The naming of North Korea's Ambassador So Se Pyong as chair of the UN's Conference on Disarmament drew sharp criticism from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
"North Korea is simply not a credible chair of a disarmament body," he said of the bellicose nuclear-armed state, which faced UN accusations as recently as May of trading missile know-how with Iran. Baird said the appointment was "unacceptable" given North Korea's "efforts in the opposite direction."
Meanwhile, another veteran Canadian diplomat, Marius Grinius, used his farewell address to the conference to congratulate the North Koreans! Grinius went on to recall his memories of visiting Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The fact the UN reports that other ambassadors — including Britain's — also welcomed the appointment of the North Korean illustrates the make-believe world that defines the UN, where diplomats of even the most heinous regimes are routinely treated as respected equals. It implies that a disconnect exists between the internationally based members of the bureaucracy, and the government.