Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Friday, December 03, 2004

After The Long Post Last Night, This Is Even More Depressing

I spent most of last evening reading and writing on the UN report. Now I see the above regarding Rwanda and the additional corrupt employees of the UN in another sex/power scandal and can’t help but remember the self-righteous criticism of the blind eye of the world, meaning that 'the world paid attention to 9/11 at the expense of 'real' problems like Rwanda:

4. Africa, including Rwanda genocide is featured prominently and as reason enough not to ‘over-react’ to 9/11.

*87. The biggest failures of the United Nations in civil violence have been in halting ethnic cleansing and genocide. In Rwanda, Secretariat officials failed to provide the Security Council with early warning of extremist plans to kill thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. When the genocide started, troop contributors withdrew peacekeepers, and the Security Council, bowing to United States pressure, failed to respond. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations peacekeeping and the protection of humanitarian aidbecame a substitute for political and military action to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide. In Kosovo, paralysis in the Security Council led the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to bypass the United Nations. Only in one instance in the 1990s - in East Timor - did the Security Council, urged on by the Secretary-General, work together with national Governments and regional actors to apply concerted pressure swiftly to halt large-scale killing.

* 40. The credibility of any system of collective security also depends on how well it promotes security for all its members, without regard to the nature of would be beneficiaries, their location, resources or relationship to great Powers.

*41. Too often, the United Nations and its Member States have discriminated in responding to threats to international security. Contrast the swiftness with which the United Nations responded to the attacks on 11 September 2001 with its actions when confronted with a far more deadly event: from April to mid-July 1994, Rwanda experienced the equivalent of three 11 September 2001 attacks every day for 100 days, 31 all in a country whose population was one thirty-sixth that of the United States. Two weeks into the genocide, the Security Council withdrew most of its peacekeepers from the country.32 It took almost a month for United Nations officials to call it a genocide and even longer for some Security Council members.33 When a new mission was finally authorized for Rwanda, six weeks into the genocide, few States offered soldiers.34 The mission deployed as the genocide ended.

*42. Similarly, throughout the deliberation of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, we have been struck once again by the glacial speed at which our institutions have responded to massive human rights violations in Darfur, Sudan.

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