Feckless UN bureaucrats have tried to ban Dante and give Mt. Rushmore back to the Native Americans. Now comes news that serial human rights violator and war criminal Robert Mugabe has been appointed as an International Envoy for Tourism. The Guardian reports this development with wry understatement:
Improbable as it seems, the man widely accused of ethnic cleansing, rigging elections, terrorising opposition, controlling media and presiding over a collapsed economy has been endorsed as a champion of efforts to boost global holidaymaking.
Improbable, perhaps, only to those unacquainted with the United Nations. For the rest of us, the ensuing outrage was predictable:
The development has stunned human rights campaigners and political opponents who regard Mugabe as a tyrant. Kumbi Muchemwa, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said: “I can’t see any justification for the man being an ambassador. An ambassador for what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists to see those bloody hands?”Mugabe and his allies are subject to EU and US sanctions which prevent him from travelling to countries including Britain, although he does attend the UN general assembly in New York.Muchemwa continued: “Robert Mugabe is under international sanctions, so how do you have an international tourism ambassador who can’t travel to other countries?“The UN is losing credibility in this process. Does it think people should go to a country where the law is not obeyed? An MDC activist was murdered last Saturday. Zimbabwe is doing things which don’t encourage the arrival of tourists.”
Indeed. One might similarly say that the UN is doing things which don’t encourage faith in international institutions as moral and political arbiters of the universe.