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Today's Top News
Why the UN Must Abolish the 'Quartet'
It was formed to assist in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in reality, envoy Tony Blair uses it for personal profit.
Quartet envoy Tony Blair has been the target of stinging criticism of late from officials close to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. There have even been murmurs that Abbas' officials may formally request Blair's removal.
While Blair's Quartet role, which he took up the day he left office as UK prime minister in 2007, has undoubtedly been harmful to the Palestinian people and to any semblance of international law, it would not be enough to call for Blair to go.
It is the Quartet itself - an ad hoc committee of US, EU and Russian officials, and the UN Secretary General, that monopolises the so-called "peace process" - that has destroyed what little credibility the United Nations has left on the question of Palestine.
It functions as a front that launders Israeli and American demands as UN and "international" positions, sidelining international law and countless resolutions declaring myriad Israeli actions to be grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
To begin to restore UN credibility, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should end UN membership, funding and support for the Quartet. If he doesn't, UN member states should demand that he do so.
A vehicle for Blair's personal ambitions and enrichment
Nabil Shaath, a senior Abbas associate, has gone on record complaining that Blair was acting as Israel's "defence attorney" in face of Abbas' application for a Palestinian state to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.
None of this is surprising for those who have been paying attention; what is new is the open criticism and level of scrutiny Blair is receiving.
A recent episode of the investigative documentary Dispatches, on the UK's Channel 4, revealed the extent to which Blair has used the Quartet to advance his personal business interests and that of his clients.