Sun, 7th Nov '04, 9:44am
As the title - what do you think of the current UN Secretary-General, and why?
View Full Version : What's your opinion of Kofi Annan?
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 9:44am
As the title - what do you think of the current UN Secretary-General, and why?
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 11:54am
I see nothing wrong with him. He's not afraid to speak his mind and tell it how it is. He fires home a few home truths now and again. He's good.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 12:41pm
He is a decent UN chief secretary, has managed to walk the razors edge as good as expected. He doesnt not deserve neither the lavish praise showered on him from some people on this side of the pond nor the hateful spite thrown at him from the other side of the pond. Seems kinda generic to me.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 1:44pm
I think he's alright...over all.
But a major beef is that he should have taken stronger action against America when they attacked Iraq in direct violation of the UN's wishes.
Preferential treatment just because America is the world's bully doesn't cut it.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 1:59pm
Damn right there Faraaz. Maybe if Blair was worried about UN repercusions he wouldn't have blindly followed the Americans into a pointless war, wasting money we don't have and turning us into a terrorist target. He lost my respect when he did that, did Blair.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 3:59pm
If he had acted stronger against the US then the UN would be even more marginalized than it is. It was either bend over and take or be thrown away completely.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 4:32pm
Which is what I meant by preferential treatment for the US because of America playing the "bully on the block" part.
The reason the UN was founded, (after the massive failure that was the League of Nations post WWI) was to prevent aggressive action by one country on another, in favor of peaceful resolution of conflicts between two nations.
America pretty much gave the UN and the rest of the world saying "No", the finger, and went on to do what it pleased. Which is very disturbing, considering that Dubya's got big plans for the Middle East.
If Kofi Annan and the UN (who are responsible for world peace) start keeping quiet about what the US does, because they dont want to get marginalised, and have to take it quietly, what does it say about the UN, and what does it say about the US?
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 5:02pm
That without the US the UN is nothing, sadly that is how it is.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 10:47pm
The UN should expel the US, seeing as how every time the US doesn't like something, they do it their own way, smirking in the face of every country in the UN. If you let a country get away with that just once it's once too often, but if they get away with it repeatedly, you get the situation we can observe now. Currently the US is the most powerful country in the world, and as such can do anything it pleases, so keeping it in the UN is completely pointless. They have made it perfectly clear that the only time they'll comply with anything the UN comes up with is when they happen to share the same view of the situation.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 10:59pm
Expelling USA would be a extremeley stupid thing to do especially when they owe a lot of money to the UN and would probably not pay back anything if expelled, besides Russia and China are breaking human rights and doing a lot nastier stuff than US and will sure as hell not listen to UN when it goes against their best intrests.
EDIT: Hoorray! New gem, sadly the new gem is uglier than the previous one.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 11:37pm
If the US would be expelled it would be the end of the UN. The UN has no power whatsoever except what the member states gives it. The current situation is the same as it always was really. The UN has constantly been paralyzed by the security council, if the Soviets didnt veto something the Americans did. The only real purpose the UN has served has been as a forum for discussion and seeing as that really have been its main purpose, to enable countries to talk things through before going to action, it hasnt been a complete failure.
Both the Americans and the rest of the world puts too much stock in the UN, the Americans thinking it curtails their sovereignity and the rest of us expecting the UN to be a world nanny.
I would hope that sometime the UN can be a world nanny devoid of reliance on the support of nations and having power of its own but then the UN first needs to be better anchored among the peoples of the world and be completely accepted by all governments. Today it is nothing but a diplomatic forum for international cooperation.
Sun, 7th Nov '04, 11:58pm
Booting the US from the UN (or the US withdrawing from it) would shaft the whole organisation. It needs too much from the US to continue operating. Of course, every nation involved in the UN abuses its position to a degree, so that should come as no surprise. The end result is that it's not in [INSERT NATION HERE]'s interests to comply, and it's not in everyone else's to force them.
Well, unless they have oil reserves or a completely ****-backwards army, that is.
Ah, democracy. The worst form of government... except for everything else.
@ joacqin: :pope: Sadly, no state is ever going to surrender any of its power or sovereignty to an international body that may not agree with it on anything.
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 9:43am
He stands up to people so I can respect him for that, however he is far from perfect.
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 1:23pm
Well...I must say that what you guys say makes sense. Especially you Joacqin. :D
BUT, I still can't condone the callous attitude exhibited by the US prior to the invasion of Iraq. That is one of the main reasons I dislike Bush and his regime so much.
They could've atleast tried to show a semblance of respect for the wishes of the UN, especially since the WMD's weren't there after all, AND there wasn't any pressing need for invasion.
But ah well...it's going to be Syria invaded next, then Iran, then Saudi Arabia...what's the end of freedom for Muslims in the Middle East when Bush gets to feel pretty eh?
