Challenging the UN's darker side |

TBC Staff

[TBC: The UN has a consistent record of corruption and it is instructive to consider the following report. It begins on a positive note, affirming an alleged need for the organization, but quickly succumbs to the reality of the UN's failure in regards to Israel.]

Challenging the UN's darker side [Excerpts]

UNITED NATIONS Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, now eight months in office, is proving that his courteous manner should not be mistaken for lack of resolve. The Korean diplomat's administration has spoken out for the victims of Darfur, confronted Sri Lanka over the killings of aid workers, and acted to establish the international tribunal on the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. Quietly but firmly, Ban is helping to confirm the UN's indispensable role in the world.

Yet Ban has made little progress in restraining the UN's own dark side. Getting underway in Europe alone, in the space of a few days next week, will be two UN-backed initiatives that run counter to the secretary general's efforts to improve the world body's effectiveness and credibility.

First, the UN on Monday will launch a series of international meetings on racism, leading up to a major world conference in 2009. The so-called "Durban Review" process is the follow-up to the 2001 conference in South Africa that turned into a diplomatic fiasco. All indications suggest next week's session, and the events that follow from it, will mimic both the format and script of the original.

The lead-up to Durban in 2001 was hijacked by the 57-strong Organization of the Islamic Conference. A February 2001 preparatory meeting for Asian nations was held in Tehran. (Israelis were a priori excluded.) The preparatory committee adopted a text singling out Israel for "ethnic cleansing" and of a "new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity."

Durban's final declaration, after international interventions, toned down the language, but went on to single out Israel. The US delegation walked out.

Far worse, though, were the parallel proceedings held by the nongovernmental organizations. One widely distributed flyer showed a photograph of Hitler and the question, "What if I had won?" The answer: "There would be NO Israel." Goebbels-like caricatures of Jews circulated freely.

In his eyewitness account published in the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Democratic Representative Tom Lantos of California, a US delegate, remarked that "having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I had seen since the Nazi period." The final nongovernmental organization statement declared Israel a "racist apartheid state" guilty of "genocide."

The ghosts of 2001 are almost certain to be conjured up by the shamans of Durban II. In addition, Islamic states are expected to introduce new accusations against the West for "religious defamation." The subtext of this refrain -- which has made its way into UN resolutions over the past six years -- is that the greatest victim of Sept. 11 was actually Islam.

The party chosen to chair the entire process through 2009 indicates its seriousness of purpose: Moammar Khadafy's Libya. The same regime that, in 2002, gave its highest award to convicted French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, that routinely brutalizes black African migrants, and that tortures Bulgarian and Palestinian medics for the crime of being foreigners. This is the country that will now teach the world about racism -- all under the UN's imprimatur.

[To be continued...]

Hillel C. Neuer is executive director of UN Watch in Geneva.

By (Hillel C. Neuer, The Boston Globe, August 25, 2007)