Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Corruption At United Nations

More evidence from James Kirchick, over at Contentions, that the United Nations is nothing more then a den of thieves:

In what’s unlikely to be a surprise even to casual observers of the United Nations, an internal audit conducted by the international organization has discovered corruption involving hundreds of millions of dollars regarding the disbursement of contracts for peacekeeping missions. The UN these days seems to be little more than an elaborate racketeering organization for wanna-be crooks and gangsters—too cowardly to participate in actual crime in their home countries, and thus taking advantage of the miserable and oppressed people entrusted into the organization’s care. This latest scandal is only rivaled by the Oil-for-Food heist of some years prior.

The results of this latest investigation are the latest fruit of the Volcker Commission, established in 2004 to investigate similar kickbacks and bribes disbursed under the ill-fated UN program in Iraq. The task force that uncovered the peacekeeping abuse had hired some of Volcker’s investigators, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to his credit, has requested that the investigative body’s mandate be funded further. Unsurprisingly, developing nations are using parliamentary tactics to hold up the reauthorization process.
It’s must be noted that a majority of members of the United Nations are venally corrupt: when they’re not stealing from their own people, they steal from others, and the United Nations, with its loose controls and open pots of gold, seems like a good a place as any for an ambitious grafter on the make.

But corruption in the upper echelons is only the tip of the iceberg for the United Nations. It extends all the way to the peacekeepers themselves, many of whom engage in various illicit activities like smuggling and gun running; and many of them pray on refugees themselves through rapes, intimidation and outright extortion.

Is it any wonder why many donor countries, especially the United States, are so reluctant to fund peacekeeping missions?