The UN Secretary-General Must Tread Cautiously in Africa Part II
January 30, 2012 | Filed under: <http://vibeghana.com/category/opinions/
Opinions | Posted by: <http://vibeghana.com/author/vibeghanaeditor2006/
We insist that the UN has more questions to answer than its
Secretary-General will admit. When he poked African leaders to be soft on
gay/lesbian/queer issues, Ban Ki-Moon was looking for dung where no cow
grazed. He has no moral justification to pontificate. His own UN is guilty
of wrongdoing and failing to function impartially. Here is the second aspect
of its shortcomings.
The UN's Political Improprieties
The UN has failed at the political level too. We know how the US and its
allies treat states that they consider to be pariahs, North Korea being an
obvious one. As a South Korean, Ba Ki-Moon must know more about the factors
that have kept his country separated from North Korea and why the immense
support given it by the US and its allies won't help solve the problem but
will continue to worsen the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean crisis cannot be resolved because of the one-sided approach that
the US and its allies have adopted-putting pressure on North Korea (to
abandon its nuclear programme, especially) while pampering South Korea and
positioning it to threaten its neighbor.
The Armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 wasn't a true peace treaty
to ensure stability and re-unite the two Koreas, which suggests that any
effort to resolve that crisis must be devoid of suspicion and mistrust
(distrust) if it is to be accepted by both parties. But the situation is not
There is no indication that the UN is interested in helping these two
countries re-unite for mutual benefits nor is it seriously interested in
ensuring peace in that part of the world. Why will the UN work against the
interests of the very powers that finance and handle it, anyway?
After all, for as long as the tension exists there, the better chances are
that the US will continue to retain its military and strategic presence
there as a way to peek into China, which it considers as its major threat on
the global stage.
So, any talk of the Korean crisis being resolved soon is inconceivable.
Resolving it means closing the door on the US which, in turn, means its
losing that geopolitical peeking node. The US won't allow its interests to
be endangered that way. The Korean crisis, then, must continue to exist so
it can remain close to China's borders. The benefits of the sneak peek are
too tempting to be sacrificed through a suicidal move for the reunification
of the Koreas.
The question, then, is: If the UN could help bring down the iron curtain for
the two rival German states to reunite, why isn't it doing so for the two
Koreas too? Or, what is it about the UN's own political, strategic, and
ideological interests that is hampering its peace-making efforts there?
We know that the circumstances surrounding the German case are far different
from those straining the relations between the two Koreas. But what can't
the UN do to command respect and trust from both countries if it genuinely
seeks an impartial resolution of the conflict?
The UN can't do anything beyond issuing statements in support of threats
against North Korea that periodically emanate from the corridors of power in
the US and its European allies because it is nothing but an appendage of
Now, we see how Myanmar (Burma) is gradually easing itself into what the
West sees as democracy for which the US has already fallen head-over-heels
in love with its leaders and is re-establishing diplomatic ties with that
country. The efforts being made to ease tension in that country can be
extended to others too if the UN is indeed genuinely interested in helping
solve crises dispassionately.
But it is not, having allowed itself to be manipulated and dictated to by
its financiers and handlers. Such is the sad state of affairs, which makes
the UN a laughing stock to serious observers of its manouevres all over the
We can infer from how Iran is rebuffing the UN's approach to its nuclear
programme that the world body's credibility is on the line. It seems to be
at the crossroads as far as its operations are concerned.
Against this background, the UN itself needs serious reforms to claw back
credibility and goodwill. Until it does so, it will continue to be at the
beck and call of those financiers and handlers to be manipulated to satisfy
their self-serving agenda. In that vein, it risks becoming anachronistic. An
organization that comes across as such will not be allowed to dictate to
Africans how to live their lives.
There is no profit for Africans to derive from accepting practices that
conflict with their socio-cultural norms but are promoted as the best ideals
elsewhere, especially in the West. The West has already done much harm to
Africa's interests. Now, it is attacking the very bastion of the continent's
socio-cultural and moral integrity.
Africans know best what their moral precepts and injunctions are and should
protect what best defines them. They don't need a Ban Ki-Moon to ram
anything down their throats and shouldn't give him that elbow room. They do
so at a greater risk to their very being and survival.
Ban Ki-Moon must know where to tread so he doesn't add more worries to what
is fast eroding his credibility. Africans will do better without his
pontification on moral issues that don't help them solve their existential
problems. Africa needs better measures to solve its problems of
under-development, not to encourage immorality at the highest level
As the National Geographic channel's disclaimer to its programme ("Worlds
Apart") says, "Every society has its own standards for judging what is
socially acceptable." I wish the UN Secretary-General and all others
thinking and behaving like him will take a cue from this disclaimer.
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
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Received on Mon Jan 30 2012 - 16:58:14 EST