit."

House Democrats such as Tom Lantos, the ranking minority member on the House International Relations Committee, criticized the Hyde bill as as "a guillotine on autopilot" directed at the United Nations. Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., said, "The take-it-or-leave-it approach does not help."

The State Department has described the threat to withhold dues as "objectionable."

It's wrong on principle. We are a founding member of the United Nations and it hurts our credibility," said a senior State Department official. "While we agree on ends, the disagreement is on means."

Sen. Norm Coleman, who also chairs a subcommittee investigating the oil-for-food program, said in a written statement late Friday that he intends to introduce a Senate version of the U.N. reform bill "to improve U.N. accountability and management."

"The U.S. pays 22 percent of the U.N.'s operating budget, the largest of any county, yet this should not be our only reason for pushing reform," Coleman said.

"At the end of day, we need a credible institution that has ability to lead an international response to global problems like nuclear proliferation, the horrifying spread of HIV-AIDS, economic and political rebuilding in war-torn regions, and worldwide poverty."

The United Nations Reform Act of 2005: A Powerful Lever to Advance U.N. Reform

House Backs Withholding Dues to Spur U.N. Changes
The House disregarded strong White House objections and voted yesterday to withhold up to half of the country's dues from the United Nations if the world body does not cut its bureaucracy, redirect its budget and tighten its accountability.

The bill -- one of the most extensive and specific congressional edicts to the United Nations -- requires the creation of whistle-blower protections, an independent oversight board with broad investigative authority and an ethics office to thwart possible conflicts of interest.
It requires reductions in the amount spent on conferences and public information, dictates the restructuring of the budget, and insists on tightened standards for determining membership on U.N. human rights bodies. And the measure calls for the lifting of diplomatic immunity for U.N. officials charged with serious criminal offenses.

"Yes, this is radical surgery," said House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), the bill's chief sponsor. "Sometimes that's the only way to save the patient."

The 221 to 184 vote marks the second time this week that the Republican-controlled House has rebuffed the Bush administration on a sensitive issue. On Wednesday, the House voted to curtail the FBI's ability to seize library and bookstore records for terrorism investigations under the USA Patriot Act, despite the president's veto threat.

The White House and the State Department issued a sharp warning against the U.N. bill as debate began Thursday. The administration statement, although not including a veto threat, said the bill "could detract from and undermine our efforts" to change the United Nations and would "impermissibly infringe on the president's authority under the Constitution to conduct the nation's foreign affairs."

Nevertheless, the bill passed by a wider margin than the sponsors had expected. Its backers said that the United Nations' unpopularity in the country, combined with the investigations on how billions of dollars were spent on the organization's oil-for-food humanitarian program for Iraq, has provided the most favorable conditions in years for reining in an organization they have always distrusted.

The bill's success marked a revival of the wrangling between Congress and the United Nations in the 1990s. Congressional Republicans held up more than $1 billion in U.S. funding for the United Nations, and U.N. diplomats' parking tickets fueled the dispute. The most recent major legislation concerning the United Nations was the Helms-Biden agreement of 1998, which cut the U.S. share of the U.N. budget.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is working with the Bush administration on a companion bill and plans to begin hearings next month, aides said. That means that a mandate to the United Nations is very likely to go to President Bush for his signature during this two-year Congress, although it will almost certainly be less dire than the one passed by the House, said aides in both chambers.

At the United Nations, a statement from the office of Secretary General Kofi Annan warned that the House bill could "jeopardize" his own effort to streamline the U.N. bureaucracy at a summit on U.N. reform for world leaders in September, and it said he "believes that U.S. engagement and leadership in this process is very important but does not feel that withholding dues is a productive route to achieving reform."

The vote on the Henry J. Hyde United Nations Reform Act broke along party lines, with just seven Republicans opposing it and just eight Democrats backing it.

Hyde's staff said that one reason for the lopsided victory was the personal involvement of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), who was the closing speaker on the bill and has long said it is one of the most important of the year. In a fiery floor speech, DeLay said the United Nations "has become one of the world's great apologists for tyranny and terror."
The vote was a chance for Congress to assert itself against an administration that has sought to strengthen its role among the branches of government. "It is not for the State Department or even the secretary of state to say when and how the resources of the American people will be spent," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) said "bloated bureaucracy" and "anti-Israel bias" at the United Nations "goes against the grain of common sense in America."

The measure seeks to reorganize a vast, 60-year-old organization that has 45,000 staff members worldwide. In addition, it has more than 70,000 peacekeepers.
The bill requires the United States to withhold half of the dues assessed by the United Nations (currently $330 million out of a total budget of $1.5 billion) if the secretary of state cannot certify by Oct. 1, 2007, that 32 of 46 conditions in the bill have been met. The bill allows an additional year for the remaining 14 to be completed.

