In the New York Times this weekend Anthony Banbury, a civil servant at the UN, told us why he was resigning. The UN bureaucracy, he has found, is insulated from political control and serves it own interests. The nation states that are in political control manipulate the UN’s operations for domestic advantage rather the promotion of world peace and security. As a result, the UN deployed soldiers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo as peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, despite their well known tendency to violate human rights. The consequence has been not peace, but the rape and torture of innocent civilians.
Banbury seems to think UN could improve if the bureaucracy had better people and the nations behaved with greater attention to the UN’s objectives. But the problems he identifies are intrinsic to the UN’s structure. The inexorable failure of the UN instead underscores the indispensable role of the United States in providing the public goods of global peace and security that the UN claims to advance.