COLUMN: Lilley – Picking on the UN is too easy these days

- July 20th, 2012

New film shows truth about UN

By: Brian Lilley

It’s almost getting too easy to pick on the United Nations as a corrupt and ineffective world body.

Recently the United Nations has been calling for member states to grant it more power, even the power to impose and collect taxes. Given its recent record, that hardly comes across as a sound idea.

According to news reports, Sudan is all but guaranteed a seat on the UN’s human rights council in the next year due to the current voting mechanism. African countries get to choose five members and have decided which five countries will run for those spots. Sudan is one of the choices.

So without serious pushback, a country that is still dealing with major human rights problems ­— and not that long ago was labelled genocidal — will be on the UN human rights council.

Then there is the decision by UNESCO, the UN cultural agency, to fund a new position at the Islamic University of Gaza. Israel says the university is very close to Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, and the university is used as a breeding ground for terrorism including weapons development.

This doesn’t seem like the sort of thing the UN should be funding, but giving money to questionable causes is not foreign to the bureaucrats in New York, Geneva or Paris where UNESCO is headquartered.

UNESCO has also caused a stir by handing out a prize for scientists named for Africa’s longest serving dictator. The Obiang Nguema Mbasogo international prize for research in the life sciences was handed out to three scientists with great fanfare earlier this week.

Who is it named for? The president of Equatorial Guinea who seized power in a coup in 1979 by ousting his uncle. He’s won re-election time and again by refusing to allow other people to run, or running fraudulent elections where he gets 98% of the vote. The U.S. State Department under Barack Obama has accused him of “unlawful killings by security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; systematic torture of prisoners and detainees by security forces; life threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, and incommunicado detention.”

I could go on, but I’d be repeating myself; the UN is an organization whose time has passed.

Many Canadians still have a positive view of the UN and thousands upon thousands of Canadians may have taken part in UN peacekeeping missions.

But things have changed, peacekeeping is not what it once was and today is one of the major problems at the UN.

In a new documentary called U.N. Me, filmmaker Ami Horowitz details many of the problems with the global body, peacekeeping among them. His trip to the Ivory Coast to observe a UN mission there reminded him more of a parody of Girls Gone Wild than anything else. UN vehicles parked outside of night clubs, while inside the men who wore the blue berets partied it up with locals. By day, they hit the beach.

Those who complained about the lifestyle were told to enjoy the partying and shut up.

Horowitz’s film also exposes UN officials as being unable and unwilling to name and confront evil such as terrorism, even going so far as to say they cannot define what terrorism means.

This is a must-see movie for everyone who still harbours any thoughts that the UN is an organization living up to its noble goals. By the end you’ll agree with me — it’s time for Canada to leave the UN.

Categories: Politics

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