U.N. Needs to Examine Conscience

The United Nation’s member states talk a good talk when the cameras are rolling and they’re talking to a bunch of sycophantic New York Times reporters. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently called for a new Human Rights Commission to enforce international conventions against rogue and U.N. member states’ egregious and multiple violations of human rights.

Armed with a renewed sense of righteousness and responsibility, the U.N. set about acting on Secretary Annan’s proposal for a new commission. The commission would bar member states with a record of human rights abuses from having positions on the new human rights council. For once, it appeared that the U.N. was finally acting as the international enforcement agency it was founded as, rather than the dirty little secret that we kept in the closet.

Of course, like any deliberative body, the commission in its final proposed form was changed. The proposal now provides no guarantee that nations with a record of abuse will be prohibited from sitting on the commission. I guess a nation whose law provides for criminal punishment of pro-democracy journalists and coerced abortions is an upstanding advocate for human rights.

The proposal’s current form has sparked opposition from the United States, who in good conscience could never support a commission comprised of nations with no regard whatsoever for basic human rights such as free religious expression. However, the proposal is not surprising coming from an organization opposed to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, not because they knew he didn’t have weapons, but because members of the Security Council had lucrative business ties to Saddam and Iraqi oil. Adulterers don’t support the pro-life movement, so I guess its déjà vu.

Instead of lambasting the United States and U.N. Ambassador John Bolton for their perceived opposition (support) to human rights, U.N. member states should do an examination of their own conscience, and recognize that in order to be regarded as a force for good in the world, they can’t be participants in their self-created Mafia.