chapter  1
Our partially paralysed United Nations
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 9

This chapter analyses the apparent inability of the UN to intervene to protect people’s rights. Sexual misconduct has long characterized UN peacekeeping missions. During the UN mission in Cambodia from 1992 to 2003, the number of sex houses and ‘Thai-style’ massage parlours multiplied and the number of prostitutes rose from 6,000 to 25,000, including an increased number of child prostitutes. The Burmese situation is rendered more impervious to resolution by the UN because of the economic dependence of China and Russia on Burmese oil and gas supplies. The Chinese delegate stated that, since the Karen people all lived within Burma’s borders, any abuse of their human rights could not pose a threat to peace among the nation state members of the UN. The UN proceeded to develop agencies to ensure the integrity of its basic declaration, such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.