Saving The UN

August 11, 2005

The emerging details of the Oil For Food scandal and Annan’s latest appeasement of the Mullahs leaves one inclined to dismiss the UN as incurably corrupt. But there may be a solution: remove diplomatic immunity from its staff, so transferring their legal oversight to the likes of Elliot Spitzer.

Opinion Journal concludes on the first Volcker report:

Mr. Volcker’s latest report, after more than a year of investigation, is the first from his team to document actual bribes. It covers a grand total of $1.1 million in graft and runs to 130 pages, annexes included. If that ratio holds for the billions grafted, skimmed and smuggled out of Iraq relief funds under the U.N. cover of Oil for Food, we can expect that the final two reports, promised in September and October, will run to well over 1.5 million pages combined. No one is seriously expecting anything that massive, but it does give some idea of the scale of corruption with which the U.N. under Oil for Food became complicit. And it perhaps gives a hint of the scope of reform that will truly be required to clean up the U.N.

Meanwhile Annan steps in to protect Iran’s nuke program (my ellipsis, emphasis and sequencing):

Tehran stepped up its defiance of the international community yesterday when it brought back on line a key uranium processing plant.

…(So) members of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency start the next stage in the diplomatic battle today, when Britain and its European allies hope to win unanimous support for a resolution that would rebuke Iran and give Tehran a deadline to halt its nuclear work.

“I think it is essential that we break this current impasse,” Kofi Annan said. “And I believe the best way to break the impasse is to continue the discussions.”

I’ve argued that the UN is unavoidably corrupt, because of the large number of corrupt states in its membership, & that the only solution is to marginalize it.

But another approach is to treat it as a law-enforcement problem – Annan and his cronies are no different from a Mafia family, and the US knows how to deal with them. The only thing that prevents this is their immunity from the law.

So I propose that Congress tells the UN that it is welcome to stay in NYC provided it abandons diplomatic immunity. It should not object – if it really is committed to reform and/or has nothing to hide, this is entirely helpful.

Of course if it insists in covering up, then the US can withdraw its financial support and suggest it moves to a more benign legal environment – say the Sudan.