July 6, 2013

Abandon the United Nations?

Pull the plug on the United Nations and allow it to die. It has obviously outlived any usefulness

What are we going to do about the United Nations?  Exactly what has the U.N. accomplished? I will grant that the U.N. began with the most noble and loftiest of intentions, but does it still embody those intentions?

It’s ineffectual, it’s corrupt, it’s unelected, it’s dominated by scores of tiny countries which have learned that if they claim discrimination or claim that their “human rights” are being denied, they can make the wealthy, successful nations feel enough guilt (thanks to the leftists within those countries who rarely if ever made any contribution to either the wealth or the success) to shovel money at them even as they declare their undying hatred for the countries who are being shaken down.

That makes the United Nations sound like it has a lot in common with the U.S. Congress, doesn’t it?

In essence, the United Nations doesn’t work. But then the predecessor of the U.N., the League of Nations, didn’t work too well. The European Union isn’t working out too well. I might be wrong, but there seems to be a pattern emerging. Every attempt to take a bunch of disparate nation-states and use normal (i.e., bumbling and power hungry) bureaucrats to create a one-size-fits-all new world order has always failed.

And we pay an awful lot for their ineffective failures. According to an Office of Management and Budget report to Congress, the United States spent at least $7.7 billion dollars supporting the U.N. in 2010, the latest data available.

Does anyone believe that spending that $7.7 billion is making them safer or reducing the dangers of war? Anyone?

We spend more on the United Nations than any other member nation. For instance, the cost of the U.N.‘s “peacekeeping” missions is apportioned among all member states. Now that sounds fair, doesn’t it? Except that the formula used by the U.N. is similar to a formula for taxing Americans—the wealthier you are, the more they’re going to take.

According to the United Nations itself, the top ten nations (out of 191 member states) are supposed to pay 81% of the total costs of “peacekeeping”. And would you like to guess who the U.N. considers to be the “wealthiest” nations, the ones who will be making those payments? Here they are (with the percentage of the total peacekeeping budget they are liable for):

  • United States—(27.14%)
  • Japan—(12.53%)
  • United Kingdom—(8.15%)
  • Germany—(8.02%)
  • France—(7.55%)
  • Italy—(5.00%)
  • China—(3.93%)
  • Canada—(3.21%)
  • Spain—(3.18%)
  • Republic of Korea—(2.26%)

With the exception of the People’s Republic of China, the list of nations that bear the bulk of the financial responsibility for “peacekeeping” appears to be the United States and its allies.

As an aside, given the method used to apportion the obligation for these nearly useless “peacekeeping” missions, it’s interesting, again with the exception of the PRC, all the nations on the list are capitalist democracies. What a coincidence, huh? And even at that, the PRC is the most capitalist non-democratic nation around.

Of course the United Nations does a lot more than just fund ineffective efforts to keep the peace. In 2003, for example, the United Nations adopted a resolution, signed by over 140 General Assembly nations, titled the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Keep in mind that resolution was adopted nearly ten years ago. Have you noticed a massive decrease in government corruption anywhere on the planet? It seems that their anti-corruption efforts are just as ineffective as the U.N.‘s peacekeeping efforts.

The U.N. has, in the past twelve months alone, drafted resolutions that:

  • Speak out against female genital mutilation.
  • Reaffirm the United Nations strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali. And to really prove they weren’t kidding around, this resolution came out of the Security Council.
  • The creation of an Assistance Mission in Somalia in order to “[provide] policy advice to the Federal Government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on peacebuilding and state-building in the areas of: governance, security sector reform and rule of law (including the disengagement of combatants), development of a federal system (including preparations for elections in 2016), and coordination of international donor support.”

All that, in just twelve months! Busy little beavers aren’t they?

And of course no one could possibly forget that it was the United Nations that drafted, voted and approved the draft treaty for arms control. The one that the Obama administration is so anxious to sign. The one that could be used as an excuse to eviscerate the Second Amendment.

The major stated goal of the Arms Treaty is, obviously, reducing armed conflict. But like most U.N. resolutions, it is written in such a way as to give a great deal of latitude for member states to interpret it as they choose. The treaty regulates the international transfer of all conventional arms within the following categories: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

One can only wonder if the language of the treaty would prevent (or at least provide an excuse for the administration to cease) all arms shipments to Israel. Or to Poland, South Korea, Japan, the Czech Republic or any other nation or nominative ally anywhere that is threatened by a totalitarian regime.

When the overall ineffectiveness of the United Nations is combined with treaties that limit the United States to actions that require the approval of our enemies it is a wonder that we remain as members. Yes, America was a founding member of the United Nations, but we were also a founding member of the League of Nations. When the League of Nations was a failure, we recognized reality and let it die. It may be time to recognize reality again and let the U.N. simply die.

Should the United States withdraw from the United Nations, there might be several beneficial side-effects. If the Presidents of Iran or Venezuela want to come to speak at the U.N. to attack the United States well, they can, but only if they speak in Geneva. They would no longer be entitled to speak at the U.N. in New York since the U.N. building in New York would no longer be a diplomatic site. It would simply be a large, ostentatious office building. It would be subject to property taxes. The Ambassadors to the U.N. would no longer have diplomatic immunity. (Mayor Bloomberg could probably balance New York City’s budget by just getting them to pay their parking tickets.)

Yes, it may finally be time to pull the plug on the United Nations and allow it to die. It has obviously outlived any usefulness.