Former U.S. ambassador John Bolton was so disillusioned by the UN
that he is said to have dismissed the organization in saying that, "there is no such thing as the United Nations."
In like manner, journalist Adam LeBor takes on this controversial institution in his novel, "The Geneva Option." (Bourbon Street Books/HarperCollins, 352 pages)
The story centers on Yael Azoulay, a secret negotiator for the UN whose specialty is to broker deals with some of the most unsavory characters on the globe.
On her return from a secret mission to Africa, where she was sent to offer a peace deal to the notorious Hutu warlord, Jean-Pierre Hakizimani, Yael hears of the apparent suicide of her friend, Olivia de Souza, assistant to the Secretary General of the UN.
Yael's suspicions of foul play prove correct and she uncovers a plot to renew the genocide between the rival Tutsis and Hutus as a pretext for a corporation's devious ploy to gain control of the precious supply of coltan, a substance essential in the manufacturing of high tech instruments such as computers and smartphones.
Adam LeBor's "Geneva Option" is a high-tech spy thriller which opens the doors on the United Nations, an institution shrouded in secrecy and diplomatic autonomy.
Though a work of fiction, the circumstances surrounding this Yael Azoulay adventure speak with such glaring credibility that it might prompt the reader to weigh in on the old proposition that asks: "What is worse than the UN? A world without the UN."