Another day, another celebration of vicious dictators at the United Nations. Reports the New York Times:
UNESCO on Tuesday awarded a prize for research in the life sciences that drew controversy because it was financed by the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny, repressive and impoverished state. The award was heavily criticized by Western countries and human-rights groups as a misuse of funds by Equatorial Guinea and a stain on the reputation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
You can find other incidents in this sordid series here and here. We certainly don’t dispute the value of the scientists’ work, but does anybody really think that the citizens of Equatorial Guinea deserved to have this money stolen from them by a glory-hungry dictator eager to burnish his own image? Or that the UN had any business taking the blood money and going along with the charade?There are some awards it’s a shame both to give and to receive. This is one of them.