In Which Claudia Rosett and I Agree on Two Things

Okay, maybe one and a half. But still. This is not something that happens very often.

The first, that General Assembly president Miguel d’Escoto Brockman should be using his position less divisively. Rosett quotes d’Escoto as urging “a united nations, not a subjugated nations.” He then should work in support of fostering this unity, rather than grandstanding in Tehran to attack certain member states (you can guess which one) and to cleave an even deeper divide than already exists between those he calls “subjugated” and those he would decry as subjugators. d’Escoto is of course entitled to his personal views, but as the most visible representative of the United Nations’ all-inclusive body, he should concern himself more with facilitating global dialogue, mending differences, and creating a productive work atmosphere, rather than inflaming tensions and exacerbating existing hostilities. Still, Claudia, there’s no need for jibes about his “substantial girth.”

The second is the affirmative answer to the question that Rosett poses (albeit derisively) in the title of her column: “does the UN really matter?” To Rosett, it only seems to matter in that it sucks money, grants legitimacy to nefarious actors, breeds terrorists, et cetera — her standard diatribe. The true answer to the question, I trust, is more easily obvious to any who have ever actually interacted with UN blue berets. Does the UN really matter to the child in Kenya who receives vaccinations from UN aid workers? Does the UN really matter to the woman in Afghanistan who went to the polls for the first time thanks to the UN’s help? Does the UN really matter to the family in Haiti whose house UN peacekeepers helped rebuild?

As Rosett intones with ignorant sarcasm, yes, the UN matters a lot.

(image of General Assembly president Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann)