Finding ways to feed Somalia deserves the support of all United Nations members. The United States has properly signed on to this newly approved U.N. mission. Anarchy, feuding and robbery have replaced tyranny in Somalia. This has impeded private relief agencies from feeding the starving. Walking skeletons trek by the hundreds of thousands to Kenya, which cannot feed them. Or they become unwanted boat people in desolate Yemen. The world has looked the other way.
That said, the U.N. Security Council resolution marked an intriguing precedent. It represents the agenda of no government so much as of their servant, U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He berated the members for putting all their resources into coping with "the rich man's war" in Yugoslavia. He forced them to see misery in the Third World. He is the first secretary general from Africa and, though a Christian, the first from a Muslim country. As an Egyptian, he is acutely aware of starvation and butchery in nearby Somalia, which is both African and in the Arab League.
The U.N. resolution is significant, too, because the members committed themselves to addressing a problem, with a task force in place to recommend measures, but did not set a budget. The ways and means, the provision of transport, the method of distribution and the duration are not worked out. This while the U.N. is struggling to meet expensive peace-keeping commitments in Cambodia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Namibia, without capsizing from nonpayment of dues and assessments.