This article by Rasna Warah is published by Democracy in Africa. Here is an excerpt:
My latest book, Lords of Impunity: How the United Nations Failed the World and What Can Be Done to Transform It shows how one of the world’s most influential organisations allows the most heinous crimes – from the theft of donor funds to the sexual exploitation of refugees – to take place under its watch without suffering any consequences. It is an in-depth analysis of recent crises and events that the United Nations failed to tackle adequately, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
The book could provide some answers to why the current crisis in Ukraine has been allowed to unfold rapidly, with the UN playing a mere spectator role in what might become one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the decade. The book debunks the myth that the United Nations is a club of equals committed to preventing wars and protecting the rights of the world’s most vulnerable people. On the contrary, the five permanent veto-holding members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, have extraordinary power and influence in the UN, and often overrule the will and votes of the majority of the UN member states.
As a former UN insider, I also show how white privilege, misogyny and a culture of impunity at the UN create a toxic work environment that even impacts how UN projects and programmes are implemented. The book contains a list of recommendations on how the UN can be transformed so that it can live up to its lofty ideals and mandate.
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