The United Nations needs to clean up its own act, and then spend its resources addressing the need for democracy around the world, according to a spokesman for President Bush.

Kofi Annan

In a press briefing, Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, asked Tony Snow, the presidential spokesman, about Bush’s perception of the United Nations at this point.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be leaving his office at the end of this year, and he recently criticized the United States in what probably will be his last formal address, at a meeting in Independence, Mo., the birthplace of President Harry Truman, who oversaw the formation of the U.N.

Replacing Annan will be Ban Ki-moon, of South Korea. The 62-year-old is a former foreign minister of South Korea. He will be the eighth U.N. secretary-general since the world body was established in 1946.

“What is the president’s perception of the effectiveness of the United Nations and how … will that play a role in addressing future international crises, such as that in Afghanistan or Iraq?” Kinsolving asked.

“The president has made it clear that he wants the United Nations to be more effective in addressing all of these, including humanitarian concerns in places like Darfur, and that the United Nations also has to deal forthrightly, not only with a robust commitment to democracy, but also with a reform agenda, because there have been some problems within the United Nations,” Snow said.

According to The Times Online, Annan’s recent address in Missouri included some criticism of the U.S.

He took exception to the United States’ focus on its security and said the betterment of the world will need for those nationalistic urges to be repressed.

“Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world’s peoples can face global challenges together. And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition,” he said.

Annan and the Bush Administration have been at odds over a number of issues, ranging from Annan’s description of the war in Iraq as “illegal” to American criticism of the role Annan played in the Oil-for-Food scandal with Iraq, in which his son had lobbied to win a lucrative U.N. contract.

“The (U.N.) Security Council is not just another stage on which to act out national interests,” Annan said. “It is the management committee, if you will, of our fledgling collective security system.”

Annan also accused the United States of committing human rights abuses and of taking military action without the approval of other nations or the U.N.

“When it appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused,” he said, adding when the military is used, “the world at large will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose…”

Snow also declined to comment for the president regarding a report in “The Weekly Standard” about hired security. Its article was titled, “Warriors for Hire: Blackwater USA and the Rise of Private Military Contractors.”

“I haven’t even read it,” Snow said.

That report is about “the world’s largest private military training facility” near Moyock, N.C., which the report describes as “the alpha and omega of military outsourcing.”

The report notes that the company “can deliver 100- or 200-ton self-contained humanitarian relief response packages faster than the Red Cross” and has an aviation division ranging from helicopter gunships to a Boeing 767 and a Zeppelin.

The company also is one of the largest suppliers of “private military contractors” in Iraq now, the report said.

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