U.N. Watch: Whistle spittle |

U.N. Watch: Whistle spittle

Just how well the United Nations supposedly polices itself reveals the culture of corruption that permeates Turtle Bay.

Back in 2005, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan established whistle-blower “protections” and a new Ethics Office to receive reports of wrongdoing. The outcome has been farcical.

One unnamed witness likened whistle-blower protection to wax fruit: “It looks good, but you can’t eat it,” writes Beatrice Edwards, executive director of the Government Accountability Project, for Fox News.

In short order the U.N. Development Programme, no stranger to controversy, decreed that the then-new policy didn’t apply to it. And Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has since “tacitly encouraged other U.N. agencies to do the same,” Ms. Edwards reports.

Today, the U.N. Ethics Office has “devolved into a hodgepodge of fiefdoms,” Edwards says.

At issue is more than so-called U.N. “ethics.” Billions of U.S. dollars annually are poured into this sieve.

Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to vouch for each U.N. body’s whistle-blower protections or withhold 15 percent of U.S. funding. But Mr. Kerry evidently sees nothing wrong.

Given the United Nations’ deaf ear — and Mr. Kerry’s blind eye — Congress needs to take a closer look at how U.N. whistle-blowers are protected and, by law, cut U.S. funding accordingly.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.