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Friday, May 19, 2006

A rolling Rock gathers no Mo

National Post: Canada takes UN fight to world media--Chief's selection process. What's Allan Rock doing? I don't know really, but there seems to be an air of desperation about this stepping "outside diplomatic circles. . . appealing to the international media." The article doesn't mention it, but the big hook comes out for Rock in July to yank him off the world stage as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations to be replaced by John McNee.

I'll use the above-referenced article simply as a segue into an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Maurice Strong in the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver on March 31 (that interview and his remarks at the Globe 2006 conference formed the basis for this Western Standard cover story. The excerpt below was cut out of the article due to lack of space). UN watchers know of Strong's long and ongoing influence on that organization--as my story notes, Strong told me he had just got off the phone with the UN deputy secretary general moments before I arrived--so those watchers might enjoy parsing Strong's words:

KS:  What advice would you have for the next secretary general of the United Nations?

Maurice Strong: Well, I guess, I think it is a difficult job. The next secretary general should be one who can the organization function. And in fact it does function better than most people think, not across the board because the UN is many things. Some things it does extremely well, some things it doesn’t do well. And the next secretary general has got to demonstrate he can make the machine work. And Kofi Annan has been in my view one of the best secretary generals. It is a tough job but he has I think done more than enough. That doesn’t mean he should be immune to criticism but over all he’s restored the position of the UN. On almost any global issue now, you look at the media and one of the first things they do is quote Kofi Annan. Now, they didn’t used to do that with Boutros-Ghali and some of the others. So basically with all the criticisms he’s received he’s done a good job. But it’s not easy to do the job. You have to exercise a combination of moral leadership and pragmatic leadership, managerial leadership. You got to continue the reform process but it’s got to be more than rhetoric. And remember, Secretary Annan is very limited in what he can do about reform. I headed up his first reform program and there were two sections to it. One was the things that were under his control and every one of those things was done. We took 30 different departments and agencies and consolidated them into four decision making groups. It wasn’t perfect but we did make some real progress at that level. But not a single thing that we recommended to governments--which only governments could do because they’re the board of directors, they’re the shareholders, they’re the owners of the organization--not a single one of them was done. So the real problem, the secretary general always has to bear the brunt of criticism for lack of reform and yet the real decisions on reform are usually withheld by the very governments that keep pressing rhetorically for reform. So the secretary general has to be strong. He has to be a person of character. He has to have capacity. He’s got to have a type of willingness to withstand and to deal with a variety of crosscurrents of criticism and opportunity. So, you know, I think the quality of the person is the key thing, whether he has the characteristics that will permit him to command confidence of his staff, yes, of governments, and to command confidence in a world in which agreement and consensus around every issue is simply not going to be feasible. But if you can command respect and confidence, you can help to come up with answers, and you can help to come up with the capacity to implement the decisions that are made. You can’t expect the secretary general to be a miracle person, but he’s got to be as close to it as we can find on this human planet.

Posted by Kevin Steel on May 19, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink


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I suppose we all must listen and obey the Canadian corporate welfare elites...... not ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Get those UN pr**ks out of the Canada. Send them to Iran.

Posted by: circe | 2006-05-19 8:39:09 PM

Maurice Strong for Secretary General of the UN is about as frightening a though as ... I just can't think of one.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-20 1:51:48 AM


By now, you must understand how liberating it is to use the word ass in a post.

I'm sensing there's hope for you yet.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-20 4:16:08 PM


Corporate weflare elites?? DO you have any idea what you are talking about? Do you dress youself?

Posted by: torywatcher | 2006-05-22 9:14:51 AM

Don't give the repressive mo the moldy mole a title. He has some $$$ that do not belong to him and it's 'pay back' time. Habitats for Humanity is not the New Canadian Dream, we do NOT want to return to the Strong, er.. Stone Ages, with a Rock of no value.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-05-22 12:17:27 PM

As long as Moe is sucking air, he's still scheming a con to run on the public through his fellow corporate commies in the government. Moe loves the fear motivator...Eco-doomsday did not seem to work...maybe the specture of a new viral pandemic can be employed to shake us down for some more cash and freedoms....ooops I better shut up, don't want to give Moe any free ideas. ;-)

Posted by: Wlyonmackenzie | 2006-05-25 7:34:18 AM

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