Archive for the ‘UN’ Category

UN and EU have forgotten that nationalism is the basis for internationalism

September 20, 2017

The part comes before the whole.

Without a definition of the number “one” there is no Number theory. Without the establishment of a single cell there is no life. No bricks no house. When an atom overwhelms an electron, it leaves and the atom is no more. Without weather there is no climate.

Multinational institutions are particularly prone to forgetting what their fundamental building blocks are. To be global one must first be local. To apply universally means first applying to each of the 7.5 billion on earth. Without a strong and healthy nationalism there is no internationalism.

The EU and the UN are excellent examples of how the “large” loses track of its roots. The EU much more than the UN tries to bully its smaller member countries and that cannot be sustained.


 

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Nuclear weapons are necessary to avoid another Hitler

July 8, 2017

Yesterday the UN again demonstrated its uselessness. More, it demonstrated, again that majorities are very often wrong and can be just plain stupid.

Countries without nuclear weapons voted among themselves that countries with nuclear weapons should not have them. The stupid voting among themselves that the more intelligent should not be so intelligent.

The UN adopted a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. Only 124 nations of 193 participated. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 countries in favor with one NATO member, the Netherlands, voting against and with Singapore abstaining.

The stupidity of the resolution and the vote lies in that neither those who have nuclear weapons, nor those who have experienced a nuclear strike, even participated.

 

  1. None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, UK, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — took part in the negotiations or the vote.
  2.  Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — boycotted the talks and the vote.
  3. The only NATO country to participate, the Netherlands, voted against.
  4. The other NATO countries not participating were Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

The UN is good at sanctimonious, feel-good resolutions which are “full of sound and fury” but “signifying nothing”. It is, in fact, the presence of nuclear weapons which has put a cap on the number of deaths by war.

Time:

During the 31 years leading up to the first atomic bomb, the world without nuclear weapons engaged in two global wars resulting in the deaths of an estimated 78 million to 95 million people, uniformed and civilian. The world wars were the hideous expression of what happens when the human tendency toward conflict hooks up with the violent possibilities of the industrial age. The version of this story we are most familiar with is the Nazi death machinery, and we are often tempted to think that if Hitler had not happened, we would never have encountered assembly-line murder.

…… As bad as they are, nukes have been instrumental in reversing the long, seemingly inexorable trend in modernity toward deadlier and deadlier conflicts. If the Nobel Committee ever wants to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, its members will award a Peace Prize to the bomb.

Nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented.

The simple fact is that it is the existence of nuclear weapons which has prevented the blood-letting of WW1 and WW2 from happening again.

And which prevents another Hitler from appearing. And which will prevent Kim Jong-un from ever becoming another Hitler.


 

Sweden among the leaders of the sanctimonious claptrap at the UN again

March 28, 2017

Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden are leading a UN conference to ban nuclear weapons globally. Very politically correct and a marvellous opportunity to be self-righteous and sanctimonious. 123 countries and lots of NGO’s are going to participate in New York. Also an opportunity for a little holiday in New York.

Image result for un talking shop

The only problem is that about 40 countries are not participating. Every country which has nuclear weapons is boycotting the conference. It is just another talking shop and an opportunity for the irrelevant to posture. Maybe some of these countries attending are there in good faith but I have serious doubts as to their common sense.

Agence France Press + PRI:

More than 100 countries on Monday launched the first UN talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons, as Washington led an international boycott of a process it deems unrealistic. Before the conference had even begun, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, spoke out to reject the proposal in the light of current global security threats. “As a mom and a daughter there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons,” Haley, who represents the world’s largest nuclear power, said on the sidelines of the meeting. “But we have to be realistic,” she added. “Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”

Haley spoke in a group of some 20 ambassadors from US allies which are boycotting the negotiations, including Britain, France, South Korea, Turkey and a number of countries from eastern Europe. The ambassadors of Russia and China were notably absent, but both major nuclear powers are also sitting out the General Assembly talks.

Haley estimated that “almost 40 countries” were not participating.

