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‘Rock star diplomacy’ ended up at the UN in a minor key

When the Saturdays died Kofi Annan in 2006, said goodbye to the UN, made pointed buitenlandredactrice Mia Doornaert an overview of his career. “He was ever the rockstar of diplomacy’, ” she said. “Nevertheless end up Kofi Annans ten years at the head of the United Nations in a minor key.’

In contrast to his predecessor, the arrogant Boutros Boutros Ghali, was Annan an excellent communicator. He surprised his interlocutors, and also the journalists at his press conferences, …

In contrast to his predecessor, the arrogant Boutros Boutros Ghali, was Annan an excellent communicator. He surprised his interlocutors, and also the journalists at his press conferences, with his clear and honest language. Since the Swede Day Hammarskjold there was no secretary-general has been that in this way the public opinion in the world knew to speak and to move.

Slobodan Milosevic
Annan continued to move forward in great political and moral ambitions for the UN in his speeches, which are often of considerable political courage conveyed. In 1997, the first year of his term of office, it was all touch. On the top of the Organisation for African Unity, now transformed into the African Union (AU), said the Ghanaian secretary-general that Africa problems mainly themselves to blame. He condemned the lack of good governance, of free debate, of democracy. He exhorted the present leaders, no one to their companionship who, with a gun come to power. Most African leaders were furious. A friend said Annan later that he was lucky enough that he is not physically lynched.

Another controversial speech held Annan in 1999. He said that the states were not behind their national sovereignty could hide to heavy to use violence against parts of their own population. The secretary-general undermined thereby the basic principle of the UN, the sovereignty of the states, by the law on humanitarian intervention to acknowledge ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Under that principle, he condemned the 1999 Nato action is good for the benefit of Kosovo and against Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

Kofi Annan looked at anyone to the eyes. He pointed out that the rich countries ensure that they have a disproportionate share of the resources of the earth to absorb, and said that they have a duty to the wealth more equitably to share with the poor countries. That led to the millennium summit of 2000, which is a blueprint worked out to the poverty by 2015.

Moral authority
Tirelessly kept Annan, calls for an enlightened struggle against the international terrorism, for a more powerful approach of the scourge that aids is, for a coherent global action against the spread of weapons of mass destruction, in which the spread of nuclear weapons is now the greatest challenge is. He pointed out that the five permanent members of the Security council with the finger by saying that the countries with the most nuclear weapons should set an example by their arsenals drastically as to limit, and preferably to zero, to reduce.

Those positions gave Annan a great moral authority, especially in the western world and the international ngos that are child at home were in a UN headquarters, that much more was open to the outside world. They earned him the nickname of ,,in the secular pope” and the Nobel prize.

But it is precisely in that elevated conception of the UN were Annans political failures built in. And that he could see it coming in the beginning of the nineties he was responsible for the peacekeeping operations.

The international cooperation against the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990-1991 was the illusion created that a new era had come. The time was past that a divided Security council handenwringend on the sidelines stood. In unison, had the ,,international community” the us-led force sent to liberate Kuwait.

Srebrenica and Rwanda
That put Kofi Annan at a very subjectively look at new peacekeeping operations. It was always the rule that only troops for vredesbehoud were sent out if there is already a file between the warring parties. But to Somalia, where famine prevailed, to Bosnia, to Rwanda, peacekeepers sent without those conditions were filled. The UN had to show that they could quickly intervene, and it was hoped there, but the best of it.

The unclear mandates led to destruction. Because Boutros Ghali all the attention the crucifixion continued to Kofi Annan, at that time, the outside shot is about the mass murder of muslim men from Srebrenica and the genocide in Rwanda.

But he shared the responsibility for it. It was also his vision that the Security council of the United Nations with broad mandates would provide for the restoration or the preservation of peace, and that the member states, the necessary forces would deliver. Of course, the crew were mainly on the countries with good trained, modern armed and disciplined troops.

As the secretary-general had to Annan, however, time and time again find that a concerted, resolute Security council might be his dream but not a reality. It was also found that most of the member states the principle of sovereignty above all places, and nothing had to know of his ,,duty to intervene”. Peace and stability returned to the pattern in which the consent of the parties involved is required. In East Timor, for example, erupted in August 1999, the violence after the residents in a referendum massively for independence of Indonesia had chosen. The violence was two months continue to rage because the Security council is not a peacekeeping force wanted to send without the consent of the occupying power, Indonesia.

Another priority of Annan, the reform of the united nations, clashed also on the division of the Security council and the rest of the world.

