"The United States, at the president's direction, will be a leading partner in one of the most significant relief, rescue and recovery challenges that the world has ever known," said White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy.
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
If taxes were raised? Umm, isn't that for the US to decide with its own voters and though its own institutions? It is but it sounds like they would like it otherwise.
Most people assume the UN is some sort of supra-national legislative body, a kind of Congress for the world. But there is nothing democratic about the UN and its chief purpose is to "replace national interest as the dominant motor" of international action which in reality serves to undermine sovereignty. This quotation comes from a report analyzing the direction UK policymakers are taking with the military. It cites the basic problems of the UN (and other international organizations, for that matter):
International law will not prove a salvation from conflict, nor will the two organisations dedicated to its spread-- the UN and the EU. Both suffer dual problems: a legitimacy problem, given that legitimacy in the West relates to democratic accountability and neither organisation is democratically accountable; and an enforcement problem, given that both seek to minimise the power of the individual state but both rely on individual states...
The UN cannot escape the problem that while it seeks to replace national interest as
the dominant motor, it depends on national forces... (p.7)
There is a lot more to be said on this and on international law in general but we won't address it now. Let's just say that it is the supposed legitimacy of the UN that people want to count on to solve problems such as Iraq. This argues that it has none in reality.
And that is not to mention the Oil for Food scandal and the sex scandals involving UN peacekeepers in the Congo, (here) and in Sierra Leone, (here), for starters. Sounds like it has no moral legitimacy now either.
We really all should breathe a sigh of relief that the UN was not involved in the Ukrainian election. If it had been, Kuchma would still be in power, but the coffers of the UN would be full. The people though would be having to keep better track of their young daughters.