The push for a ban was announced in October by 123 UN members who say the threat of atomic disaster is growing thanks to tensions fanned by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and an unpredictable new administration in Washington. Leaders of the effort include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden, supported by hundreds of nonprofit organizations. But Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the United States all voted no, while China, India and Pakistan abstained — together accounting for most of the world’s declared and undeclared nuclear powers.

Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — voted against the talks, saying a lack of consensus over the negotiations could undermine progress on effective nuclear disarmament. Japan’s ambassador, Nobushige Takamizawa, addressed the General Assembly to explain why. “Efforts to make such a treaty without the involvement of nuclear weapon states will only deepen the schism and division” in the international community, he said.

NDTV:

India is not participating in the first UN conference in more than 20 years on a global nuclear weapons ban which opened here amid objections from major nuclear powers. More than 120 nations in October last year voted on a UN General Assembly resolution to convene the conference to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the US voted no, while China, India and Pakistan abstained from voting on that resolution.

The first substantive session of the conference began yesterday. In its Explanation of Vote (EoV) given for its abstention on the resolution in October, India had said that it was “not convinced” that the proposed conference could address the longstanding expectation of the international community for a comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament. India also maintained that the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum.

It had further said that it supports the commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention, which in addition to prohibition and elimination also includes verification. It had said that international verification was essential to the global elimination of nuclear weapons, India feels that the current process does not include the verification aspect. In line with its position that India articulated in the EoV, India has decided not to participate in the current conference that will run through March 31.

It will, however, continue to follow the developments in the event.

The US, France and the UK led a group of over 40 nations that are strongly protesting the UN talks.


 

The UN Swamp: French troops get away with sexual abuse while on UN duty

January 5, 2017

The UN tried to cover it up and it was only due to the revelations by a UN official which revealed the 90 cases of sexual harassment by French troops on UN duty. The whistle-blower was Anders Kompass who was director of field operations at the UN human rights office in Geneva. He was suspended and hounded by the “swamp” of the rotten UN bureaucracy and though he was exonerated he resigned from the UN last June. The predatory sexual behaviour of the French troops was beyond disgusting.

NYTimes:

For five months, an unknown number of people in the French forces, sent to protect civilians from the violence tearing the country apart, forced boys to perform oral sex on them, according to testimonies collected by the United Nations. The boys, aged 9 to 15, said they had sometimes been lured with the promise of military rations.

Now, nearly a year after the allegations came to light, no one has been charged, let alone punished.

It is now reported by AP that the French who were investigating their own troops have now decided that nobody will be prosecuted.

No charges in inquiry of child sex abuse by French troops

The Paris prosecutor’s office says an investigation into alleged child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has concluded without anyone being charged. Spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Leroux said Thursday the investigation formally ended last month. She declined to elaborate.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that the decision stemmed from insufficient “elements” to press charges. Several boys told United Nations investigators they were sexually abused by French troops in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, in May and June 2014. Fourteen French soldiers reportedly were suspected of being involved. The sexual abuse allegedly took place in or near a camp for displaced people near M’Poko airport.

The French defense ministry did not immediately comment.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he understands that it’s now up to the prosecutor to decide whether to go forward, following the submission of results from the investigative judges. “So obviously we’ll keep an eye on this,” Dujarric said. “But as we’ve said, it is the responsibility of member states to fully investigate and hopefully prosecute crimes. The fight against impunity for these horrendous actions has to be a partnership between the U.N. and member states.”

Under Ban Ki-Moon the swamp at the UN became particularly murky and rotten. Not just the cholera which the UN introduced to Haiti killing almost 10,000 but also financial wrongdoings and sexual predation. In every case the UN – as an institution – has tried to cover up. Probably less than 10% of wrongdoing at the UN ever comes to light.

There isn’t just a swamp in Washington. There is one much larger and much more rotten at the UN.


Obama abandons Israel (to try and tie Trump’s hands?)

December 23, 2016

After the fanfare and hope and great expectations when Obama arrived 8 years ago, his departure is becoming a sad, graceless, spiteful, whingeing affair. He seems most interested in now trying to tie Donald Trump’s hands in the few weeks he has left.

