Saturday, August 10, 2013
Quiet Achievers of the United Nations
Last night I attended the dinner for the United Nations Association of Australia annual conference (UNAA) in the Great Hall of the Australian National University. The after dinner speech was by Mr Ian Martin, Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in East Timor, Nepal and Libya on: ‘From East Timor to Libya: the Role of UN Political Missions’. It is very easy to be cynical about international bureaucrats attending diplomatic cocktail parties on on tax free salaries. But Mr Martin reminded the audience of the day in and day out work of not that well paid UN staff, unarmed in trouble spots, facing road side bombs and armed militias, to help with food, medicine and, most importantly, good government.