By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 4 -- Who runs the United Nations, and for whom?
The question was recently raised when outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, immediately before leaving, named15 members to a UN panel to draft a sustainable development report - and ten of the 15 were from the OECD.
After India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin raised the question - “Equitable?” -- Inner City Press at the January 4 UN noon briefing asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: Yesterday, Stéphane announced this panel on sustainable development that… that the Secretary-General had named just before he left. And as you may know, the ambassador of India, the Permanent Representative, has questioned that whether this is an equitable selection, saying that 10 of the 15 members are from the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development]... and that it’s unfair. A number of other Member States have taken up that same critique. Why was it done at the last second in that way? And what is your response, if you can make one, to the criticism that Ban Ki-moon chose rich countries to run the show on sustainable development?
Deputy Spokesman: This was a decision taken by the Secretary-General in line with the mandates that we are given in terms of reporting on this particular topic. So, he was following up essentially on the request of Member States. Regarding the specific membership, the effort was made to reach out to people across a variety of regions. I wouldn’t have anything further to say about how the different members were chosen.
Yeah - ten of 15 from the OECD. The UN must do better. Will it?
Antonio Guterres formally took the reigns at the United Nations on Tuesday, he said of the UN, “We have to earn the right to do the right thing.” Vine here.He might have added, “re-earn” the right