For the first time in at least 8 years, the US abstained and declined to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council. But the result will only serve to weaken the UN and pander to Trump’s desire to pull back from it.

In Israel’s eyes Obama has clearly sided with the terrorists.

Reuters:

After the United States abstained from voting, the U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, a reversal of U.S. practice to protect Israel from United Nations action.

The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council for a vote on Friday by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Israel and Trump had called on the United States to veto the measure. 

It was adopted with 14 votes in favor, to a round of applause. It is the first resolution the Security Council has adopted on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years.

There are reports that the US State Department helped to draft the anti-Israel resolution. The Palestine issue can only be solved by Israel and Palestine. The UN is a distraction and this resolution is likely not only to be counter-productive but to weaken the UN itself (which may, of course, be a good thing).

The US abstention was by Ambassador Samantha Power who has a history of being hostile to Israel.

WikipediaWhen asked what advice she would give to the president if either the Israelis or Palestinians looked “like they might be moving toward genocide,” Power said that the United States might consider the deployment of a “mammoth protection force” to monitor developments between the Israelis and Palestinians, characterizing it as a regrettable but necessary “imposition of a solution on unwilling parties,” and “the lesser of evils.”

She was also in the news in April this year when an armoured jeep in her motorcade ran over and killed a child in Cameroon and declined to stop. Of course she apologised later.

UN ambassador Samantha Power’s motorcade kills child in Cameroon


 

A mealy-mouthed apology from Ban Ki-moon for UN cholera in Haiti

December 4, 2016

The  behaviour of the UN, as an organisation, far too often is a case of when the lowest common behaviour of the  collective prevails. Ban Ki-moon’s term has been distinguished by his cowardice. He makes politically correct noises as told to by his staff. I get the impression that during his term he put his own mind on the shelf and gave up on thinking. About lapses of UN behaviour, – whether about sexual predation by UN troops in Africa or about UN incompetence in Haiti – he has been remarkably circumspect.

Now Ban Ki-moon has made a half-hearted, mealy-mouthed apology about UN behaviour after the outbreak of UN cholera in Haiti but has, again, lacked the courage to address the fact that the UN introduced the cholera.

un-cholera

New York Times:

After six years and 10,000 deaths, the United Nations issued a carefully worded public apology on Thursday for its role in the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the widespread suffering it has caused since then.

The mea culpa, which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered before the General Assembly, avoided any mention of who brought cholera to Haiti, even though the disease was not present in the country until United Nations peacekeepers arrived from Nepal, where an outbreak was underway.

The peacekeepers lived on a base that often leaked waste into a river, and the first cholera cases in the country appeared in Haitians who lived nearby. Numerous scientists have long argued that the base was the source of the outbreak, but for years United Nations officials refused to accept responsibility.

Even though Mr. Ban’s office has acknowledged that the United Nations had played a role in the outbreak, his apology on Thursday was limited to how the world body responded to the outbreak, not how it started. 

“We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti,” Mr. Ban said on Thursday. “We are profoundly sorry about our role.” ………

……. The United Nations has not yet met its promise to eradicate cholera once and for all from Haiti, though Mr. Ban’s aides said on Thursday that they were close to raising the $200 million they say they need to fix Haiti’s water and sanitation system and treat Haitians for cholera. Nor has the United Nations yet raised an additional $200 million it wants for “material assistance” to families and communities that have suffered; donor nations have not yet come forward with the funds.


The ICC can have no credibility till it charges non-Africans as well (such as Blair or Sarkozy)

October 21, 2016

The US is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court which keeps George Bush and Barack Obama outside their purview. However European countries are signatories and the ICC, in the 14 years it has been in existence, has only charged Africans of war crimes. Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy and even David Cameron, have escaped scott free and it has never even been contemplated that they be charged. John Howard was as complicit as Tony Blair in furthering George Bush’s war crimes but he does not figure in the ICC’s investigations either. It is hardly surprising that the ICC is perceived  – in Africa – as being blatantly anti- African. It is not surprising either that Burundi and now South Africa have signed Instruments of Withdrawal and have informed the UN that they are withdrawing.

