Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Why International Organizations Fail

People are policy. That explains a lot.

What an amazing bit of commentary that really reads like parody, but it isn’t.

Given the history of the UN from Rwanda to Haiti, you would think there would be a bit more of a humble attitude from the UN, but amazingly, no.

Some of these people seem like they never left the Model UN camp they went to while they waited to take their AP History exams.

One guy, Eide, I remember from my time in Kabul, so let’s do things in reverse and show you the CV of the authors of this article;

Kai Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, served as the United Nations secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010. Tadamichi Yamamoto, a Japanese diplomat, served in the same role from 2016 to 2020.

Look at this monument to a lack of self-awareness;

Between 2008 and 2020, across six years, we served as U.N. envoys to Afghanistan. In those years, the U.N. endeavored to create openings for the peace process but could not get one underway. Though last year’s agreement between the United States and the Taliban made possible the withdrawal of international forces, it sadly did not create conditions conducive to peace.

Yes, there will be math. That is 12-yrs. You could have fought almost four WWII’s in that time.

12. Years.

The U.N. must now step up and guide Afghanistan away from catastrophe. The alternative, as all-out civil war beckons, is too grim to contemplate.

Who is stepping up again? Who exactly will you guide? Whose money? Whose forces? This is completely disconnected from local history, regional history, hell, global history. 

I sarcastically say on a regular basis, especially on twitter, that “we need new elites.” Q.E.D.

The organization needs to do more. Though two U.N. envoys are currently assigned to Afghanistan, neither is sufficiently empowered to make a difference. … Fortunately, by contrast to times in the past when disagreements among members hobbled effective responses to global crises, the U.N. is in a good position to act. The United States, Russia and China — three of the five permanent members of the Security Council — all have a stake in Afghanistan’s stability. Along with Pakistan, they issued statements in recent months calling for a reduction in violence and a negotiated political settlement that protects the rights of women and minorities. They also encouraged the U.N. to play “a positive and constructive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.” Taken together, the statements demonstrate a hopeful amount of political will.

Statements? Did no one consider a strongly worded letter instead?

Again, how can you parody the unparodyable? 

The U.N. must step into this vacuum. In the first instance, the secretary general must immediately convene the Security Council and seek a clear mandate to empower the U.N., both inside the country and at the negotiating table. That would mean the United States, Russia, China and other members of the council coming together to authorize a special representative to act as a mediator. With the pivotal support of member states, this would put pressure on both sides to halt the fighting and reach a settlement.

Read that again. I am without words. These people have no shame.

UPDATE: As my friend Andrew pointed out, this sounds familiar, yes?
Take up the White Man's burden—
    Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness
    On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain.
To seek another's profit,
    And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
    And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper—
    The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
    The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
    And mark them with your dead!

Take up the White Man's burden—
    And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
    Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden—
    Ye dare not stoop to less
Nor call too loud on Freedom
    To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
    By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
    Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    Have done with childish days—
The lightly proffered laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgment of your peers!

- "The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands" (1899), by Rudyard Kipling,

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