Through the eye of the needle

One of the things that continues to astound me about the ever-growing maze of arms, elbows. hands, fingers etc. of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) – which, as I have previously noted, is the unchartered “child” of ECOSOC – is that regardless of what might be going on in the world, neither hell nor high water seems capable of stopping the UN’s engine of inanity-producing Panels, Committees and various and sundry side-shows.

So, I’m sure you’ll not be too surprised when I tell you that UN has recently determined that there are close to 60 million refugees in the world today:

UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, said in a new report that a record number of people — 59.5 million, up from 51.2 million the previous year — have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

“For an age of unprecedented mass displacement, we need an unprecedented humanitarian response and a renewed global commitment to tolerance and protection for people fleeing conflict and persecution,” he said.

Granted that the UN does not have a particularly good record on the counting front (or on the accounting or accountability fronts, for that matter). But did you even know that June 20 was “World Refugee Day”?! No?! Me neither. Although perhaps unbeknownst to both UN head honcho, Ban Ki-moon, and US President Obama, they each contributed to the bonfire of inanities in recognition of this “unprecedented” record.

As if a single designated day is going to solve the problem – a problem that I would consider to be far, far more pressing than any imagined future disasters that might be attributed to … uh … unprecedented “climate change”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not making light of the plight of these refugees. But as long as their fate lies in the incompetent – but money-grubbing – hands of the UN, I certainly have my doubts about their future.

And speaking of the UN and money-grubbing … Even as I type, there is yet another gathering of the great and the good for yet another gabfest (26 June – 8 July 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York).

As far as I can tell, one of the Items definitely not on the Agenda at this “High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development” is the unprecedented plight of these refugees. I could be mistaken, but I see absolutely no mention of any concern about refugees in:

The first part of the meeting will consist of moderated dialogues on a variety of issues, including how to move from vision to transformative action, the role of the private sector in implementation, how the HLPF can support national action, involvement of scientific communities in implementation, regional support for national implementation, small island developing states (SIDS) and investment in sustainable development.

The second part of the meeting will comprise a ministerial segment, which is expected to include dialogues on developing a transformative integrated agenda, emerging issues for the future, communicating and implementing a universal agenda, shaping the HLPF for the next 15 years, reviewing and monitoring progress, realizing the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs.

[…]

INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA:
[…]
The third session convened from 23-27 March 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting focused on: a proposed timeline and roadmap for the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) to create an indicator framework for the SDGs; country experiences in implementing sustainable development; and arrangements for a joint meeting with the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) preparatory process during their April session.

The fourth session convened as a joint meeting with the FfD3 process from 21-24 April 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates focused on: the deliberations during the second FfD3 preparatory meeting, which had convened the previous week; a discussion with representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; proposals for the creation of a technology facilitation mechanism and other science, technology and innovation issues; the relationship between the FfD3 and post-2015 processes; follow up and review on FfD3 and MOI; and coherence between the outcome documents from the two processes, outstanding issues and the way forward.[my bold -hro]

If you feel so inclined, you can read through the rest of this “transformative” word-salad at http://www.iisd.ca/vol33/enb3310e.html. And be sure to let me know if I missed any mention of the plight of the 60 million refugees – or of any consideration of the funding required to meet their needs.

Notwithstanding any – and/or all – of the above, sad to say I am not at all surprised by these (IMHO) warped priorities of this UN body. The UN certainly cannot stand accused of doing much for refugees after WWII – particularly those who were Jewish and survived the Holocaust. And speaking of the latter, there’s a video I think you might be interested in watching. It’s 30 minutes long, but well-worth the time; I’ve watched it twice now, and found it to be no less moving the second time around than I did the first.

If I thought that the powers that be at the UN were actually capable of learning, I would say that there are many lessons in here for them. Alas, with almost 60 million refugees now in dire need, it seems that these word-salad generating bureaucrats – bolstered by a virtual army of NGOs and representatives of far too many countries that are far from democratic – have learned absolutely nothing.

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