UN Gets Its Due (and Dues)

The timing could not have been more perfect in the giving of a joint Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan.

Not only has the terrorist crisis pushed the United States to pay its back dues and fully embrace the UN as a vital helpmate, but now the award will give a boost to UN workers, who will likely be asked to rebuild a post-Taliban Aghanistan.

And Mr. Annan, after five years of astute and calm diplomacy at the UN helm, begins a second term in January with this pat on the back only reinforcing his drive for reform, including learning lessons from peacekeeping disasters of the 1990s. The Nobel Prize committee praised the UN and Annan for their work for a "better organized and more peaceful world."

With 29 organizations, the UN is an easy target for complaints, often for what it isn't doing. The prize committee decided it was time to proclaim that "the only negotiable route to global peace and cooperation goes by way" of the UN. That will do it well until it receives the prize again.

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