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Is the United Nations a fake agency

Is the United Nations a fake agency or is it a real agency on the World’s stage?

By Chuei Mareng

February 4, 2008 — ooking at this question, many people will be wondering why this question was asked in the first place. But from this writer’s point of view, there is a need to ask such kind of a question in regard to the United Nations (UN) daily works, especially when its deals with the realities that our world is facing. Thus, readers should note that a basic reason for asking this question is due to the fact that the UN has been seen as an agency that cares about the world’s problems, but behind its close doors, there are scenarios that needed to be exposed to the public. Therefore, a reason for discussing this question is to let ordinary persons in our world get a sense of the UN decisions in relations to what they have learned. There are many opinions out there that discredited or portrayed the UN as a moral agency. In discussing this question, I am assuming that it will allow ordinary persons in our world to ask questions about the UN works and how that affects relationships among states. Even though there has been some confusion among the UN Member States, it is still very clear that UN has a remarkable influence of decisions in our world today because nearly every nation on the planet is a member.

In this article, ordinary persons in our world will learn the decisions of the UN so that they can grasp the scope and understand its operations. The next time these ordinary persons in our world hear about the UN on TV or Internet, they will indeed have a better understanding of this international organization. In the context of the above question, however, there are a number of incidents in which the UN could be considered a fake agency or a real agency on the world’s stage. Thus, this writer would not be surprised to say that most of incidents that have occurred on the world’s stage make the UN look more likely a fake agency instead a real agency on the world’s stage. A judgment about the UN as a fake agency or a real agency is not based on my own interest however, but it is based on activities of which the leading institution has been involved. In every continent of the world, UN has been involved in several dispute resolutions in one way or another. Indeed, most of those resolutions may have been passed, but no actions have been taken by the party involved in those dispute resolutions. For instance, the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia is one of the issues that UN had been involved. Even though a resolution was adapted, the parties involved on the process have not implemented any recommendation because there is no enforcement mechanism from the side of the UN. How could this agency be a leading institution on the world’s stage since it does not have an enforcement mechanism to resolve problems that states are having with each other.

The UN works in the fields had shown that the agency is really trying to work for the interest of the world citizens, but most of its decisions contradict that spirit. There are a number of decisions that have been made by the UN which really contradict what the agency was initially formed for. For example, UN decisions concerning on Iraqi, the Congo, the Central Africa Republic, arrears did appear to have no an impact, but the United States position prevailed. Other example is that UN had hailed a decision to create a new peacekeeping force in Darfur, with some countries backing their applause with offers of military or medical personnel, while other countries were not offering anything, but a lip-service. However, there is no doubt that the UN has helped prevent many outbreaks of international violence from growing into wider conflicts. It is clear that this international agency has opened the way to several negotiated settlements through its service as a centre of debate and negotiation, as well as through UN-sponsored a fact-finding missions, mediators, and truce observers. Most of the agency activities have involved several forms of actions and not just fact-finding missions, mediations, and truce observers mentioned above. Of course, the UN decisions had often depended mainly on the choice of the internal decision-makers who have the power to implement them or not. This indicates that the decisions of the UN are widely interpreted as reflecting ‘world opinion’ and are endowed with substantial moral and intellectual force if you will. That process, however, does not seem right because there had been a number of decisions made by the UN which contradicted that.

Publics around the world have continued to view the UN as an agency that have a positive influence in the world when it comes to problems solving. However, there had been a number of cases whereby the UN decisions is influenced by particular states interests and not the interest of the problems that is being addressed at that time. In this regard, it is in the view of this writer that the ideal of a leading agency should be an institution whereby all decision-making is accountable to those being affected by those decisions or indecisions. Therefore, there are reasons to believe that accountability is needed within the UN works because there had been a number of decisions made within the UN, but never actually found those who are responsible to those decisions. For instance, with a vast network of global agencies, the UN had undertaken a number of works ranging from environmental regulations to refugee resettlement that have their own implementation. A criticism to implementation of these works would be the treatment of refugee by the UN refugee agency. We have seen from the UN refugee agency works that refugees are not treated equally. A good example of the refugees’ treatment could be seen from what happened in Kosovo when the refugees there were resettled without passing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee’s principles of resettlement in a third country. Most Kosovo refugees were taken by other countries like Canada and Australia while refugees in Africa and Asia have never been given such an attention. That action showed us that UN is an agency of interest and had nothing to do with equality. These actions indicated that UN is a fake agency because its works favour a particular groups’ interests, but not in the spirit by which the agency was formed.

Another reason why the UN is considered as a fake agency is its involvement in many issues of the world affairs where its had created problems instead being a problem solver. One example of this would be Dec 27, 2007, Kenyans Election, whereby incumbent Mwai Kibaki was declared as a winner; while the fundamental questions surrounding fair election were not yet addressed. But a leak memo from the World Bank country Director, Mr. Colin Bruce said that the lending institution accepted Kibaki’s re-election was based on “oral briefings from senior UNDP officials who were monitoring the “overall electoral process” (East Africa Standard). If such a statement could be made by a leading institution then where are we heading? This statement indicates that the UN is just an interest base organization that is working to advance a particular interest, but not necessarily concerns with legality of issues that its put itself into. If the UN was a real agency, they should have been asking these questions in regard to the Kenyan Elections. Why was Mr. Kibaki sworn in without guest of honours? Why Mr. Kibaki was sworn in an hour of the result announcement? And why did election results took four days without being announced? Other scenario is that how did the opposition win 6 province out of 8 provinces of Kenya and yet Mr. Kibaki was still declared a winner. These are the questions that a leading institution like the UN should be asking the Kenyan Electoral Commission, but not to make an irrelevance statement like the one being made by the World Bank country directory. In the view of this writer, however, the UN statement on the Kenyans Election makes the UN looks like not credible agency because its does not provided a good example for the next generations in term of leadership in the world.

If the UN decisions are taken on the merit of case by case, nobody on this planet would think that UN is a fake agency. This is due to the fact that most of the agency’s decisions have contradicted its spirits of the world peace and security in which the credibility of the agency is in question. It is in the view of this writer that UN should have been a neutral agency whereby its would achieve the objectives of the world peace and security, but not making nonsense statements like the one made in Kenya in regard to last year election. The views of ordinary persons in our world had been that UN is supposed to bring peace and not creating controversial issues that may divide the countries further. UN must stick to the position of neutrality whereby its decisions will be based on the aspiration for durable peace and security in the world by emphasizing the concept of “responsibility to protect.” If the UN becomes an immoral agency on the world’s stage, then there are no other institutions whereby young people would learn the skills of leadership in order to be good leaders. This is due to the fact that next centuries will be really dominated by the notion of voting as the only way to power in most countries, and therefore we need to create a concrete role model institution that will inspire the next generations to emphasis good leadership.

The author is a Sudanese national who is currently living in Canada. For any comment please, the author can be reached at: chm605@mail.usask.ca