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Ruta Mave: Are we ready for the UN high chair?

Monday 15 April 2024 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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Ruta Mave: Are we ready for the UN high chair?
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

The American president JF Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country.” Our Prime Minister’s motto appears to be “Ask every country you meet what can they do for our country”, writes Ruta Mave.

When Thomas Wynne says we want to sit at the table of the United Nations (UN) I understood what he was saying. Unfortunately, his choice of metaphor incurs a mental image that highly highlights our main problem with sitting at the table and that is we are obese.

We have a problem with gluttony in all areas of our lives and quite literally we are eating too much protein and not enough greens.

We like to dig our teeth into the meat of a situation, event or opportunity without thinking or digesting on the healthier long term environmental concerns, and green benefits for our whole community body.

We think with our stomachs, not intuitively like a gut instinct of what is right or wrong. We saturate ourselves with the fat of the calf beyond satiation in the belief if some is good more is better.

The problem with wanting to sit at the UN table is exactly that. All we will do is sit at the table and hope to eat from the table. We will not contribute to the table or the meal at all. We won’t set the table, we certainly won’t lay the silverware tools of aide and abetting the UN charter to help and serve others.

What we most certainly do well is, dress up the importance of the seat at the table in the public eye. We sell the idea of sitting at the UN table as our sovereign right, what our independent nation status demands, but we have no intention or ability to deliver the necessary etiquette required for one to be invited as a meaningful and more importantly a worthy guest. 

Heck, we don’t even know what the cutlery is for, let alone know which knife to use because we basically don’t give a fork. We just want to get our pudgy fingers into another two hundred pies for funding.

The lofty idea that we will join the table to contribute to reducing the dire straits of the world and to offer our two cents worth towards global issues on wars and economy is all hidden by our tablecloth of arrogance. 

We are like the child strapped into the high chair in the corner wearing a bib to catch all the funding food we are gorging ourselves with that we can’t fit into our mouths so it dribbles away wasted.

Banging our fists on the tray demanding more, more, more and only being pacified when the silver spoon of funding choo-choo trains its way to our gaping mouth.

Why is the question or mission always about what can we get and not what can we give? The American president JF Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country.” Our Prime Minister’s motto appears to be “Ask every country you meet what can they do for our country”.

The UN charter was created after the second world war in an attempt to prevent another happening on an international level. Gee, we can’t help those on our own doorstep, let alone pretend we can assist overseas nations.

How can we help defend a country under attack when we can’t defend our vulnerable women and children from domestic violence? How can we send troops overseas when we can’t send enough police to a checkpoint? How can we send funding support to needy countries when all we do is act needy and beg for funding for our greedy selves?

We don’t export food to support our own economy, who thinks we will be able to send food aide to war torn countries? We can’t demonstrate feeding ourselves healthily, how can we pretend we are capable of feeding others? Will we take in refugees? We complain we have too many imports working in our tourism industries and what is more we don’t have enough houses for them, so where would refugees go?

We don’t belong at the adult table because we don’t know how to be adults, we only know how to be adulterers. Our Prime Minister has made promises to so many countries I’m not sure he knows who he is in bed with. We have already experienced the fallout of mixing together water and oil.

It’s time for the government to be honest. What we want, what we really, really want, is not the seat at the table but the apartment in New York.

Note: The author has retracted a statement claiming South Korea and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t share a room due to religious differences. The author was unable to verify this claim.