|Annan Brings UN to Middle
After long separation from actual efforts to handle the Middle
East conflict, Kofi Annan succeeded in bringing the UN to the
mainstream of the diplomatic activity. During the Madrid "Quartet"
meeting in Europe, the U.S., UN and Russia, it was Annan who read
the final communiqué. He also intervened when the humanitarian
crisis took a catastrophic turn. He made an excellent selection
in the three member fact-finding committee.
The decision not to open a series of consultations, which would
have taken two months (as was the case during the formation of
the bypassed Mitchell group), was equally laudable. Disbanding
the mission will cast a long shadow over the UN's role. A follow-up
meeting in Washington with the Madrid Quartet included Mr. Annan,
who managed to become a new and inevitable contributor towards
a solution. That may be one of his biggest diplomatic challenges.
He and his heart are in the right place.
Let us hope he has the right team to help him get the job done.
That is in the interest of a long suffering region, it is in the
interest of world peace; it is after all, in the UN's best interest.