The situation in the Sudan that is currently going on is yet another example of how ineffective (i say corrupt .....because IF they wanted to do something they could) the UN is. There people are being enslaved, murdered, mutilated, maimed etc etc, and the UN yet has the time to debaye about including the Sudan in certain committees!
The UN is not ineffective. It is just corrupt. A lot of good could be done if the right people made the right decisions, but for decades it has just been undergoing a series of serious atrophy.
I could talk about Clinton not doing a thing (and yet finding the impetus to go to Kosovo and messing things up there), but he did not have a mandate to do anything about Rwanda. He SHOULD have ...but he was not elected for that. He had a moral obligation, but the US does not HAVE to do anything. It is like the current Tsunami situation in Asia. America is helping ....but it does not HAVE to help. However it is the right/moral thing to do, and it is great that it is doing something (and although the media may not appreciate the amount of money given you can betcha that the starving injured and overwhelmed in the tidal-striken parts of Asia are grateful beyond words. A single dollar goes a long way there).
HOWEVER the UN has a mandate and call to be involved in matters and situations such as the Rwandese and Sudanese scenarios.
And the UN did nothing!
The League of Nations failed in its given mandate with the break-out of the 2nd World War, and it could be as easily said that its successor (the United Nations) failed with the Rwandan massacres (and the failure continues today with the Sudanese situation that has been going on now for years).
And yet the UN has the time to participate in the Oil for Food scandal when Saddam was in power!
They just need more power....and money...
HAPPY NEW YEAR KOFI! (Your son)
The problem as I see it is that any nation can join. Seems to me it would be better for only nations with regularly held free elections, leaving out the tinhorn dictators and totalitarian thugs, with whom a majority of the corruption resides.
A UN made up of the free nations of the world would be strong enough to run things their own way and delegitimize the despots.
It all sounds nice in theory anyway.
And as you say this is precisely the thing the UN was created to deal with, and doesn't. One can only guess why the members are so reluctant to fulfill the organization's purpose.
I dimly recall that the situation was far worse than mere incompetence. I recall that the UN man on the ground said that if they didn't give one of the two tribes weapons (locked up in the African equivalent of gun control), it was going to get massacred, and that Kofi Annan was directly involved in the decision to reject the recommendations of the man on the ground, but I can't find the article that laid it all out anywhere.