Jim Kouri
October 5, 2006
Mexico threatens going to United Nations to stop US security fence
By Jim Kouri

The latest news coming to us from south of the border is that the Mexican government is threatening to go to the United Nations with their complaints about the building of a fence and other security measures. It will be interesting to see how much power the UN exerts over US policy especially when it comes to sovereignty. If a US State Department report is created regarding this situation, it should be called "Chutzpah South of the Border."

So here we have a corrupt government in Mexico calling on a corrupt international organization of thugs, despots, and America-haters to thwart the United States government's actions to protect the American people.

According to a just-released report by the US Congress, despite various reform efforts, significant inefficiencies in United Nations management operations persist. In September 2005, heads of UN member states approved a resolution that called for a series of reforms to strengthen the organization.

As the largest financial contributor to the UN, the United States has a strong interest in the progress of UN reform initiatives. To address these objectives, the Government Accountability Office reviewed documents proposing UN management reform and interviewed US and UN officials.

Most of the UN management reforms in the five areas GAO examined management operations of the Secretariat, oversight, ethical conduct, review of programs and activities, and human rights are either awaiting General Assembly review or have been recently approved. In addition, many proposed or approved reforms do not have an implementation plan that establishes time frames and cost estimates.

First, in July 2006, the General Assembly approved proposals to improve the management operations of the Secretariat, such as upgrading information technology systems and giving the Secretary-General some flexibility in spending authority. In addition, in fall 2006, the General Assembly will review other proposals, such as procurement and human resource reforms.

Second, implementation of proposals to improve the UN's oversight capabilities, such as strengthening the capacity of the Office of Internal Oversight Services and establishing the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, are pending General Assembly review in fall 2006.

Third, the UN established an ethics office with temporary staff in January 2006 that has developed an internal timetable for implementing key initiatives.

However, it is much too early to determine whether the office will be able to fully carry out its mandate.

Fourth, UN member states agreed to complete a review of UN programs and activities in 2006, but progress has been slow and the results and time line for completion remain uncertain.

Fifth, the General Assembly created a new Human Rights Council in April 2006, but significant concerns remain about the council's structure. GAO identified several factors that may affect the UN's ability to fully implement management reforms.

Although all UN member states agree that UN management reforms are needed, disagreements about the overall implications of the reforms could significantly affect their progress. Most member states are concerned that some of the reforms could increase the authority of the Secretariat at the expense of the General Assembly, thus decreasing their influence over UN operations.

Member states also disagree on some of the specifics of the reforms in areas such as the review of programs and activities and the role of the Deputy Secretary-General. The general absence of an implementation plan for each reform that establishes time frames and cost estimates could affect the UN's ability to implement the reform initiatives. Without establishing deadlines or determining cost estimates, it is difficult to hold managers accountable for completing reform efforts and ensure that financing will be available when needed.

Administrative guidance, such as staff regulations and rules that implement General Assembly resolutions, could complicate the process of implementing certain human resource reform proposals. For example, according to the Secretary-General, the General Assembly established a number of conditions for outsourcing that severely restrict the circumstances under which it can be contemplated.

Hopefully, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, will urge the UN to continuing cleaning up their side of the street before them stick their noses into what's obviously the internal workings of the US government. And Mexico would be wise to work on their economy and national policies before they try to work on ours.

© Jim Kouri

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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