War in Iraq
Rightly conducted, the African secretary-general that the composition of the Security council, the most powerful organ of the UN, the current world (in 2006, red.) no longer reflects. His support to plans for an expansion of the number of permanent members provided him the enmity of China, that its privileges, with no other Asian power, and certainly not with Japan and wants to share. All of the plans to the number of permanent and other members to expand, plummeted on national egoïsmen, on the rivalries between the candidates, between the continents and regions of the world.

The heaviest blow for the secretary-general was, of course, that he could not prevent the United States in the 2003 war in Iraq began without a mandate from the Security council. That you can not be charged. He did what he could for the drama to avoid. But he could not make up for the geloofspunt of the American neocons that only the deposition of Saddam Hussein an opportunity to democratisation and peace in the Middle East. And he was equally against the shortsightedness with which the bloody dictator in Iraq are enemies in the map, played through years of the UN inspectors on the line. Annan accused the united states ,,illegal war,” but continued to try America to return to a more multilateral diplomacy to move.

Darfur
America was not the only permanent member of the Security council that a unilateral manner. Time and time again, had to Annan determine how often the permanent members of self-interest, and not the moral vision of the secretary-general, as a guideline names. Due to oliebelangen for example, schermden Russia and China, the Iran of the ayatollahs for meaningful sanctions because of its nuclear program. For the same reason, sheltered China are olieleverancier Sudan for disciplinary action because of the massacres in Darfur.

Since in 2003, the massacres in Darfur began, Annan tried to the world into action against the slaughters that more deaths have made more than two years ago, the tsunami did, and millions of people on the flight, drove. Just last month, warned UN representatives and aid agencies again for a humanitarian catastrophe.

But his own continent, sent the secretary-general in 2006, a nasty parting gift when the African Union calculated the Sudan to its president chose. Annan showed recently very disappointed because the new human Rights Council of the UN is still not even meeting on Sudan.

Corruption and son Kojo
Annans credibility was affected by the disclosure of the corruption in the UN programme of oil for food in Iraq of Saddam Hussein. Kofi Annan was also a personal blow by the behaviour of his son, Kojo, in that affair. Kojo Annan had on several occasions his relationship with his father and his employees misused for personal benefit. The personal integrity of Kofi Annan came unscathed from the investigate, his leadership of the UN. The Völkerrapport of 2005 was strictly for , unethical and corrupt” behaviour at the top of the UN-administration.

Also had the guidance of the UN all of a damning report. That was after the murderous bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003 which, among others, Annans employee and friend, Sergio Vieira di Mello. The research suggested the inadequate security, unclear command structures, slow decision-making in the UN operations to the jaw.

Finally, make reports about misconduct of un peacekeepers in Africa, including rape and extortion, the credibility of the most well-known and respected UN-activity, that of peacekeeping. For Annan, was the more bitter because he for his appointment to the secretary-general as second-in-command of the UN understand was in charge of peacekeeping, and under his leadership, the number of peacekeeping operations has increased tremendously over.In a career of thirty years, had Kofi Annan been all echelons of the UN bureaucracy, too, when he was in 1997 at the head of the organization came. It was expected that the Ghanaian from his familiarity with the administration in the state would be cumbersome and expensive UN-machine to streamline it. That was, incidentally, one of the reasons why he was at his appointment the full-mouth enjoyed the support of the American government. But the new secretary-general appeared more to a general than a secretary.

Words usa. deeds
Critics have Kofi Annan blamed that on his beautiful words, too few deeds followed. That is the criticism of a scientist studying the ins and outs of the UN have long follows, Edward C. Luck, director of the Center on International Organization of Columbia University. He is quoted in the only translation of the book , Kofi Annan. A life in the sign of peace by Stanley Meisler, a biography which is too much like a heiligenleven happens to be believable.

Luck waves Annan all praised for the cutting of large problems ,,on a serious and sober way,” but accuses the secretary-general that he not proceed with his ideas and they are not the work of the UN associate. About terrorism, for example, did Annan, according to Luck , about a basket a long time courageous, sharp and wise sayings” but he was then not more about. Luck describes the talks as ‘temporary enthusiasm’, which ,,solutions” for the raised issue are missing.

The criticism is in that degree to find out that the Annan talks, especially considered as the ringing of noodklokken.

In any case, will Annan be remembered as an enthusiastic secretary-general, who by his inspiring ideas and his humanism, the cold monster to the new york East River a human face.

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