26 September 2007

Beyond Disgrace and Disbelief

So, once again, China's economic interests and veto on the UN Security Council prevents the UN from taking any effective action in another world crisis. First Zimbabwe and Sudan, now Burma. And just yesterday UN chief Ban Ki-moon was saying, "To deliver on the world’s high expectations for us, we need to be faster, more flexible and mobile. We need to pay less attention to rhetoric and more attention to results — to getting things done... The Human Rights Council must live up to its responsibilities as the torchbearer for human rights consistently and equitably around the world. I will strive to translate the concept of our Responsibility to Protect from words to deeds, to ensure timely action so that populations do not face genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity." Sadly, all just talk, once again...

The UN has proven itself this summer to be wholly irrelevant. There can be no more second chances for this sorry institution, not when so many lives are at stake. It is time for reform. At least France, Burma's biggest Western investor, is now talking about trade sanctions and even disinvestment.

UPDATE: Apparently Russia has also taken the opportunity to play games throw its weight around once more, threatening France instead of helping to send a unanimous message to the Burmese military.