US Senior Advisor Dugan Discusses US Role in UN

Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission at the United Nations Hugh Dugan believes that corruption is the most important topic regarding the United Nations. This Thursday, Mr. Dugan spoke to PA students and faculty in Kemper Auditorium about the role of the United Nations and the United States’ role in the international body. Mr. Dugan commented on how to eliminate corruption in the U.N. and make it “stay true to the U.N. Charter.” He also spoke about the responsibilities, desires, and past actions of the United States delegation. The United Nations, according to its charter, is a “global association of governments facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity.” Mr. Dugan stressed that, in order for the U.N. to stay relevant in the international community regarding its agenda, it needed to budget its money “with accountability.” Countries need to know where the money is going in order to maintain an incorrupt U.N. He stated that the U.N. needed to be “effective and efficient.” Mr. Dugan stressed the fact that corruption must be eliminated from the United Nations. In response to a question regarding the United States’ alleged breach of international law in 2002 while the Security Council was discussing the potential invasion of Iraq, Mr. Dugan said, “Many countries were kept from letting their true feelings be heard.” He used the Oil-for-Food scandal as an example. The Oil-for-Food Programme, which was established by the U.N. in 1996, was created to allow Iraq to sell its oil to other countries for food. It was discontinued in 2003 when evidence began to pile up about Saddam Hussein possibly bribing members of the Security Council with Iraq’s oil. Mr. Dugan also said that corruption in the U.N. Secretariat must be purged. He advocates a “whistleblower policy” to allow employees to come forward without fear of reprisal. Mr. Dugan said that the United States wants to create a U.N. Human Rights Council. This has been very controversial so far because the U.S. wants to screen member states who try to participate. The ability to be a part of this council would be based on the country’s past human rights record. Conor Sutherland ’06, the PAMUN Director for Policy for the club, said, “Mr. Dugan spoke about how the legitimacy of the U.N., and not that of the U.S., will ultimately suffer if the U.N. continues to marginalize the U.S. I believe that Mr. Dugan’s insight is a reality frequently overlooked by U.N. apologists and the mainstream media.” Mr. Dugan discussed the possibility of reorganizing the U.N. Security Council to fit the post-Cold War reality in response to a question from Daniel Bacon ’06, co-head of the PA Model United Nations. This would mean that a number of countries that are not powerful anymore would be removed and replaced by more “relevant” countries. Such countries include the Russian Federation and France, which both hold veto power. Mr. Dugan said that there would need to be an extreme event in order for this to occur. However, he also stated that there was no political reason for the Russian Federation to occupy the former seat of the Soviet Union when the Soviet Union was dismantled.