Monday, May 14, 2007

Why The UN Sucks

I apologize for the not-so-academic language in the title of this post, but I'm just so flabbergasted by what the UN has if there weren't already so many reasons to hate the UN.

Over the weekend, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development elected a new chair...Zimbabwe.

Yes, that Zimbabwe.

This is so ridiculous, monstrous, and pathetic on so many fronts it's hard to know where to start excoriating the UN for this truly idiotic decision.

Asking Zimbabwe to chair a commission on sustainable development is like asking Pol Pot to chair a panel on overpopulation. What aspect of Zimbabwe's development is sustainable or could serve as a model to other countries? The fact that the country doesn't have enough power for its capital city, or its farms? The 50% contraction of its economy since 2000? The 2,200% inflation? An unemployment rate believed to be around 80%? A life expectancy that has dropped from 55 to 35 in 27 years? The destruction of entire villages in the name of urban beautification? I guess those who believe that sustainable development means reversing economic development would be OK with the last one...and let's not forget the brutal political repression that has been going on.

This is the country that the UN has chosen to lead the world on the issue of sustainable development. I have written many times about the implications of the UN's preference for sovereign equality over values, law, norms, or basic human decency. How can this body be expected to advance human rights, prevent genocide, or serve as even a shadow of a world government if it can't punish one of the worst regimes operating today?

Madeline Albright and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had an op-ed in the Washington Post this past March arguing that:

The crisis in Zimbabwe raises familiar questions about the responsibilities of the international community. Some argue that the world has no business interfering with, or even commenting on, the internal affairs of a sovereign state. This principle is exceptionally convenient for dictators and for people who do not wish to be bothered about the well-being of others. It is a principle that paved the way for the rise of Hitler and Stalin and for the murders ordered by Idi Amin. It is a principle that, if consistently observed, would have shielded the apartheid government in South Africa from external criticism and from the economic sanctions and political pressure that forced it to change. It is a principle that would have prevented racist Rhodesia from becoming Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe from ever coming to power.
However, they go on to assert that they "are not suggesting that the world should intervene to impose political change in Zimbabwe. We are suggesting that global and regional organizations and individual governments should make known their support for human rights and democratic practices in that country, as elsewhere." Which global organizations? The UN? As is evidenced by this, the UN cannot and will not act against its members until it's almost too late, not necessarily then, as Sudan and Rwanda readily demonstrate.

What regional organizations? The African Union? Not likely. The AU has been hesitant, to say the least, to take on Zimbabwe and its anti-colonial hero-president Mugabe.

So, if anything is going to happen, it will likely fall to the US, the EU, NATO, and/or other western organizations to do something. Of course, any such actions will violate the international law of sovereignty, they will violate the will of the international community as expressed by the UN, and they will no doubt resemble cultural imperialism. So be it. That is what it is going to take to end the suffering in Zimbabwe. In Darfur. In North Korea. And everywhere else that the UN has turned a blind eye.


jackie said...

well said, seth.
can anyone tell me anything good that mugabe has done for zimbabwe?
i wish i was clever enough to come up with a workable solution to this heartbreaking situation

Anonymous said...

Article 14:
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
= Sound good to me...

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
= Oh crap, If you're actually running from 'the good' UN, you got nowhere to hide...

Article 29:

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
= You have to serve the state (community), without the state you'll stay a moron.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be
subject only to such limitations as are determined by law [...]
= all your rights may be invalidated by some law.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to
the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
= you loose all your rights when you work 'against' the UNO.

Anonymous said...

I love how the post above translates legal to stupid for the jackass who posted this biased and unfounded piece. Zimbabwe has shown expemplary acceptance to change by internalizing their environmental problems and introducing property rights, something the united states is currently debating in congress.
They nullified ivory trade and protected several species from going extinct by introducing property rights.
Those figures are, to use your understanding of academic language, crap. I'm not even going to get into where you got these absurd numbers.
Lastly, the quality of a leader, manager or anyone in a position of power should be assessed by his/her individual traits and accomplishments instead of his race, nationality, gender or creed. Thats what we call DISCRIMINATION. The individual's beliefs may not have to be in sync with his community or groups belief. Assuming your crap about zimbabwe is accurate, it still does not give a good reason to reject candidates from zimbabwe.
But Bravo, shows your thought process to evaluate an individual with bias about his community before even knowing who he is, what his name is etc. and then posting this publicly. Jackass.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous before me,

Lmao. You're the dummy. Have you read the news lately...

LOL yeah Zimbabwe sure is exemplary eh? Ohh!! let's all applaud Mugabe's new attempt (and most likely victory) at continuing his tyranny over his poor people.


Birdzilla said...

The UN is not for world peace it wants total control over our lives we should just get ourselves out of the evil UN

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