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Why the UN is a joke (UPDATED)

Amidst all the reports of Libya's crackdown on protestors, to include using their armed forces to kill and maim demonstrators, I think it's good to go back to two news stories.

The first is roughly 8 years ago:

Libya was elected today by secret ballot to head the top United Nations human rights panel - a break from nearly 50 years of tradition in which chairpersons are elected by acclamation.

During the selection of its officers for 2003, Ambassador Najat Al-Hajjaji was elected Chairperson of the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights by a secret ballot of 33 countries in favour, with three opposed and 17 abstentions.

According to a Commission spokesman, the procedure - invoked today by the United States - can be requested to contest a nomination for the panel's chairperson. Explanations of vote are not allowed, as they are following public ballots.

Upon her election, Ambassador Al-Hajjaji said the Commission must affirm the universality, indivisibility and complementarity of human rights, and that it must send a clear message that it will deal with human rights in all countries - not just some of them - taking into account the different religious, cultural and historical backgrounds in the world.

A clear message was definitely sent, a message now being confirmed as Libya slaughters her citizens.  But the UN didn't stop there, what follows happened in May of last year:

On 14 May, Libya won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), however it was not much of a competition - Libya ran unopposed (together with 13 other nations, including Angola, Malaysia and Qatar - all of whom have questionable human rights records and were also elected unopposed).

In its 2010 Freedom in the World annual survey, Freedom House awarded Libya the lowest possible rating for both political and civil liberties (others in this category included Sudan and North Korea).

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva based NGO, UN Watch, headed a diverse global coalition of 37 human rights groups that fought to defeat Libya's candidacy, with appeals urging the US and the EU to lead an opposition campaign. Unfortunately, that campaign fell on deaf ears.

Following Libya's election, Neuer said:

by electing serial human rights violators, the U.N. violates its own criteria as well as common sense. Choosing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to judge others on human rights is a joke... he'll use the position not to promote human rights but to shield his record of abuse, and those of his allies...

The UNHRC was created in 2006, with a specific task to create a new body to tackle human rights abuses, in light of its discredited predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Commission was largely criticised for its one-sided obsession with Israel and the make up of its members, which included, amongst others, such human rights luminaries as Cuba, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and China. It was argued that this created impunity for the world's worst human rights abusers and prevented the Commission from helping those in real need of its assistance. Even former Secretary General Kofi Annan, said the Commission had a "fatal credibility deficit" that was casting "a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole."

Tragically however, with the election of Libya, a gross abuser of human rights and supporter of terrorism, the new UNHRC makes a complete mockery of human rights and appears to be no different to its discredited predecessor.

All of which makes this bit of news from a little more than a year ago all the more cogent and relevant:

The debate over whether the United Nations will continue to overcharge American taxpayers is over--and the U.S. wound up on the losing end. In a dramatic turnaround from steady declines since 2001, the percentage that the U.S. will be charged for U.N. peacekeeping has been sharply increased for the next three years, and U.S. taxpayers will end up paying roughly $100 million more each year than they would have if the 2009 assessment rate had been maintained.

Even more troubling than the outcome, though, is the seeming disinterest of the Obama Administration in opposing this increase. Indeed, the Administration did not even bother to demand a vote on the resolution.

The UN is a joke.  This President is a joke.

Unfortunately for us and for the free world, none of it is funny.

UPDATE: This just in, no threat seen to Libya's seat on top U.N. Human Rights body.


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Comments (22)

Meanwhile... the unelected ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Meanwhile... the unelected Sarah Palin, who holds no official title, called for NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Libya (not Lybia for all you WH hacks) and today NATO responded by warning Libya that they would establish such a zone if Libya continued to bomb their citizens.

She's not even part of the government and she gets ahead of obama on what's going on with our allies. Is he so out of touch with reality, so out of sync with our allies that they no longer consult him or even inform him ahead of time of their decisions?

He looks like a fool waffling over Libya while leaping into action to defend union payoffs. He looks like more of a fool when Sarah Palin can appear to show more leadership acumen on critical foreign policy issues.

I certainly hope it comes a... (Below threshold)

I certainly hope it comes as no surprise to anyone. 2003 was a good year for dictators in the UN. While Libya was slated to chair the Commission on Human Rights, Iraq was to chair the disarmament conference - and to add insult to injury, Iran was co-chair.

What were they going to do? Write each other sternly worded letters?

The UN has stray... (Below threshold)

The UN has strayed so far from it's original charter that it is a sick parody.

The US needs to quit them,and expel the organization from this country. Historically, WE have been the movers and shakers in terms of accomplishing goals set. As a singular entity, we can do much more to advance the principles espoused by that vapid gang.Just look through their history, and see who the heavy lifter has been.

It's incomprehensible that we must continue to be associated with, and help fund, this failed organization.

Just how much money would t... (Below threshold)

Just how much money would the US save getting the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US?

The UN was founded on the p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The UN was founded on the premise that the great powers after WWII, having defeated the forces of tyranny, could lead the world in a lasting peace. Unfortunately, the leaders of those nations abdicated their responsibility following he lead of disaffected academic elites who declared that the great powers were flawed and therefore had no right to leadership.

