Of UN General Assemblies. And a waste of time that they are


How come the comedy crowd never has a go at the UN with all of its grotesque ineptness, corruption and failure to do what it says on the tin: prevent conflict and negotiate peace, in case of failing to do the first, and help to tackle poverty, hunger and decease? It is rubbish at all of these things and is basically a meaningless talking shop and a huge waste of public money.

Yet, the comedy circuit treats the UN like it is some sacred gathering of outstanding people who do a fine job and deserve to be left in peace, to carry on saving the planet. Very odd, that.

But I digress. You might not be aware of it, but the preparations for the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly are in full swing, with the agenda for the gathering that kicks off on September 13 and run till middle of next year having been drawn up. Here are the mouth-watering main points of it: ‘standing with refugees and migrants’; “acting on climate change”; “making progress on the sustainable development goals”; “strengthening global health”; “advancing gender equality”; “harnessing innovation for sustainable development”; “leveraging data for sustainable development”; “investing in peace”; and, finally, “engaging the private sector in global solutions”.

And if that is not exciting and promising an interesting debate then I don’t know what is.

And let’s not forget that world leaders will descend on the UN HQ in their dozens in September, taking the UN podium and giving their take on the goings on in the world and what they think should be done about it. And, crucially, they will use the occasion to hold one-on-one meetings and strike deals that will benefit a lot of people. Well, not that many people, actually. Mostly politicians involved in these meeting, to be exact.

This year, though, the international community, as the UN likes to be known, even though no one knows what it means, will have a bit of problem, especially when it comes to climate change. The thing is that the US under President Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and its future now seems in doubt. Because let’s face it, without the US this agreement won’t really mean anything. It’s a bit like NATO without America as its member, even though the comparison might be a bit overstretched. And if you look at the proposed agenda of the upcoming session of the General Assemble, a lot of it is devoted to climate change. And that causes a dilemma for the organisers of this gig, if you pardon a bit of sarcasm here, and the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, a name you don’t hear often these days even though he has been occupying his highly-paid job for quite a while now.

Anyway, all of sudden the spotlight is on the UN and its so-called General Secretariat, a collective of people on huge salaries who don’t really bother all that much with overworking, if you know what I mean. How will they overcome the problem of the US having a president that is sceptical of the UN as a whole and of a lot of things its stands for? Not to mention that doubts will surface again as to why the UN main HQ is based in fancy New York and not in some place that is closer to human suffering and wars and conflicts, like Khartoum or Mogadishu or Saana? Because it would make more sense for the caring UN to be based in some place which will be more suitable for its proclaimed aims and targets.

And here’s another killer question: would anyone be paying any attention to what will happen at the upcoming session of the General Assembly? Apart from people taking part in it, hacks and the lot who work at the UN? And is it really worth it to spend so much money on pointless gatherings that produce pretty much nothing?

That is why we at Scoop decided to run a poll among people, who have time to kill, and are asking them to answer the following questions:

– Do you care what happens at the UN General Assembly and do you know what a UN General Assembly is?

– Is it actually a good idea to hold a talking shop for politicians and diplomats every year and blow a lot of taxpayers’ money on it?

– Would you be upset if the UN General Assembly didn’t happen at all?

– Has there ever been an occasion in your memory when the UN General Assembly came up with anything specific?

Answers on postcards. Normal rules do not apply.