UN SecGen sent reform report into the fire

While continuing to peruse Joshua Muravchik's excellent new book, The Future of the United Nations, I find myself shocked (no nauseated) by the dictatorial regimes that have run the UN for the past ..oh...50 years or so.

The latest story I have come across involved former  US Attorney General Dick Thornbough's 1993 report advocating reform at the United Nations. He was himself a UN employee at the time, the undersecretary general for administration and management. Traditionally this post is held by an American, presumably because as major donors to the UN (25% of the budget) we like to delude ourselves with the illusion that our money is being well—spent.

Well...Thornbough reported that the UN was

"burdened with an inordinate number of supernumeraries — those serving in high—paying permanent contracts without any specific job assignment;" that its budget process was almost "surreal" insofar as a great share of its expenditure was not in the budget; and that it was totally lacking in effective means to deal with "fraud, waste and abuse by staff members."

When submitted to then Attorney General Boutros—Ghali, he literally turned it into ashes, later boasting that he consigned his undersecretary's reform report to the flames. Not only a great way to build morale (not) and treat an American representing the citizens and taxpayers of America with disdain, the burning of the report may also have helped smooth the way for the Oil—for—Food scandal (to which, by the way, Boutros—Ghali has been linked).

Ed Lasky  1 11 06

While continuing to peruse Joshua Muravchik's excellent new book, The Future of the United Nations, I find myself shocked (no nauseated) by the dictatorial regimes that have run the UN for the past ..oh...50 years or so.

The latest story I have come across involved former  US Attorney General Dick Thornbough's 1993 report advocating reform at the United Nations. He was himself a UN employee at the time, the undersecretary general for administration and management. Traditionally this post is held by an American, presumably because as major donors to the UN (25% of the budget) we like to delude ourselves with the illusion that our money is being well—spent.

Well...Thornbough reported that the UN was

"burdened with an inordinate number of supernumeraries — those serving in high—paying permanent contracts without any specific job assignment;" that its budget process was almost "surreal" insofar as a great share of its expenditure was not in the budget; and that it was totally lacking in effective means to deal with "fraud, waste and abuse by staff members."

When submitted to then Attorney General Boutros—Ghali, he literally turned it into ashes, later boasting that he consigned his undersecretary's reform report to the flames. Not only a great way to build morale (not) and treat an American representing the citizens and taxpayers of America with disdain, the burning of the report may also have helped smooth the way for the Oil—for—Food scandal (to which, by the way, Boutros—Ghali has been linked).

Ed Lasky  1 11 06