With the West taking the position that their nations were no better than third world dictatorships those dictatorships were elevated to a position of equality and the promise of the UN was lost to 3rd world kleptocrats who were far more interested in amassing personal wealth and power rather than the welfare of mankind.

The UN has always been a jo... (Below threshold)

The UN has always been a joke, ineffective, corrupt, and complete waste of money.

As such, I have no doubt that once his disastrous presidency is over, Barry O will eventually be the Sec General of the UN.

Who better to lead it?

"Nothing to see here, move ... (Below threshold)

"Nothing to see here, move along..."

The UN has always been a worthless US taxpayer moneypit that gives 2 bit tinhorn dictators, communists and now Islamic fundamentalists a world stage to insult the US.

All this foreign affairs st... (Below threshold)

All this foreign affairs stuff must be such a nuisance. You know it has got to be interfering with golf and basketball.

Wouldn't you like to have the stationary printing contract for the UN for all those sternly worded letters.

-Quoting Demi Moore from A Few Good Men, "I strenuously object!"

I would have to go check ho... (Below threshold)
Brett :

I would have to go check how the UN money gets approved, but I can't see any good reason why the House just doesn't allocate the money.

In Texas we have a saying t... (Below threshold)

In Texas we have a saying that applies here concerning Quadaffi: "He needed killing". ww

The UN liberals would rathe... (Below threshold)

The UN liberals would rather be punishing the Joos.. Barry would rather be playing golf..

Worst then Cahtah!

We should get out of the UN... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

We should get out of the UN, thereby kicking the props out from under it.

I understand that for domestic political reasons we're unlikely to do that, so instead, how about proposing to move UN headquarters to the Third World? I hear Lagos is lovely. Make UNistas walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

The UN is a joke... ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The UN is a joke... except, when it works..such as with the UN Libyan sanctions, as a consequence of the Lockerbee crash.

Nevertheless, after suffering punitive UN sanctions which froze overseas Libyan bank accounts and prevented the import of spare parts needed for the country's oil industry, Tripoli reluctantly agreed to pay $2.7 billion to victims families ($10 million per family), on condition the pay-out would not be deemed as admission of guilt.

In February, 2004, the Libyan prime minister told the BBC that his country was innocent but was forced to pay-up as a "price for peace".

Can Obama still be SecGen o... (Below threshold)
JustRuss :

Can Obama still be SecGen of the UN if the US is no longer a member nation?

Would Obama want to be SecGen if the liberal dream of one world government with the UN in the lead doesn't come to fruition?

also; from the tinfoil hat section of my brain

Nicolae Carpathia

Can Obama still be SecGe... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Can Obama still be SecGen of the UN if the US is no longer a member nation?

Sure, as long as Indonesia still is.

The UN is a joke... exce... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

The UN is a joke... except, when it works..such as with the UN Libyan sanctions, as a consequence of the Lockerbee crash.

That's your example of UN effectiveness?

You should have gone with a stronger example, such as their Christmas ... er... Winter Holiday cards.

"Can Obama still be SecGen ... (Below threshold)
Sarah the Impaler:

"Can Obama still be SecGen of the UN if the US is no longer a member nation?"

Sure, long as he passes those rigorous molester classes.

The key words at the end "t... (Below threshold)

The key words at the end "taking into account the different religious, cultural and historical backgrounds" seem to say backward countrys with old desert tribal practices could keep them, but the koran commands them to make sharia not just the law of their land but of the world. Everyone should have the right and the duty to beat as many wives as he has is in the koran.

Can Obama still be... (Below threshold)
Brett :
Can Obama still be SecGen of the UN if the US is no longer a member nation?

As long as Indonesia is still a member, no problem

The UN did serve a useful f... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The UN did serve a useful function during the Cold War by providing a neutral forum where the USA and USSR could meet informally to resolve serious differences before they escalated. Its success was mixed and after Nixon's "Detente" initiative in the '70s it became more or less redundant in that respect, but did provide a vehicle to help gradually integrate China into the world community.

Upon the fall of the USSR, China having made great strides, the UN became entirely superfluous - just a place for despots and criminals to send their cronies to party and flaunt parking laws while occupying valuable real estate which might be put to productive use. The nations named to the Human Rights Commission constitute spitting in the eye of the civilized world.

Steve Crickmore @ #13 ~ You... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Steve Crickmore @ #13 ~ Your own example would tell you why the UN is useless, if only you had the sense to look at it beyond the surface.

Which "UN" nations do you expect actually had an effect on Libya's behavior? Whose boycott could really hurt them enough to accomplish this? Was it the few, the NATO allies and China and India, or was it all the third-world dictators, despots, and potentates you so love to entertain and bow to?

Do you suppose it would have been easier to engineer successful sanctions by just getting together with the nations which mattered, and with whom we already had direct diplomatic relations and constant contact? Or did we have to make concessions - or at least waste valuable time stroking to make them believe they matter - all your little criminal regimes to get the job done?


Is the reason leftists have abandoned Christianity (and practicing Judaism) because of their devotion to their new religion of stupidity?

Lybia, corpse, fifty seven ... (Below threshold)

Lybia, corpse, fifty seven states, bowing to muslim kings, forty friends to Spain on our tab, etc. Sort of puts potato, or potatoe, each is correct, in perspective doesn't it Dumbocrats?






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