Thursday, October 12, 2006

UN Heads Up

Three big events will take place at the United Nations over the next several weeks. Keep an eye on these stories:

1. The election of a new Secretary General. Goodbye Kofi Anan, hello Ban Ki-Moon?

2. The election of new rotating Security Council member countries. According to this Economist article, Hugo Chavez is lobbying hard to represent Latin America by "refounding" the UN to "radically oppose the violent pressure that the empire exercises in the world." He's already visited over 24 countries and spent close to $50 billion on aid and debt purchases in Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, and - yes - low income areas in the United States. He's also talking about building oil refineries in Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Syria, Uruguay, and Vietnam. I guess that's what you can do when you have vast oil wealth. However, Hugo's still a dog. At least 35% of his own Venezuelan population lives below the poverty line, his nationalized oil company is desperately short on liquidity and capable leadership, and Venezuela still exports most of its oil to the US. Yes, the very same devil empire that Hugo vows to bring down pays for most of Hugo's outlandish endeavors. Boycott Citgo, y'all.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. China, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and most of the African Union and Arab League support him. Most of Western Europe, all of North America, Peru, and Ecuador all support the candidacy of Guatemala. If this division prevents a majority vote, then the alternative candidacies of Costa Rica, Uruguay, or the Dominican Republic.

3. The termination of the UN administration in Kosovo. Since the cease-fire in the late 1990s, the UN has been administering post-war Kosovo, trying to broker a settlement between Serbia and the ethnic Albanian residents of Kosovo. As it stands now, Kosovo is technically still part of Serbia. However, ethnic Albanians want total independence. Basically, it's still a mess over there - albeit a diplomatic rather than military mess. Pay attention to what happens as the UN lessens its role in the area.


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