African Nations Need to Grow Up

Sometimes even the world’s most ardent UN supporters have to despair, and this,

it would seem, is one of those times. In a secret ballot (!), the UN Commission

on Sustainable Development has voted to elect

Zimbabwe as its chair. You couldn’t make it up.

The BBC’s Laura Trevelyan, in her video

report, explains that the member countries are exhibiting all the sophistication

and maturity of a bunch of 10-year-old girls:

It may seem strage that Zimbabwe’s won this election, but this isn’t just

about one country, it’s more about relations between the developed world and

the developing world. Once the European Union started lobbying against Zimbabwe,

even those nations with doubts didn’t want to be seen to be told what to do

by the wealthy world. And that helps explain Zimbabwe’s victory.

What’s not explained is how on earth Zimbabwe became the African nominee in

the first place — that, too, seems to have been a function of trying to piss

as many people off as much as possible. It just boggles the mind that Africa’s

diplomats and politicians, who have been agitating for years to have more ownership

of development programs on their continent, would turn around and nominate Zimbabwe

as the chair of a development committee. It’s almost as though they want to

prove to the world that they simply don’t care about murder, corruption, poverty

and famine.

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