Tuesday, June 11, 2002

More UN laughs as Richard Owen reports in the Times that hunger talks start with lobster and foie gras.
The opening day of the UN World Food Summit, dedicated to combating global hunger, was marked yesterday by a sumptuous lunch for the 3,000 delegates served by 170 Italian waiters.

The summit leaders were offered foie gras, lobster, and goose stuffed with olives. followed by fruit compote.

The Rome lunch was a symbol, for Western leaders at least, of the extravagant and bloated bureaucracies that the aid business has created, and went some way towards explaining why so few of them were in attendance yesterday.
Don't be bitchy fellas, the bureaucrats have to keep their strength up. Meanwhile, Clare Short, Britain's International Development Secretary dropped the big one: "I'm not sending a minister because I don't expect it to be an effective summit. It's an old-fashioned U.N. organization and it needs improvement." Actually Clare, it mostly needs to be put out of its misery.

Finally the summit produced a new contender for the Mugabe award for two faced verbiage. Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque piped up,
saying hunger would never end as long as wealthy countries controlled an economic system that he alleged deprives 800 million people of their daily bread. "The root causes of such genocide is the global imposition by an opulent and privileged majority of a system of international economic relations that proves increasingly unjust and marginalizing, and which in fact is unsustainable."
Since the party line in Havana is that they absolutely must be allowed to trade with the opulent USA, this must be Rocky's way of telling us he wants a handout.