Skip to comments.UN has been hijacked by the world's worst
Posted on 02/02/2003 7:18:15 AM PST by Clive
With the United Nations now inflicting moral outrages on the civilized world at the rate of about one a week, the question must be asked if the world body can be saved from itself.
Last week's outrage was the news that Iraq will co-chair the UN's key disarmament negotiating forum during its May 12 to June 27 meetings in Geneva. The chairs are chosen alphabetically and it's Iraq's turn, along with co-chair ... wait for it ... Iran.
Never mind that Iraq is under UN sanctions for invading Kuwait, is in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions regarding its own disarmament and that Iraq and Iran, another dictatorship, fought a brutal, eight-year war against each other for most of the 1980s. Such jaw- dropping inanities are simply business as usual at the UN.
The week before, it was word that Libya, one of the world's worst human rights violators, had been elected to chair the UN Human Rights Commission.
The subject of my column last week, I've since done some further research on the UNHRC and can report it is perhaps the most inappropriately named body on Earth.
Of the world's nine worst dictatorships as identified by the respected rights-monitoring agency Freedom House, five - Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Cuba - are all members of this commission that is ostensibly devoted to human rights.
So are China and Russia, respectively responsible for the brutal repression of Tibet and Chechnya, identified by Freedom House as the two least-free territories on Earth.
Zimbabwe - which Freedom House cites as one of the top five setbacks for the cause of world freedom in 2002 under Robert Mugabe's policies of repression, violence, corruption and terror - is also a proud member of the UNHRC.
Of its 53 members, almost 25% are dictatorships.
Aside from being on the UNHRC, Syria, a rogue state which supports terrorism and occupies Lebanon, is also a member of the UN Security Council. Two years ago, Sudan would have been on the council had not the U.S. intervened.
As Nancy Soderberg, who served as a UN ambassador from 1997-2001, wrote last week in an article entitled "Take back the UN" in the The Washington Times: "Since the end of the Cold War, the member states of the United Nations have let the body's repressive regimes hold much of the UN hostage to their agenda. Undemocratic regimes win positions on key UN bodies and then block any criticism of their actions or those of their dictatorial colleagues."
Unrelenting attacks on Israel
An offshoot of this has been the UN's obsessive and unrelenting attacks on Israel, driven largely by a coalition of Arab and other Third World dictatorships, which burst into the open as raw anti-Semitism against Jews in general at the infamous world conference on racism in Durban in 2001, a meeting which the UNHRC played a key role in organizing.
As Soderberg observes: "Of the 59 (General Assembly) resolutions on which roll-call votes were taken during the 2001 session, nearly half dealt with Israel, while the General Assembly remained silent on the actions of many ruthless, undemocratic regimes."
The UNHRC has a similar record of hypocrisy in singling out Israel for condemnation, which is not to say that Israel should be above criticism for its often brutal treatment of innocent Palestinians in the Disputed Territories, mainly in response to terrorism. But at the UN, condemnation of Israel goes on constantly while the world body turns a blind eye to far worse human rights violations all over the globe.
Michael Goldfarb, senior press officer at Freedom House, says the fundamental problem at the UN is that while tyrannical nations are in the minority, they constantly act as a voting bloc, unlike the UN's democracies which actually form the majority of UN members, but seldom act in concert.
"Thirty-three of the 53 members of the UNHRC - an electoral majority - are democracies," Goldfarb notes, but "they don't work as a bloc in the way the dictatorships do, and as long as this sort of thing continues, it will be closed societies that continue to call the shots at the UN."
Complicating the issue is that five regional voting blocs control key UN appointments. For example, the African group was instrumental in getting Libya appointed to head the UNHRC after the first meeting of the new African Union was largely financed by Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy's oil-wealthy regime. "Basically, Libya bought the chairmanship of the UNHRC," Goldfarb notes.
He argues the root problem at the UN is its naive notion that every state is equal to every other, regardless of whether it is a dictatorship or a democracy and regardless of its record on human, civil and political rights.
Those interested in reforming the UN, like Soderberg and Freedom House, have called for the creation of a "democracy caucus" within the world body - meaning democratic countries who are in the majority would begin to work together to block the appointment of tyrannies to key UN posts, in other words beating the dictatorships at their own game.
This is certainly appropriate given that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has observed, as Soderberg notes, that only "when the United Nations can truly call itself a community of democracies (will) the charter's noble ideals of protecting human rights" be realized. Exactly. Until that happens, the UN's credibility will remain in tatters. While it may perform some valuable services in areas such as fighting disease and poverty, it should simply not be taken seriously on major political issues by the world's democracies.
Nothing has really changed since the U.N. set up HQ in N.Y.C. It's just a big game, with the future of the world at stake, and with the same types of evil motives at play as were so wickedly demonstrated by the likes of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.
Nothing's changed - just the shadows have grown deeper.
(This guy has a real head on his shoulders. Thanks for posting the column)
This is the body of reason the liberals would have us listen to?
What's wrong with this picture?
RESPONSE: Same with California's government. I'm sure other States are going the same way. Take a good look at the type of "people" in positions of authority.
Race relations ... Rwanda
Diveristy ... Japan
Religious freedom ... Saudi Arabia
Population control ... India
Property rights ... Zimbabwe
Crime control ... England
Children's health ... South Africa
It's bad. But I'd like to see something from American papers. Any references out there?
You have obviously never read the numerous articles, columns and editorials from Sun Media and the Toronto Sun that have been posted on Free Republic.
You will no doubt be surprised to learn that there are conservatives in Canada, some of them running and writing for newspapers.
Gosh, I wonder why the media think democracy is so wonderful?
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