Tuesday, May 10, 2005

UN Strengths and Weaknesses

I promised a couple of weeks ago (before the end-of-semester crunch and some out of town travel) to follow up on a host of UN reform issues. Further posts are coming, but I wanted to bring attention to Suzanne Nossel's "Top Ten Things the UN Does Well" over at Democracy Arsenal. I generally agree with the list -- with the notable exception of "War Crimes Prosecutions." It is perhaps overstating it to claim that there is general agreement that the ICTR, ICTY and Sierra Leone tribunals have been broad successes. Nossel's riposte to herself, "What's Wrong with the UN," over at DanielDrezner (where she is guest-blogging) notes those things the UN has failed at. The list of weaknesses is remarkably short. And it begs the central question, which is whether some of these issues should be on the UN agenda in the first place.

20 Comments:

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Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't help but chuckle at some of the commentators to Nossel's post at Drezner's blog. You couldn't find a more perfect caricature of John Birch-style, foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of the UN and the ever-mysterious "Left." Here's my personal favorite:

On the other hand, for the Left to deny it's heritage of manifest blood baths and misanthropies throughout the 20th century, well, that's simply business as usual - a business which we all need to continue to accustom ourselves to - due to the good intentions, no doubt, of these ideological religionists of the Left.

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