By Nile Gardiner
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has such a low profile on the world stage that he’s referred to as “the invisible man”. Perhaps in an effort to boost his press coverage he’s given a speech in Incheon, South Korea (hat tip: Drudge), that can only be described as a bizarre PR stunt, with the sort of cataclysmic environmental statements doled out in scientifically dodgy disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow or the forthcoming 2012.
In his address to the Global Environment Forum this week (read talking shop for unelected, overpaid bureaucrats), Ban warned of impending “droughts, floods and other natural disasters”, as well as mass social unrest and violence – “the human suffering will be incalculable” - if the world’s leaders did not “seal a deal” on climate change at a summit in Copenhagen in December. In the Secretary General’s ominous words:
“We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.”
In reality, the United Nations can’t even maintain its own headquarters, manage its own books and keep its tens of thousands of peacekeepers under control, let alone save the world. The UN is an extraordinarily badly run institution, rife with corruption and mismanagement, that shields some of the most odious tyrants on the face of the earth. Surely it should be focusing on implementing some much-needed management reform, cracking down on rampant corruption within its ranks, and preventing its peacekeeping troops from raping refugees in war-torn places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern Sudan.
If Ban Ki-moon really wants to make a bigger impact on the world stage he should condemn North Korea’s barbaric enslavement of millions of its own people in forced labour camps, speak out against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, fraudulent elections and mass violations of human rights, and stand up to tyrannical regimes from Pyongyang to Khartoum. He should also call for reform of the UN’s ludicrous human rights organization, the Human Rights Council, which is no improvement at all over its disastrous predecessor the UN Commission on Human Rights.
The main threat to humanity at present is posed not by climate change but by dangerous madmen like Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heading rogue regimes hell-bent on wiping their neighbours off the map. Not to mention the rise of militant Islam and a global terrorist network that seeks the destruction of the free world. As long as UN officials stick their head in the sand and ignore the world’s real problems the body will remain an irrelevance.