Figurative grammar

Glide over the Welcome at the UN site and you see the words “It’s your world”. Click on it and a logo appears with the words “We the peoples”. Between the second person and the first person, there is a third person, the staff of the UN. It’s strange how grammar can be so figurative.

After more than 25 years in Geneva, I am still linked emotionally to news about UN staff. The latest on BBC this morning reminded me of those who through their work find themselves in the line of fire, not by accident, but as a given.

I was going to rant about the 192 Member States of the UN getting their act together and doing something decent since not only do they fall under the first person, but also under the second, and many of them have nationals in the third.

But, at the moment, I just feel very sad.