Coming hard on the United Nations and its incumbent administration for neglecting the very founding principles of the UN and thus allowing its slow decay, a renowned UK-based independent daily, The Guardian said in its editorial on Sunday that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s “lax hand” has benefited oppressive Sri Lankan government.
Quoting this year’s Human Rights Watch report, the editorial said that the UN Chief, instead of condemning the repression and tate violence, “sometimes went out of his way to portray oppressive governments in a positive light”.
Claiming that the “myopia of powerful governments is clearly shown in their preference for weak candidates for UN secretary-general”, the Guardian said that world body is confronted with a vast array of problems, “some potentially terminal” within seven decades of its inception.
“The myopia of powerful governments is clearly shown in their preference for weak candidates for UN secretary-general. Occasionally they misjudge their man, with interesting results. With Dag Hammarskjöld, it was peacekeeping. Kofi Annan’s staff devised the millennium development goals. This time – with the quiet reappointment of secretary-general Ban Ki-moon this summer – they got what they wanted,” it said.
“Mr Ban presides over the slow decay of the UN secretariat, an institution that should be working, as Hammarskjöld said, on the edge of progress. In its last annual report, Human Rights Watch wrote “far from condemning repression, Ban sometimes went out of his way to portray oppressive governments in a positive light”. China, Burma, Sri Lanka have benefited from Mr Ban’s lax hand,” the Guardian pointed out its Sunday editorial.
“To save his legacy he must refresh his top team with people who understand the UN’s principles,” it said, without naming some of the UN top officials such as his Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar, who is allegedly involved in mediating the surrendering of top LTTE political wing leaders, who were shot down while surrendering to the Sri Lankan troops with white flags in the final days of the war.
Pointing out that the emerging powers “are jealous of their sovereignty and ambivalent about human rights”, it said that the challenge is to bind these powers into a progressive security council.
“Take Libya – Britain, America and France should never again elide the responsibility to protect populations with regime change. Brazil and India, among others, must also recognise that when a ruler declares war on his own people he forfeits sovereignty,” the newspaper said.
“The United Nations resembles Gaudi’s cathedral, the Sagrada Familia. It is half-built, it has great achievements to its name, but its parts are not connected and there are new threats to its foundations. Millions of people need its sanctuary and protection. History will frown on those who do not build,” it said.
To save his legacy Ban Ki-moon must refresh his top team with people who understand the UN’s founding principles