Saturday, September 23, 2017

UN - tenable

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Bungy jumping is like that but the risk is to the one who jumps. The United Nations on the other hand..... perhaps at that dire time in 1945 it was a good idea, but now, for the majority of people in the western world - and there are a lot of us -  it is perhaps not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: indefensible, undefendable, unarguable, insupportable, refutable, unsustainable, unjustified, unwarranted, unjustifiable, inadmissible, unsound, ill-founded, flimsy, weak, shaky, flawed, defective, faulty, implausible, specious, groundless, unfounded, baseless, invalid, absurd, illogical, irrational, preposterous, senseless, unacceptable. Take your pick.

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

Oz had a strong hand in establishing the UN through a third-rate socialist politician who must lie in his grave with a rictus, if not sardonic grin. He cannot take all the blame though.

In its entire history it has not employed a single cat-herder or pack of ratting terriers demonstrating to all that it should not be taken seriously. Except we have to. Its ineptness demands it.

The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world.

That is the official description. The unofficial and widely held suspicion is that it is a nascent One World Government. Perhaps that is what some folk had in mind in 1945. 

Everybody and his dog in the UN has a finger or nose in the trough.  It has more corruption than the Sicilian Mafia and the Russian Mafia and the Yakusa and the Bra-boys of Sydney combined.

It is a profligate waste of money, in the opinion of lowly customers of the Tavern and the President of the USA. Some quaffing Ales here in my bars think that such corruption might be decreased by re-locating the whole mob to, say Brazzaville, the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo. It could have fine river views too there from the north side of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa. It is pretty certain that the corrupt monies would not have so far to go.

Perhaps though the Mayor of New York would miss all the money spent in his city. 

Mr Trump though may accept that loss as a small price to pay.  Kelsey Munro filled us in on some matters with a few facts and figures. But no names.
Who pays for the UN and where does the money go?
US President Donald Trump thinks the United Nations spends too much money, but who pays for it and where does the money go?
The US President is not a renowned fan of the sprawling global network of UN organisations, calling the institution "weak and incompetent" during his campaign. 
But if his first speech as President to the UN General Assembly on September 19 took a more measured tone, he still complained that the United States “bears an unfair cost burden”, and called for major reform, including for other countries to pay more. 
“The United States is one of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 per cent of the entire budget and more,” Trump said.
In this case, a President who has {some think and say} been famously loose with facts, is correct.
Who pays for the UN?
The US is by far the biggest donor to the UN, in 2016 contributing some $10 billion of its $49 billion annual revenue. 
The next biggest donors were Germany ($3.4 billion) 
and the UK ($3 billion).
The permanent members of the Security Council that most often oppose American agendas in the UN, China ($1.3 billion) and Russia ($562 million), are ranked 6th and 15th respectively in terms of the magnitude of their contributions.
Australia was the UN’s 13th biggest national donor in 2016, contributing $748 million. 

Countries’ relative contributions are decided by a complex series of formulas for different aspects of the UN’s wide-ranging operations, which are supposed to broadly reflect each country’s capacity to pay. The payments, known as "assessed contributions", are recalculated every few years to adjust for changing circumstances.
As if 'progressive taxation' was not bad enough curse for most taxpayers in western countries, the old adage is most appropriate for the UN.  Poor white people in rich countries pay tax to give to rich black people in poor countries so they can swan around the world in 'first class', eat lobster thermidor in fine New York restaurants and sit on innumerable committees for which they are totally unqualified. 
There are also significant non-government donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated just under $300 million to the UN last year. 
Where is the money spent? 

The biggest drain on the UN budget is its peacekeeping operations, which cost $8.7 billion last year. There are currently 15 peacekeeping missions worldwide, and most of the soldiers involved are from African countries. The UN pays nations for their troops’ peacekeeping service meaning it can be quite lucrative for poor countries.