[Edited for typos]
[ November 08, 2004, 15:21: Message edited by: Faraaz ]
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 2:16pm
Morgoroth, the US has owed money to the UN for how many years now? And considering there's no indication whatsoever that they ever intend to actually pay what they owe, the UN wouldn't be at a loss for anything.
besides Russia and China are breaking human rights and doing a lot nastier stuff than US and will sure as hell not listen to UN when it goes against their best intrestsYes, however, Russia and China are not forcing their vision of Right & Just down the throat of the entire world, or random countries they target for "improvement in their own image". That's the main difference.
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 4:21pm
I have to admit to having no opinion on Kofi Annan what-so-ever. I think the UN was marginalised before he took charge, and the lack of action taken against America (and Britain) for going against the UN's wishes proves the fact it's now a non-entity.
I actually found it vaguely amusing to hear the stories of him being bugged. It's not as if the UN was ever going to take any action.
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 5:26pm
The UN should expel the US, seeing as how every time the US doesn't like something, they do it their own way, smirking in the face of every country in the UN. If the ultra-right gets their way, you won't have to expel the US. The ultra-right of America have already suggested that the US drop out of the UN completely, and that's just plain bad news all around. With the US out, despite what feelings many may currently hold for America in general, it would likely mean the end to the UN totally.
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 10:14pm
On the contrary, I think the UN without the US in it might actually be able to stand up against the US in some cases. Currently, the UN is useless with the US in it, so it can't really be more useless without the US. Since America considers itself to be above the UN, there's really no point whatsoever in keeping them in. Without the US, the UN might actually be able to draw up some resolutions which won't have to wait for a seal of approval from the US. Or get vetoed at every step when America doesn't like something.
Mon, 8th Nov '04, 10:52pm
Without the US the UN would be controlled by the likes of Russia and China and however much I dislike the current US regime I think an outwards looking Russia or China would be more uncomfortable.
The only way to ensure a positive future of the UN is for the US to change its attitude towards and understand that the success of the UN and thus minimizing the risk of nuclear annihiliation or even a large scale conventional war is better for the long scale health and security of the US than the inconvinience of the UN not supporting US domestic policy projected abroad.
Tue, 9th Nov '04, 4:00pm
I don't think Russia or China are interested in domination in the UN. They are content to deal with their own problems for the most part.
As for expecting the US to change its attitude... forget it. One of the benefits of being the most powerful country in the world is not having to listen (not even to common sense) or obey anyone/anything else. This mentality was quite evident during these last elections, where Kerry was pretty much labeled a traitor and weak for even mildy proposing that the US distance itself from the "kneel and lick my boots" attitude of the Bush administration. Not that I think this has anything to do with America or Americans in particular, I'm quite convinced most people living in any country which would be considered the most powerful in the world would grow to have exactly the same attitude over time. I'm just saying it's unrealistic to expect a mental shift in this regard any time soon. Not even the Democrats are much different in this regard (or, rather, they won't be able to afford to be if they plan on winning again any time soon).
Sat, 20th Nov '04, 8:15pm
In the news: UN staff ready historic no-confidence vote in Annan.
Hmm, sounds like a scene from The Phantom Menace. :tie:
Sun, 21st Nov '04, 7:28am
I think that vote failed. I'll try to find a link for you guys!
Here you go!
Mon, 22nd Nov '04, 3:44pm
Interesting that the UN keeps a "balance due" tabulation even though the charter does not require any nation to finance the UN (it's supposed to be voluntary on the part of the members).
Also, almost $15 billion in "gifts" by the US to the UN was never counted toward this odd debt that keeps rearing it's head. I'm really not sure how you can make $15 billion in payments and still owe $1.5 billion -- must be this new math I keep hearing about....
Now, on topic: Unfortunately, UN leaders are really just token leaders -- it's a real bad job to have. Annan gets blamed for anything the UN doesn't do perfectly when he really doesn't have much say in it.
Tue, 30th Nov '04, 2:56pm
Actually, no - if you are a member you have to pay, otherwise you are suspended. Different countries are assigned different percentages of the GDP. BTW, there are quite a few countries behind with their bills, but they are not expected to supply 30% of the annual budget (that is some 1.8 billion in recent years). Anyway, with 1.5 billion owed the USA ought to be suspended from the SC at least - but naturally, it has not happened and is not likely to - at least in the near future. Yet, after seeing some people call for eviction of the UN headquarters from the USA in one supposedly reputable forum, I am not so sure...
The money given were for peacekeeping operations, they are voluntary, yes, and there are usually major drives in order to finance each "Blue Helmet" mission - like Angola, Bosnia, etc. I think that is what the $ 15 bil. were.
I, personally, think that Annan should have held a firmer position during the oil-for-food deal scandal and the Iraq war and generally pursued a more active policy. Otherwise, he seems to be a decent SG.
Tue, 30th Nov '04, 4:27pm
I guess that's like having a birthday around Christmas. You get gifts for each occasion, but the two should never be combined for any reason.
I was just reading Annan's son received kick backs in the Iraq food-for-oil program -- interesting. Perhaps a change in leadership is in order.