Ultimately, if the United States, Japan and Germany-with the support of the permanent 5 and other major donors-were to design a comprehensive reform plan it would stand a fair chance of being adopted, especially if backed by the threat to withhold funds. However, Japan is too insular to make such a move, Germany's diplomacy too hamstrung, and the Bush Administration too lacking a vision. The world body will thus continue drifting towards greater inefficiency and irrelevancy.
But the international community will continue to task the organization with vital mandates, such as the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, that it is not fit to achieve-spurring false hopes (among the still credulous) and squandering human lives and financial resources.
Alexander Casella's career at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spanned from 1973 to 1996, culminating in his post as director of the Regional Bureau forAsiaandOceania. From 1984 to 1986, he was the regional representative for theMiddle EastinBeirut, whereby he oversaw all UNHCR activities in theMiddle Eastand functioned as chairman of the UN Coordinating Committee for the Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation ofLebanon.