Just as Congress ponders whether U.S. U.N. Ambassador-designate is nice enough to work there, a piece (in the Washington Post, no less!) by a former U.N. official suggests that the tough-minded Bolton might be just what the Augean stable needs:
“Anyone who was shocked by the most recent revelations of sexual misconduct by United Nations staff has never set foot in a U.N.-sponsored refugee camp,” writes Peter Dennis. “Sex crimes are only one especially disturbing symptom of a culture of abuse that exists in the United Nations precisely because the United Nations and its staff lack accountability.
“This lack of accountability is the central blemish on today’s United Nations, and it lies behind most of the recent headlines. Whether taking advantage of a malnourished refugee or of a lucrative oil-for-food contract, the temptation is there, the act is easy and the risk of punishment is nil.”
A former legal aid worker in Sierra Leone, Dennis found that, despite a damaging report on U.N. sexual abuse and Secretary General Kofi Annan’s declared “zero tolerance” policy, there was “abuse of a sexual nature almost every day — zero compliance with zero tolerance, as one investigator was to write. U.N. leaders had simply not expended any effort beyond lip service to carry out this zero tolerance policy.”
Dennis said he also saw embezzlement of food and arbitrary use of judicial procedures by U. N. workers who faced absolutely no accountability.