WHO, What and Why?

Trans-National Government, Legitimacy and the WHO.

Roger Scruton examines the activities of transnational institutions (the United Nations and its affiliates) and finds that they are, in effect, exercising legislative powers, so bypassing national legislatures and avoiding the constraints to which those legislatures are subject. The ex-politicians who tend to be placed in charge of these transnational institutions are too sensitive to the concerns of unrepresentative interest groups which want to impose their visions of the world on other people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is one such transnational institution. An example of the abuse of its powers is its attempt, based on spurious grounds, to secure a draconian convention against the tobacco industry. Such a convention would do nothing to curtail tobacco consumption but would increase criminal activity and would confer massive legislative and policing powers on unaccountable bureaucrats.

The WHO, Scruton argues, should instead concentrate on its real mission - the prevention and cure of communicable diseases such as malaria and TB.

2000, Occasional Papers 113, ISBN 0 255 36487 3, 61pp, PB