Big powers have tarnished United Nations image of neutrality

July 1st, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by ANI  

United Nations, July 1 (ANI): The big powers have tarnished the United Nations image of neutrality, at a time when the world body is increasingly threatened by terrorist attacks, a top UN official has said.

Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian Foreign Minister and senior UN diplomat, who helped form governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, has just completed a survey of UN security in 20 duty stations around the world.

He told reporters at the UN that his team was told time and again by staff members that the United Nations is no longer seen as impartial, The Washington Times reported.

Wherever the panel went, they were told by the UN people - and this is not only in Arab and Muslim countries but in Geneva, Rome, Nairobi and Sri Lanka - that there is this phenomenon these last few years that the U.N. is not perceived by a lot of people as impartial and independent, Brahimi said.

Whats happening in the Middle East has a lot to do with it, but its not only that. The big powers are using their muscles to influence the UN and that the world body is, not always, but time to time does not speak on behalf of its 192 members, he added.

Brahimis 103-page report, released last week, was undertaken after an Islamic group affiliated with al Qaeda blew up the UN headquarters in Algeria in December.

Twenty-two people, including 17 UN staffers, were killed and 40 wounded in an attack that was foreseen by UN and Algerian government officials.

The survey broadly outlines flaws in the UN security structure and culture, plummeting respect for the United Nations, failure by host countries to communicate and guard against threats to the organization, and a lack of recognition by the Security Council and other UN bodies of how their actions put staff in the field at risk. (ANI)

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