BBC: 

South Africa has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC), notifying the UN of its decision. South Africa did not want to execute ICC arrest warrants which would lead to “regime change”, a minister said.

Last year, a South African court criticised the government for refusing to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. He is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes. Mr Bashir was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg, when the government ignored an ICC request to arrest him. He denies allegations that he committed atrocities in Sudan’s troubled western Darfur region. …….

“The Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court,” the document says. 

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said at a press conference that the government would table legislation in parliament to withdraw South Africa from the ICC. The Rome Statute, under which the ICC was set up, required the arrest of heads of state for whom a warrant was issued. The consequence of this would be “regime change” and the statute was incompatible with South African legislation which gave heads of state diplomatic immunity, he added.

But the anti-African position of the ICC seems inescapable:

The ICC 

  • Came into force in 2002
  • The Rome Statute that set it up has been ratified by 123 countries, but the US is a notable absence
  • It aims to prosecute and bring to justice those responsible for the worst crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes
  • In the court’s 14-year history it has only brought charges against Africans.

 

How The Lancet creates, and the UN spreads, lies — Hans Rosling in The Lancet

October 14, 2016

The UN can only mirror its member countries. While the UN (and for example the EU) are supposed to try and “level up” they very often “level down”. When that happens they disseminate “worst practices” rather than spread “best practices”. The UN’s executive and officers and bureaucrats are not either immune to the corruptions of being in privileged and protected positions. They also disseminate lies when advocating for their pet projects or causes. The problem is that when lies are sanctioned by the UN they take on a sanctity which is downright harmful.

Professor Hans Rosling and Helena Nordenstedt take the UN to task for spreading lies in a new comment to The Lancet. But they also point out the lie was first created in The Lancet itself and suggest that The Lancet should not publish advocacy articles without peer review.

rosling-lancet

They write

In September, 2016, at the UN General Assembly, the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) of the UN’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health presented their first report. The IAP report states that 60% of maternal deaths today take place in humanitarian settings, specified as “conflict, displacement and natural disaster”The “60%” has been trending in development aid advocacy ever since late 2015 when UNFPA stated that 60% of maternal deaths happen in “humanitarian situations like refugee camps”. The 60% has even made its way into policy documents and discourse. The only health data mentioned in the proposed policy framework for Sweden’s future international development cooperation are: “60% of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian emergencies”. We chased the origin of this seemingly incorrect percentage. We found it to be a Comment published in The Lancet, referring to the published underlying data sources and to a grey publication describing the crude calculation that yielded the 60%.

……..

We conclude that the “60%” is a fourfold inaccuracy. It is surprising that, in just 1 year, the false percentage made its way to a highly qualified panel at the UN. Global health seems to have entered into a post-fact era, where the labelling of numerators is incorrectly tweaked for advocacy purposes. The reproductive health needs in humanitarian settings should be reported without hiding that most maternal deaths still occur in extreme poverty. As recently noted in The Lancet, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, spoke the truth when stating that the real causes of maternal and child deaths are poverty, inequality, lack of financing, and poor governance.  The use of inaccurate numbers in global health advocacy can misguide where investments are most needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We, therefore, suggest The Lancet should only publish advocacy material after due referee procedures.


 

UN evades responsibility for at least 9,000 cholera deaths (supported by Obama)

June 30, 2016

Haiti-cholera-UN1

The UN introduced cholera to Haiti which caused the deaths of at least 9,000 (officially 9,000, unofficially about 30,000 and with a possibility of being up to 100,000 deaths). The UN culpability and incompetence is clear. The outbreak could have been prevented “if the UN had spent just $2,000 for advance health checks and preventive antibiotics for their troops from Nepal who carried the disease. The cost of the UN incompetence in addition to the 9,000 lives lost is now estimated to be over $2 billion”. But the UN denies responsibility. In March this year came reports that “the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has been chastised by five of the UN’s own human rights experts who accuse him of undermining the world body’s credibility and reputation by denying responsibility for the devastating outbreak of cholera in Haiti. In a withering letter to the UN chief, the five special rapporteurs say that his refusal to allow cholera victims any effective remedy for their suffering has stripped thousands of Haitians of their fundamental right to justice”.

