NEWS

Natsios sees UN role as one of coordinating organizations

Reconstruction, Andrew Natsios said, is an exceptionally tricky task, in which many different bodies necessarily take part: the remnants of state services in the country in question; foreign companies that sign contracts for various works; the army, which must carry out some projects; and different categories of non-governmental organizations with many different objectives. Based on his long years of experience in many other theaters of reconstruction in the world, he sees the role of the UN as one of coordinating all these bodies to get the best result as fast as possible, a role he regards as crucial to the whole venture. That’s why, he said, USAID has a special office in New York, the UN’s headquarters, to achieve a more effective cooperation. But he does not feel that the UN is in a position to undertake to carry out projects beyond purely humanitarian ones, which will again be under Natsios’s jurisdiction, since the humanitarian funds pumped into Iraq by America will again pass through his organization, USAID. Moreover, he mentioned bilateral programs with other countries, which could play a significant role in the reconstruction of Iraq without having to go through the UN. American citizens How will American citizens greet the news that they will have to pay taxes to pay for a reconstruction that would be unnecessary had their country not gone to war? Natsios replied that they had to accept it; and in fact had done so. American public opinion, he claimed, regarded the destruction of terrorist networks and weapons of mass destruction as necessary, and also supported investments in states such as Iraq that would help them develop in such a way that they posed no danger to the West. We don’t want just military ventures to destroy terrorists, but aid that will build societies, Natsios said.