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Hope is not enough

The UN faces irrelevance. It cannot simply assume a moral posture and hope for a better world

By David Rieff   October 2003

The truck bomb that destroyed the UN headquarters in Baghdad on 19th August has been as shocking to the UN as a political community as the events of 11th September were to most Americans. Hyperbole? No one who witnessed the outpouring of emotion at UN headquarters in New York or Geneva would think so. But the depth of grief and outrage engendered by the murder of Kofi Annan’s special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 21 of his UN colleagues, goes beyond the fact that, trite as it may sound, most UN staffers think of themselves as belonging to a…

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