News Release

State of the UN

The Global Policy Forum is an organization which has monitored the United Nations for years. See their Twitter feed: “Obama at #UNGA seems really upset about burning of #KFC in Lebanon – already mentioned it twice. Clearly major problem to be tackled by #UN” and “Did you know that the US had military operations in Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Central Africa, and Guatemala?”

JAMES PAUL [email]
Paul is the executive director of the Global Policy Forum. He said today: “Leaders from around the world have gathered in New York for the annual high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly, which begin today. For a week, motorcades wind along the avenues, police barricades tie up Midtown, security people in dark glasses patrol everywhere. Coordinated with the UN events are Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative, with its own series of portentous meetings and assemblage of billionaires and heads of state. What does it all signify?

“This gathering of political leaders has always attracted world attention and sometimes for good reason. There are always interesting private negotiations and signs of shifts in the political scene and geopolitical power.

“At hundreds of policy events and receptions, multinational companies are very much in evidence as UN ‘stakeholders.’ Last year at this same time, a big meeting on nutrition, hosted by the Secretary General, was sponsored by Pepsico, maker of soda drinks and snack foods. Similar meetings — apparently more than ever — are on the calendar this time.”

LOU PINGEOT [email]
Pingeot is the program coordinator of Global Policy Forum and recently completed a policy paper on the UN’s use of Private Military and Security Companies. She said today: “Multinational companies are more visible than ever and often overshadow all but the biggest governments in these important ‘side events.’ The UN welcomes them and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon constantly sings their praises. Our report on PMSCs showed that the world organization has been outsourcing its security to private companies and rapidly increasing its spending in this area — in spite of evidence that the companies are often unaccountable, violent, and law-breaking. PMSCs include some very large companies and they have far too much influence over the UN and its worldwide work.”

See the Forum’s website, which includes sections on “World Food & Hunger,” “The Dark Side of Natural Resources,” “Global Taxes” and “Humanitarian Intervention?”