 Peacekeeping soldiers are paid by their own Governments according to their own national rank and salary scale. Countries volunteering uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations are reimbursed by the UN at a standard rate, approved by the General Assembly, of a little over US$1,332 per soldier per month.
The World Food Programme had a budget of $5.9 billion last year, followed by the United Nations secretariat itself and the United Nations Development Programme at about $5 billion each.
Support for UN reform
Secretary-General António Guterres said 128 countries had pledged to back a 10-point plan for UN reform that would improve the member states' "value for money". 
“Our shared objective is a 21st century UN focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy,” he said, following Trump's speech on September 19.
"Value for money while advancing shared values – this is our common goal.”
Hah! Believe that? I have a bridge over the River Derwent I could sell for a modest fee. 
Mr Guterres said the organisational problems of the UN kept him awake at night. “Fragmented structures. Byzantine procedures. Endless red tape,” he said.
Leadership from the top ! 
The UN also runs several agencies to tackle specific issues including the UN Development Programme which works to eradicate poverty; UNICEF, the children’s fund; and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Some autonomous agencies under the UN such as the World Health Organisation and UNESCO (the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) are also partly funded through contributions of member states. 

And the Oz Furrin' Minister, Julie Bishop also sends vast amounts - in the tens of millions - to the nations she represents from petty cash which she tops up from borrowings. Several days a year though she does represent Oz.

The most crucial aspect as far as 'other nation interference' is concerned is the Security Council.  I had one of my staff work through his lunchtime to compile this next bit for you. And yes, he was drinking throughout.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter. 

Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946.

Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace. 

In its early decades, the body was largely paralyzed 

by the Cold War division between the US and USSR and their respective allies, though it authorized interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea. 

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Security Council consists of fifteen members. The great powers that were the victors of World War II—the Soviet Union (now represented by the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People's Republic of China), and the United States— serve as the body's five permanent members. 

These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General. 

The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body's presidency rotates monthly among its members.

Security Council resolutions are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget. As of 2016, 103,510 peacekeepers and 16,471 civilians were deployed on sixteen peacekeeping operations and one special political mission.

Along with the five permanent members, the Security Council has temporary members that hold their seats on a rotating basis by geographic region. Non-permanent members may be involved in global security briefings. In its first two decades, the Security Council had six non-permanent members, the first of which were Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Poland. 

In 1965, the number of non-permanent members was expanded to ten.
These ten non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms starting on 1 January, with five replaced each year. To be approved, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast for that seat, which can result in deadlock if there are two roughly evenly matched candidates. In 1979, a standoff between Cuba and Colombia only ended after three months and a record 154 rounds of voting; both eventually withdrew in favour of Mexico as a compromise candidate. A retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election.

The African Group is represented by three members; the Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and Western European and Others groups by two apiece; and the Eastern European Group by one. 

Traditionally, one of the seats assigned to either the Asia-Pacific Group or the African Group is filled by a nation from the Arab world.

 Currently, elections for terms beginning in even-numbered years select two African members, and one each within Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Terms beginning in odd-numbered years consist of two Western European and Other members, and one each from Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

This old Tavern Keeper is not a member.

Depressing, innit?

By the Lord Harry there are arses to kick.

Now, here we are on the day that the world is supposed to end, and I can pretty confidently suppose that the UN has made no contingency other than providing some well appointed holes in the ground for its knobs and ambassadors and perhaps some vital staff who can operate a word processor.

Have a drink.

You will need it.



  1. This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.
    Thank you!

  2. perhaps at that dire time in 1945 it was a good idea

    The UN was pure evil in conception right from the start. It was intended to cement US global control, with Britain, France and China (this being pre-Revolutionary China) being assumed to be loyal vassals who would ensure that the Security Council did the US's bidding.

    It was supposed to be the start of the American world empire but dressed up to look like something other than an empire. The Americans have always been the Black Hats but they insist on pretending to be the White Hats.

    US dissatisfaction with the UN has nothing to do with money. The Americans are not the slightest bit worried about wasting money. They're irritated because they wanted the UN to serve American interests exclusively.

    1. I am not so sure that the intent from the start was evil. Motives may well have been mixed and differed from one nation to the next. It is easy to take a dim view, as I often do m'self, but we can at least give benefit of doubt on some matters.

    2. I am not so sure that the intent from the start was evil.

      With Franklin Roosevelt behind it it's a safe bet the intention was evil.

      Motives may well have been mixed and differed from one nation to the next.

      I agree on that point. The US intention was evil but many nations really were naive enough to think it would be a good idea.

    3. As I said: It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..