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While the United Nations appears to be adept at having meetings, the organisation is hopeless on the ground say career foreign service officers in tsunami-affected regions.
As news media are increasingly dominated by footage of US, Australian and regional military forces actually delivering aid to stricken survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami, UN officials are carping about housing in major cities far removed from the front lines and passing around elaborate business cards.
Organising to organise seems to be the word of the day for the UN, say career US foreign service officers anonymously, who fault the international organisation for taking credit where none is due and proving hopeless at actually delivering relief.
A blog (The Diplomad) run by “career US Foreign Service officers” — many serving in what they call the “Far Abroad” as a eupehmism for what appears, often, to be Sri Lanka — is loading the internet with accounts of UN ineptitude in the wake of the tsunami disaster.