Today, I watched the TED Talk An Independent Diplomat by Carne Ross. It was really good, so I suggest you watch it (link below) before you continue reading.
First of all, Carne Ross seems like a really cool person. He’s lived a cool life and I feel like I could listen to him tell stories from it all day. Now that that’s been established, I’ll talk about the TED Talk. Ross spoke about his experience as a diplomat and the circumstances that led up to his creation of Independent Diplomats. It was basically his view that the war in Iraq was started for reasons other than that were claimed and his disillusionment with the process of diplomacy that caused him to abandon his position as a British Diplomat and redefine his life. He became an independent ambassador to Kosovo and created Independent Diplomats, a group of people that serve as diplomats to disenfranchised groups/countries. His hope is that his group will be able to bring “voiceless” people to the UN to discuss their situations with policy makers. He states two observations about the world: It is fractioning, and the states hold less power than ever before.
I think what Ross is doing is necessary. The UN was created as a way for countries to talk about their problems. If most of the conflicts are intrastate and both sides of the conflict are not in attendance to communicate about the problem, then the UN isn’t really doing it’s job. By bringing in rebel groups to discuss their desires and issues, the UN is serving it’s purpose of facilitating discussion to prevent conflict.