Another World AIDS Day has arrived today and, although hard to believe, the situation across the globe is worse than before.

The AIDS epidemic is described by the United Nations as the “most destructive in human history” and accounting for more than 25 million deaths so far. Leaders of rich and poor nations should be commended for applying their citizens’ largesse in fighting the disease. But the UN, and ultimately these leaders, must be equally criticized for failing to deliver accountability where its programs are concerned.

So it is with some interest that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said earlier this week:

“The challenge now is to deliver on all the promises that governments have made. Leaders must hold themselves accountable — and be held accountable by all of us. Accountability — the theme of [this year’s] World AIDS Day…requires every president and prime minister, every parliamentarian and politician, to decide and declare that AIDS stops with me.”

It is ironic that the accountability that Mr. Annan so passionately speaks of has been thin on the ground when it comes to the UN’s promotion of treatment for HIV.

Where the U.N. is concerned, accountability is very thin on the ground in general.