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Just how many 'sick and disadvantaged' Monegasque children are there?

That question came to mind upon reading the list of applicants for consultative status for the UN's Economic and Social Council.

Note this: "Association “Les enfants de Frankie”, a national organization based in Monaco and founded in November 1997, which seeks to entertain and provide psychological, material and financial support to sick and disadvantaged children nationwide, working closely with social services, hospitals, children’s homes and more than 300 humanitarian organizations". It has a website, with creepy clowns and music, so click at your own risk.

A little light fact checking suggests that there are around 5000 Monegasque minors, so that would mean one humanitarian organisation for every 16 children, and in all honesty, I do not think that all 5000 are either dying of consumption or standing outside the casino with a begging bowl. Then again, maybe the relative poverty lobby is in power there, and it is doing its bit to support poor unfortunates with parents who are only millionaires rather than billionaires. I can just imagine the Christmas charity appeals.

Also signed up is the "Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association, a national organization headquartered in Abuja and founded in 1963, which exists to foster the bonds of friendship and promote cordial relations between all military families and their immediate communities throughout Nigeria". A laudable aim, no doubt, but what on earth has it got to do with the UN?

However, it was not a good day for London-based NGOs, as decisions were left pending on Spirituality for Kids - "an international organization based in London and established in May 2004 as a means to seek an end to suffering and chaos in the lives of children worldwide by giving them the tools of spirituality and resiliency" - and Kabbalah Centre, "a London-based international non-profit organization established in October 1998 and dedicated to removing all forms of chaos, pain and suffering in the world by inspiring people through universal principles of responsibility, tolerance and human dignity". I am not making this up, really I am not.

It would be remiss not to pause to point and jeer at the International Federation of Liberal Youth, which failed dismally to convince the UN to fast track it, even though it is "for liberal and student youth organizations to provide a forum for cooperation, exchange of resources and ideas, and intercultural learning between liberal youth organizations". The IFLY is associated with Liberal International, to which our own dear Lib Dems subscribe, but there appear to be no Britons on the IFLY's bureau (yes, that's what they call it) or on its house mag's board of editors. I think our more youthful LDs are missing a trick, as there must be truly fabulous opportunities for junketing with IFLY.
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