Blogging Ebola must be getting to me. NGOs and humanitarian agencies are reduced to abject begging to save the millions at risk. The economy of Liberia is imploding before our eyes, and Guinea and Sierra Leone are likely close behind.
I grew up in the twilight of the great colonial empires, and was glad to see their subjects take control of their own lives. Imperialism has provided a few European nations with cheap sources of raw materials and captive markets for manufactured goods; no wonder they clung to them so long.
But all bad things must end, and imperialism (at least in its old form) is over. After World War II, the United Nations took over some former colonial possessions and ran them under the United Nations Trusteeship Council. This is what I found on its website:
The Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994, with the independence of Palau, the last remaining United Nations trust territory, on 1 October 1994. By a resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required -- by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council.
In setting up an International Trusteeship System, the Charter established the Trusteeship Council as one of the main organs of the United Nations and assigned to it the task of supervising the administration of Trust Territories placed under the Trusteeship System. Major goals of the System were to promote the advancement of the inhabitants of Trust Territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence. TheTrusteeship Council is made up of the five permanent members of the Security Council --China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States. The aims of the Trusteeship System have been fulfilled to such an extent that all Trust Territories have attained self-government or independence, either as separate States or by joining neighbouring independent countries.
Functions and powers
Under the Charter, the Trusteeship Council is authorized to examine and discuss reports from the Administering Authority on the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples of Trust Territories and, in consultation with the Administering Authority, to examine petitions from and undertake periodic and other special missions to Trust Territories.After twenty years, this may be the time to renew the Council's mandate—not out of some neocolonial impulse, but the naked self-interest of the great powers.