Tag Archives: international community

‘International’ redefined

A great article by Simon Jenkins, published May 30,2008 in the Guardian –

GAZING briefly at the Eurovision song contest this week I could not rid my mind of a quite different image, that of Nato’s multilateral force headquarters in Kabul.

There was the same flag-waving and confusion of purpose, the same small-state rivalry and cynical balancing of interests. There was the same belief that, simply by being international, a so-called community of nations was forged.

Today the word “international” suggests tailored suits, tax-free salaries, white Land Cruisers and Geneva. The Eurovision contest is run by the European Broadcasting Union with 400 staff in Switzerland, with no risk of oversight or reform.

It may seem crude to leap from such mundane activities to world peace, but the ruling assumption is the same, that internationalism legitimises itself. It rises above (never below) the nation state and its rulemakers owe allegiance only to an ideal of global community, which means whatever they choose. The ever-more numerous world bodies to which nations subscribe need never pass the eye of any national audit Office.

It was only when America briefly withdrew from Unesco and capped its contribution to the UN that steps were taken to curb that organisation’s waste and corruption, which culminated in Kofi Annan’s obscene 2000 “poverty summit”. The only good thing to emerge from the warped brain of America’s former UN ambassador, John Bolton, was his reform package, and he blew it. Nor can Europe talk. The EU still cannot get its accounts past any reputable auditor nor control the outrageous expenses of its parliamentarians. Continue reading

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Filed under Aid, Globalization, International Aid, International NGOs, Multilateral Institutions, peacekeeping, World

Myth of international community

From DAWN 

By Dr Rubina Saigol

ONE has suspected for a long time that the so-called ‘international community’ is a major global myth that serves to cover up a lot that needs to be revealed.

Generally it is believed that the ‘international community’ consists of the different countries of the world with the UN as their embodiment and a reflection of their aspirations.

It is also commonly assumed that the ‘international community’ is a moral space – a space that represents international human rights norms, standards and values to which the individual countries are expected to conform. There is also an unspoken assumption of the equality of nations and of shared values, principles and beliefs.Upon closer examination, however, one finds that the so-called ‘international community’ does not seem to conform to any of the standards and values associated with it. More often than not, the term ‘international community’ is a euphemism for the United States and its allies. The assumption of equality falls apart as soon as one realises that this ‘community’ follows mostly US dictates and chastises and affirms nations, countries and governments according to the extent to which they toe the US line. Continue reading

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THE MYTH OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

By Dr. Rubina Saigol

 [This article first appeared in Dawn http://www.dawn.com on February 18, 2008.]

 One has suspected for a long time that the so-called ‘international community’ is a major global myth that serves to cover up a lot that needs to be revealed.

 Generally it is believed that the ‘international community’ consists of the different countries of the world with the UN as their embodiment and a reflection of their aspirations.

 It is also commonly assumed that the ‘international community’ is a moral space – a space that represents international human rights norms, standards and values to which the individual countries are expected to conform. There is also an unspoken assumption of the equality of nations and of shared values, principles and beliefs.Upon closer examination, however, one finds that the so-called ‘international community’ does not seem to conform to any of the standards and values associated with it. More often than not, the term ‘international community’ is a euphemism for the United States and its allies. The assumption of equality falls apart as soon as one realises that this ‘community’ follows mostly US dictates and chastises and affirms nations, countries and governments according to the extent to which they toe the US line. Continue reading

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Filed under Inequality, International Aid, World