DESPITE their decades-old presence, some United Nations (UN) agencies have yet to create a meaningful impact on the life of ordinary Filipinos.
Unless backed by an enlightening information dissemination campaign, the UN is bound to be misunderstood as highly selective, pro-western and elitist international entity.
For sure, the UN is not bereft of programs that seek to uplift the socioeconomic values of the peoples all over the world they are mandated to cater to. Certainly, they are aplenty.
What’s disturbing, however, are adverse public perceptions that these programs are only good on paper. They have yet to take off in the implementation stage.
In the Philippines, the UN appears more keen in venturing into the realm of politics than in addressing the root causes of abject poverty, unemployment and armed conflict.
Occasionally, we often hear and read about the UN’s concern pertaining to the government’s alleged human rights violations, particularly involving the military, in dealing with the insurgency problems in the countryside.
While the concern is admittedly valid, it speaks volumes of the anti-government biases of some UN agencies, especially the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
In not a few instances has the government raised issue over the UNCHR’s one-sided reports as they fail to assail the wanton disregard of human rights by those seeking to establish a totalitarian state the communists.
Understandably, the UNCHR has drawn flak, the not-so-complimentary tag as the mouthpiece of the leftists.
In countries torn apart by political strife, the UN appears in a state of dynamism acting as referee to rivals for power, complementing its efforts with humanitarian assistance.
In the Philippines, the UN seems apathetic, unmindful of the devastating effects the insurgency has spawned, specifically the influx of refugees in Mindanao.
If anything at all, the UN efforts in war-torn south have been largely cosmetic, ceremonial and half-baked. It has yet to justify its existence as a fulcrum for peace and development.
Going all over the countryside, from Aparri to Jolo, one can hardly feel and see any UN-assisted development project, despite the much-vaunted resources at its disposal.
While there may be some, they are somewhat rare by common standards, not exactly fulfilling, lending credence to a mute testimony that the UN has indeed become a failed mission.