Thursday, May 26, 2005

The ever tiresome Mark Malloch Brown slamming the US

(Update, Monday, June 20 2005: Report from the NY Sun of Malloch Brown renting a house from and next door to George Soros, here.)

I am no fan of Mark Malloch Brown's - UNDP chief now elevated to chief of staff to Kofi Annan, and chief pr flack in charge of rescuing Annan and the Secretariat from their own faults and unethical dealings. I understand why fans of an ever expanding notion of global governance are infatuated with him. What I do not understand is why anyone serious about UN reform thinks that he is part of the solution, rather than a glib, silver tongued part of the problem. He has his fans, yes; snake oil salesmen usually do.

His latest speech, a commencement speech at Pace University, is filled with such usual pious vacuities as the "global neighborhood" and complaints about the US not respecting international law - a complaint which is, to be sure, quite right, so long as one understands international law to mean what Mark Malloch Brown understands it to mean which is, roughly, what Mark Malloch Brown understands it to mean.

Well, the Associated Press report on the speech is here, and it is evident that Malloch Brown believes ever more firmly that the problem of UN reform is to make it accountable to the world's peoples, to the UN's own agencies and elites, and to like-minded international NGOs, as the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reported last year. This is what passes for reformist vision within the UN itself, and is one of the nearly endless number of reasons why UN reform is doomed to failure. The policy issue is not really UN reform anymore, but what policy the US should adopt given the failure of UN reform. Getting rid of Malloch Brown would be a start, I suppose, even if a small one.

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