As the former U.N. Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan passed on, no tribute will be greater than honestly reflecting on the failures of the United Nation to prevent conflict around the world.
From early the 90s when Kofi headed the UN Peace Keeping mission, to 1997 when he took office up until 2006 when he completed his two terms, Annan struggled to bring elusive peace to Africa and around the world.
Known as a great mediator, Annan couldn’t bring his magic to work in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and Cyprus, the same thing can also be said of Somalia and Iraq which vehemently opposed the US military invasion. His efforts in Syria only added to confusion to a war fought from multiple sides and powerful countries determined to reshape the ancient country.
Rwandan 1994 genocide that resulted in death of over 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis is also partly blamed on Annan for his failure to act on a telegram from peacekeeper commander, General Romeo Dallaire, urging a move against arms caches being built up by Hutu extremists as they prepared mass murder. Annan was also blamed in 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, where insufficient U.N. peacekeeping forces were unsuccessful at maintaining order.
But should Annan to be blamed for overseeing a UNSG tenure marred by numerous turmoil? No. If anything the chaos in Syria is an appropriate glimpse to the actual working of global politics, in fact Syria illuminates the handicapped disposition of UNSG which is just overrated when it comes to actual execution of peace and war.
There are ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Cameroon, Syria, and Iran is still shaky without the US military, the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cameroon have better leverage to put an end to those conflicts. The current UNSG António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres (surprisingly long name for an European) is in many respect just another spectator in the audience.