Annan envious of World Cup

Apparently the world has a lot to learn from the World Cup. In a Monday op-ed for the Guardian, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued that if the international community was modeled more like the World Cup, we would see progress on many issues that are either stagnant or degenerating. This is an event in ...

608296_ac-kofi-annan5.jpg
608296_ac-kofi-annan5.jpg

Apparently the world has a lot to learn from the World Cup. In a Monday op-ed for the Guardian, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued that if the international community was modeled more like the World Cup, we would see progress on many issues that are either stagnant or degenerating.

This is an event in which everybody knows where their team stands, and what it did to get there. They know who scored and how and in what minute of the game; they know who saved the penalty. I wish we had more of that sort of competition in the family of nations. Countries vying for the best standing in the table of respect for human rights, and trying to outdo one another in child survival rates or enrollment in secondary education. States parading their performance for all the world to see. Governments being held accountable.

It's a nice thought, and this piece isn't meant to be much more than that. However, for all of Annan's contrasting parallels, an obvious one is lacking: FIFA's efficiency in executing the World Cup vs. the UN's less than stellar record on many aspects of its mission and a slow process for much-needed internal reforms.

Apparently the world has a lot to learn from the World Cup. In a Monday op-ed for the Guardian, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued that if the international community was modeled more like the World Cup, we would see progress on many issues that are either stagnant or degenerating.

This is an event in which everybody knows where their team stands, and what it did to get there. They know who scored and how and in what minute of the game; they know who saved the penalty. I wish we had more of that sort of competition in the family of nations. Countries vying for the best standing in the table of respect for human rights, and trying to outdo one another in child survival rates or enrollment in secondary education. States parading their performance for all the world to see. Governments being held accountable.

It’s a nice thought, and this piece isn’t meant to be much more than that. However, for all of Annan’s contrasting parallels, an obvious one is lacking: FIFA’s efficiency in executing the World Cup vs. the UN’s less than stellar record on many aspects of its mission and a slow process for much-needed internal reforms.

Not that I expect the Secretary-General to admit to that, but at least one mention of the UN’s role in helping or hindering his list of goals would have sufficed.

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