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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nicholas Negroponte: 'Disband the United Nations'

OCT 5 2010, The United Nations, created to maintain international peace and security, is failing at doing both of those things, Nicholas Negroponte told a room filled with engineers as part of a forum on Global Technology held by the National Academy of Engineering in Washington D.C.

"Disband the United Nations and start over again," the MIT professor and founder of the One Laptop per Child Association said in response to a question about how to secure consumer data in an increasingly globalized world. The post-World War II institution wasn't built to address the challenges of the digital age, he said.

"The opposite of global is national," said Negroponte, who was famously raised all over the world and is brother to John Negroponte, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. "I look at nationalism as a disease." (And he has for a long time.)

While Negroponte started the One Laptop per Child program as a means to educate third world children that don't have access to books, let alone the Internet, he found, over time, that the bigger goal was to end isolation.

What others said - Author: Richard Gott is literary editor of the Guardian, a British newspaper.

Many people had hoped that the United Nations would become a relevant force in the wake of the cold war. Since then, however, the U.N. has increasingly been attacked as being a corrupt, wasteful, and ineffective organization. In fact, in its current form, the U.N. is a conservative organization that serves the interests of capitalist countries, and it is incapable of being reformed as a democratic institution. As public support continues to subside, the U.N. is likely to implode—and its demise should not be mourned.