March 10, 2006


UN staff union votes against Annan's reforms
(EDITH M. LEDERER, 3/10/06, Associated Press)

The UN Staff Union overwhelmingly voted no confidence in Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday over his proposal to radically overhaul UN operations.

The union, representing over 5,000 staff at UN headquarters, said it was dismayed at many proposals in Mr. Annan's blueprint, especially the call to consider outsourcing a variety of UN services from translations to billing.

The disappearance of permanent appointments and a new policy on job mobility without job security implied a “fundamental attack against the international civil service,” it said.

Mr. Annan has, thankfully, turned into a Blair/Bush/Howard wannabe.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2006 8:38 AM

I think Mr. Annan is looking to do the least possbile amount of reform to keep his current job and future job prospects open. There is a difference.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 10, 2006 9:07 AM

No, there isn't.

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2006 9:24 AM

Now you know why Bolton is at the UN: Kofi is his boy, not the other way around (which is the way things have been with almost all our UN ambassadors, except for Monyihan and Kirkpatrick).

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 10, 2006 10:02 AM

Really, can you get more bureaucratic than the idea of manning the barricades to prevent an attack on the "international civil service"?

Posted by: John at March 10, 2006 10:42 AM

The UN staff has a union? The mind boggles. By the time a bureacracy evolves careerists, it should be abolished.

Posted by: b at March 10, 2006 11:27 AM


Really? From a recent Chicago Tribune editorial:

"The proposed council has its share of supporters. They include former President Jimmy Carter, who recently joined other Nobel Peace Prize laureates in a New York Times op-ed that encouraged support for the council.

They're willing to overlook some grave shortcomings in the structure of the council. Those shortcomings, though, almost certainly guarantee that the new council would continue to embarrass the UN and protect rogue nations.

Annan's original proposal required a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly for each country up for membership on the council. That high standard was designed to keep notorious regimes like Sudan, a current commission member, and Libya, a former chair, off the new body.

But the latest proposal looks much like the status quo. Individual countries will not stand for election. Instead, slates of potential members will be nominated by regional blocs, without regard to human rights performance or records. Each region will be guaranteed a certain number of seats--which is tantamount to making sure the Sudans and Cubas will still slip in.

Annan envisioned a panel that wouldn't collapse under its own weight. The commission now has 53 members. But the new body would still have 47 members. Good for the dinner parties, bad for getting anything accomplished.

Many UN delegations privately share U.S. misgivings about the heavily diluted proposal, but they fear that postponing a vote would doom the reform effort. Passing this proposal, though, would allow the UN to sidestep a chance for meaningful change and throw into doubt all the larger reform issues that the UN faces."

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 10, 2006 12:41 PM

That's just the Human Rights council and there he hasn't satisfied those he needs to in order to keep his job (W & Condi).

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2006 12:45 PM