by Carmen Elena Doroba
The Economist recounts the turmoil the U.N. is now going through trying to elect a new secretary-general. Aside from the usual bickering and reciprocal blocking of candidates among the five nations with veto power, voices from inside the organization have recently revealed other problems, including the “colossal mismanagement” of peacekeeping budgets and a “sclerotic personnel system.” On the one hand, it is clear that these latter issues arise from the bureaucratic nature of the organization, which is bound to prove impossible to manage in an efficient manner. However, the broader problem the U.N. and its secretary-general are confronted with is one of credibility, after having missed almost every opportunity to provide a resolution to conflicts across the world over the last decades, from Rwanda to Sudan and Sri Lanka. While some other international organisations such as the IMF and the World Bank retain some (misguided) popular trust, the United Nations appears to almost all discerning eyes as a grand-scale failed endeavor.