UNheadlines

 

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT OIL FOR FOOD. STAND UP FOR A PROUDER U.N.

15 February 2005

Facing this unprecedented crisis of confidence, the U.N. leadership should seize the challenge not only to avert accusations of wrongdoing but to consolidate the structure, cleanse the embarrassing spots, and mobilize the staff. Everyone is tarnished by these swirling accusations, whether they were actually involved or not, whether they think so or not. It is not just about food-for-oil, although that unprecedented nightmare has stalked the premises for over a year now and should have been handled better. It is about a style, approach, character and morale. Regrettably, the Organization for which most colleagues devoted their lives was dragged down by selfish self-promoters who did more networking but not working. The majority of the staff around the world are dedicated, efficient, proud of their spotless record and loyal to their Organization's noble principles. Unfortunately, they were neglected and dismissed, the same way rules and principles were averted and manipulated. That is why reports like Volcker's hurt and sadden all of us. But, as our office mug suggests: "Don't let the bastards pull you down."

This is a challenge, an opportunity to prove to the world that the U.N. is not irrelevant nor is it a marketplace for crafty opportunists. Now is the time to stand up for a better cleaner fresher proud U.N. It is worth the fight.