|UN/DPI JUNKET CONTINUES. PALESTINIAN TRAGEDY EXPLOITED AT $100,000
9 September 2005
This year it was Cairo in early summer. Before that it was Paris in the Spring, Summer in Copenhagen,
and Autumn in Seville. About three hundred thousand dollars are wasted on three days, a hundred
thousand per day. They're supposed to discuss the Palestinian question. Yet the worse the plight of
the Palestinian people, the more enjoyable the venue for U.N./DPI sponsored gathering.
The junket goes on at U.N. expense, regardless of tragic realities on the ground. Under a
conveniently general topic, the same clique -- with appropriate additions or subtractions -- meet
every year in prized locations with the right climate in the most pleasant season. A kick off by Shashi
Tharoor reading a readily available message by the Secretary General -- a carefully worded admonition for both sides
to reach a solution. A number of speakers address an audience of grateful repeat guests, most of
whom have little impact on anyone anywhere. For three days, with airplane tickets and accommodations
fully covered, they exchange views already taken for granted on issues already discussed, with no real
regard of what is actually going on. Four years ago, with the cities around Ramallah and
Bethlehem raging, the meeting was held in Paris. That required a pre-seminar visit by a
beneficiary under the guise of ensuring that the French capital had conference facilities
appropriate for such a distinguished gathering. A year later it was Copenhagen in summer. At the time,
the whole U.N. system was mobilized to help the distraught residents of the Jenin camp and
an investigation team headed by the ever available Ahtisaari was about to look into the tragedy. Yet
those assembled in Copenhagen -- most of whom could have met in Ramallah, Nicosia or Cairo --
self-contained deliberation. Last October, the city of choice was none other than Seville, the
blossoming regional capital of Andalucia, Spain. It was a futile exercise in political irrelevance --
again at U.N. expense.
As was reported earlier, this year it was Cairo. So, the shameless exploitation of the
Palestinian misery goes on
unhindered. The road circus remains on the road with no serious questions asked. No single
newspaper in the Middle East reports on
the gatherings. By now, even the U.N. website hardly mentions it, except for the obligatory
statement by the Secretary General.
It is distressing that the worthy rightful cause of the Palestinian people continues to be exploited by those
claiming to promote it. It is scandalous that the U.N. should continue to subsidize such irrelevant
ventures for a nowhere man making all those nowhere plans for nobody.