UN undermines its own authority in new Turkey deal

UN Secretary-General António Guterres often laments limits to the UN’s authority. In the United States especially, many politicians often roll their eyes at UN pronouncements and then proceed to ignore them. In 1994, for example, John Bolton—who, ironically, would briefly serve as the US Ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, famously said, that if the UN headquarters “lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

Such sentiment might spark outrage among progressives and proponents of expansive, UN-centric international law but, often, the UN itself is to blame for the cynicism it engenders.

This was the case when Kofi Annan, then-undersecretary for Peace-Keeping Operations, stood down while Hutu génocidaires conducted their anti-Tutsi genocide and, as secretary-general, presided over the institution’s worst corruption scandal. It was also the case when Mary Robinson, a former Irish president who subsequently became the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, sponsored a conference in Durban that became a magnet for anti-Semitism and intolerance; her action, denial, and deaf ear did more to delegitimize the UN’s moral authority than almost any outside entity could have done.

Unfortunately, Guterres now makes a similar mistake. Turkey is increasingly defiant of international law. Turkey has violated UN Security Council Resolutions and decades of status quo to move into Varosha, a once-vibrant quarter in Famagusta, initially transformed into a ghost town when Turkey invaded Cyprus almost a half-century ago. The Varosha land grab had nothing to do with peace and everything to do with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seeking to funnel reconstruction contracts to his political supporters and family members.

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Πηγή: aei.org

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