Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Koffi Annan's Admission
Shouldn't this be getting more attention?
JIM LEHRER: Would it be correct to say that this whole episode, as you just described it, is an indication of where the weaknesses of the United Nations are, their inability to move quickly and stop something like this?He should have also mentioned effectiveness as a reason. And just who are the 'they' who are putting together these coalitions of the willing? There's only one country I know of that does this.
KOFI ANNAN: Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that we are an organization of 191 member states. You need to get the decisions taken. And since we don't have an army, we need to run around getting support and help from governments.
I have often described the way we operate and run this peacekeeping operation -- it would be a bit like telling the fire department in Washington, D.C., that, 'We know you need a fire department, but we'll get you one and build you one when the fire breaks,' because it's when the fire breaks that we start putting together the army, we start collecting the money to create an army that will go in.
And so there is the built-in delay in the way we operate. And this is why where member states deem that it is extremely urgent to move quickly, they've tended to put together a coalition of the willing, a multinational force, outside the U.N. so that they can move quickly. And in these situations, rapidity of deployment is a very important issue.