In addition to the dues, the United States will also pay about $2.5 billion this year in assistance to voluntary programs such as UNICEF. The House bill requires more programs to be moved into that category, because those programs seek funds from donor nations every year, giving Congress more control.

Richard C. Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during President Bill Clinton's second term, called it "the wrong legislation for the current moment" and pointed to the electoral assistance the United Nations has provided in Iraq.

Some U.N. observers warned that the vote could backfire, emboldening other countries to oppose U.S. initiatives to bring about change in the sprawling world body. John G. Ruggie, a former Annan adviser who is a professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said the bill is "going to land like a bombshell" at the United Nations as it gears up for the September summit on U.N. reform.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who will be a key player in the Senate, issued a statement after the House bill passed saying that the United Nations needs "greater oversight, accountability and transparency" to "prevent another scandal like Oil-for-Food."


What future for the UN?
Former UK cabinet minister Clare Short assesses US-UN relations in the wake of the Iraq conflict, and argues global security can only be achieved through the UN.

The United States is now, of course, the world's only great power.

Its economic and military might is massively greater than that of any other country, but too few Americans seem to understand that American power cannot make America safe.

If America continues to throw its weight around and to bully or punish anyone who gets in its way, it will stoke up more and more resentment and hatred across the world.

And this atmosphere acts as a recruiting sergeant for terrorism - the very enemy against which the post-11 September focus of American attention is directed.

Al Qaeda threat

The terrible reality is that the world is more fragile, divided, bitter and unhappy post-11 September, in exactly the way that Osama bin Laden would want.

The enormous tide of sympathy and support that flowed to America after the attacks - from all corners of the world - has now been dissipated.

I fear Bin Laden has won many more recruits, as the US response to 11 September has alienated more and more people.
We are living at a time of massive change in human history. There are now 6 billion of us sharing the planet. In 1900 there were just over 1 billion of us, and population is set to grow to 9 billion by 2050.

Obviously, this population growth strains our environmental resources and makes it crucial that we share and care for our planet much more carefully.

Nearly half the population of the world lives on less than the local equivalent of what $2 per day would buy in the US. Between one and two billion people live in abject poverty on less than the equivalent of $1 per day.

We have better communications than ever before. The world has become a global village and we now witness human suffering wherever it occurs in the world.

This has led to a growth of human solidarity, but also a growth in consciousness of how rich we are in the OECD countries and how poor they are in most of the rest of the world.

We also have capital aplenty, technology and communications and knowledge that can easily be transferred across the world.

Global justice

And thus we have two possible ways forward: either a commitment to greater global justice, sharing knowledge and technology to give everyone in the world the chance of a decent life; or a growth in inequality, bitterness, environmental degradations, disease, war and displacement.
Obviously, greater justice is morally preferable, but it is also in the self interest of the people of the OECD countries and in particular in the interests of the people of the US.

If we are to build a stronger commitment to global justice, we need international law and rules that benefit all people and that are fair to all people.

And to achieve this we need the United Nations.

It is here that all nations meet and agree on international priorities, laws and conventions.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was agreed through the UN. Our commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, get all children to school, abolish polio and smallpox, end wars and send peacekeepers or to authorise military action and much more besides is all taken forward through the UN.

US 'disrespect for UN'

But many in the US hate the UN.

The fanatical Right - represented by people like the Oklahoma bomber - think the UN is a conspiracy to create a world government and destroy America's freedom.

The current administration has shown its disrespect for the UN throughout the Iraq crisis.

But the same attitudes were present during the Clinton administration which refused to pay its dues to the UN, to sign the Kyoto Agreement, accept the authority of the International Criminal Court or even to support the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It isn't that the US does not operate in the UN system. It finds it useful when it is ready to do America's bidding.

But is soon very exasperated if countries have differing views.

The US wants to use the UN to tell everyone else what they must do and is increasingly willing to use its power to bully and punish those who get in its way.

The sadness of all this is that it is in the interest of the US and the American people, as well as all the rest of us, to build a commitment to international justice and the rule of law.

And we cannot build such a world without a strong commitment to work together through the UN and work to increase its effectiveness and decisiveness.

Let us hope that we will soon begin to learn the lessons of the divisions over Iraq and begin to unite through the UN in a commitment to build a more just, stable and safe world order.

If not, we will see more division and bitterness and, I fear, more terrorism in the years ahead of us.

The United Nations Future Plans

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