The US has been supporting Ban Ki-moon both in his denial of responsibility and in his claim of immunity for all UN actions. “Naturally anybody on UN duty is immune from any prosecution – even for blatant incompetence or gross negligence”.

Now The Guardian reports that a bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress have criticised Obama for his stance:

A bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress has accused the Obama administration of a failure of leadership over the cholera scandal in Haiti in which at least 30,000 people have died as a result of an epidemic caused by the United Nations for which the world body refuses to accept responsibility.

A joint letter highly critical of US policy – and devastatingly critical of the UN – has been sent to the US secretary of state, John Kerry, signed by 12 Republican and 146 Democratic members of Congress. Led by John Conyers, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, and Mia Love, a Republican congresswoman from Utah, the letter’s signatories include many of the most senior voices on foreign affairs on Capitol Hill.

The missive takes the Obama administration to task for failing to admonish the UN for its refusal to accept responsibility for the cholera outbreak. “We are deeply concerned that the State Department’s failure to take more leadership in the diplomatic realm might be perceived by our constituents and the world as a limited commitment to an accountable and credible UN,” the letter says.

It continues: “We respectfully urge the Department of State to treat the issue of a just and accountable UN response to Haiti’s cholera with the urgency that 10,000-100,000 deaths and catastrophic damage to the UN’s credibility deserves.”

….. As part of the UN’s dogged denial of culpability, the organization has made a blanket rejection of calls for compensation contained in a class action lawsuit filed in New York by victims of the disaster. The world body is claiming immunity from damages in the case. The US government chose to represent the UN’s defense in the litigation in front of the federal second circuit appeals court. That prompted the three-member panel of judges to question US lawyers over the Obama administration’s apparent unwillingness to use its diplomatic muscle to force the UN to shift its contentious position. …..

With cholera still raging in parts of Haiti, and aid groups on the ground reporting ongoing suffering amid inadequate provision of medical help and sanitation, the Congress members called on the state department to “immediately and unreservedly exercise its leadership … Each day that passes without an appropriate UN response is a tragedy for Haitian cholera victims, and a stain on the UN’s reputation.”

Of course the US claims the same kind of immunity for its troops on active missions abroad (and the US has even tried to claim that kind of immunity for those accused of rape on Okinawa but had to give way eventually). So perhaps the Obama government’s defence of Ban Ki-moon is just a self-serving but unprincipled exercise to protect their own position regarding the responsibility of their troops when abroad.

But it is a shameful position.


 

Sweden is one of 3 seeking two Security Council places today

June 28, 2016

Voting for 5 places on the UN Security Council (15 members) takes place today.

The elections are for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 2017. In accordance with the Security Council’s rotation rules, whereby the ten non-permanent UNSC seats rotate among the various regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide themselves for voting and representation purposes, the five available seats are allocated as follows:

  • One for Africa
  • One for the Asia-Pacific Group
  • One for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Two for the Western European and Others Group

The five members will serve on the Security Council for the 2017–18 period.

Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands are competing for the two places on the Security Council reserved for the “Western European and Others Group”. To win a seat on the Council a country has to receive more than 2/3rds of the votes cast. 193 countries can vote and in a secret ballot each votes for two countries. If all eligible countries participate, a winning country must receive at least 129 votes.

The Security Council met for the first time in London on January 17, 1946. Sweden has been on the Security Council three time; in 1957–58, 1975–76 and 1997–98. That is after gaps of 11, 18, and 22 years. It is now 19 years since Sweden was last a member and has a pretty good chance of winning a place. I judge it is somewhat better than the nominal 2/3rds chance all 3 countries start with. The Swedish press has “exposed” that the Foreign Ministry has spent some 22 million kronor (less than $3 million) in its “campaign” to be chosen.

I expect that Sweden and the Netherlands will probably win the two places available.

 Italy

 Netherlands

 Sweden


 


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