Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Put a bit of pressure on Kofi and threaten to halve US financial support for the UN and it's amazing how quickly things change. Here's Kofi:
Today I am traveling to Brussels to join representatives of more than 80 governments and institutions in sending a loud and clear message of support for the political transition in Iraq.

A year ago, in Resolution 1546, the U.N. Security Council set out the timetable that Iraq, with the assistance of the United Nations and the international community, was expected to fulfill. The Brussels conference is a chance to reassure the Iraqi people that the international community stands with them in their brave efforts to rebuild their country, and that we recognize how much progress has been made in the face of daunting challenges.
The United Nations has been strongly urged by a wide spectrum of Iraqis to help them maintain momentum, as we did with January's elections. They have sought our support in constitution-making, in preparing for the October referendum and the December elections, and in coordinating donor assistance for the political transition as well as reconstruction and development.

Our response has been prompt and resolute. We have set up a donor coordination mechanism in Baghdad, deployed a Constitutional Support Unit, and established an active and collaborative relationship with the assembly's constitutional committee. Today more than 800 U.N. personnel -- both local and international, including security staff -- are serving in Iraq in the U.N. assistance mission.

In a media-hungry age, visibility is often regarded as proof of success. But this does not necessarily hold true in Iraq. Even when, as with last week's agreement, the results of our efforts are easily seen by all, the efforts themselves must be undertaken quietly and away from the cameras.

Whether U.N. assistance proves effective will depend largely on the Iraqis. Only they can write a constitution that is inclusive and fair. The United Nations cannot and will not draft it for them. Nor do we need to, because Iraqis are more than capable of doing it themselves. They would welcome advice, but they will decide which advice is worth taking.
Thus Annan curries favour with the Bush administration and positions the UN to take credit if democracy takes hold, while laying blame on the Iraqis should things not work out. Brilliant, Annan must have taken a look at Rove's play-book.

Update: There's a slightly different take on Annan's article at Decision '08.


Anonymous Shay said...

Don't forget the double-n in "Annan". He's the Secrematary Genneral of the Unknitted Nnayshuns.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

Duh. Corrected now. For some reason I often write Anan instead of Annan; should have caught it on editing but didn't. Getting slack(er) in my old age.

9:08 AM  

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