I was listening to an NPR story about the UN in Syria and heard this gem of a quote (slightly paraphrased).

“The UN runs the risk of undermining its mission if it takes action and appears ineffective.”

So basically, the UN might not take action so it doesn’t take action and fail. That, I think is a sad possibility to have to consider, but one that I fear is sadly indicative of the position of the UN. They are afraid of being ineffective because there’s such a large possibility that if they do something they might fail.

The UN is really a form of democracy writ large. Everyone has some degree of representation, and every possible position is represented. Given that fact, it’s not much of a surprise that it’s a little unwieldy at times.