paul lays into the UN
when i was a kid, i remember asking my parents what this thing called the "United Nations" was, and to this day, the best explanation i have for it is that it's like Roddenberry's "Federation" but in the real world. what else would you call an organisation of socially conflicted nations coming together for the common cause of peace? despite the problems it's had over the last sixty years, the UN has always felt more like mythology than the real thing. how, in a world so terrible, could an idea as noble as this exist?
so you can that imagine i've been holding my breath for much of the week as the largest summit in the history of the UN takes place in new york. true to form, the americans moved to sabotage the whole thing by introducing over 400 objections to the draft agreement for UN reform, and when i heard about this, my heart broke. thanks to our asshole neighbours who let bush and his saboteurs win, UN "reform", something bush has repeatedly claimed was needed will not consist of any real attention to climate change or human rights.
there was one shining moment in the whole thing though. our prime minister, paul martin gave a brilliant and stirring speech at the summit which i encourage you to read. he came down on the 170 member nations, saying that we need to act, not stand around discussing word definitions. we need to accept that climate change is a real problem and take steps to fix it, and we have to recognise (and support) the importance of human rights around the world:
we need to see the world through the eyes of the people we are trying to help. when we can meet benchmarks that matter to them, then and only then will we build the foundations to sustain development for the long haul.- paul martin
sure it's rhetoric. sure it's hypocritical for martin to say such things. but for just a moment there, i remembered my childhood image of the UN, what i believed it to be. now if only we could make it into what martin says it can be -- maybe then we can have our Federation.