How to Put the UN Back Where it Should Be
Posted on March 8th, 2010

Dilrook Kannangara

The UN spirit of the 1940s is long dead. UN was born out of respect for all member states, big or small. However, since then mighty nations have dominated the UN and even bypassed the UN. Smaller nations can only lament over gross unfairness and rampant hypocrisy. Today there is a dangerous tussle between the superpowers within and outside the UN. It is inevitable the UNƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s relevance is diminishing by the year as a result. Exploiting this weakness, certain breakaway groups of banned terrorist groups, have assumed a pseudo UN presence which they could not achieve through violence. Remnants of the banned terrorist organisation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” LTTE (Tamil Tigers) scattered around the West use the power of their hosts to destabilise India, Sri Lanka, China and other nations fighting terrorism.

UNƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Degeneration

It is important to understand the degree of degeneration the UN has suffered in order to prescribe a remedy. The UN is being exploited in a number of ways by its powerful members to cause havoc in other member states.

  1. Selective recognition of states. At times showing ridiculous disregard of consistency.
  2. Manipulating UN agencies to get oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s own private dirty jobs done.
  3. Hypocrisy and unequal treatment of like situations.
  4. Unwarranted interference in member states.
  5. Using UN staff who are countrymen to obtain favours using their position.

Selectively recognising states has been around for a long time. Fuelled by this trend territories are turned to nations using military power knowing well that with time UN can be persuaded to recognise them. Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recent events. All these are forcibly severed territories from UN member states. Manipulating UN agencies to do the work of a powerful nation is another ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-useƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of the UN for the mighty. Getting UN agencies to cast doubt on the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq is one example. Pressing Iran to declare its nuclear facilities after putting together a case against Iran alleging the development of a nuclear explosive is another example. Iraq is yet another example of buck-passing to the UN. Coalition troops safely escaped the mess they created in Iraq by handing over the mess to the UN and Iraqi troops. This relieves the invaders their manpower and finances. Ultimately it becomes UNƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s problem.

There is widespread inequality in the UN. From nuclear proliferation to war crimes, inequality is obvious. While the UN was silent when millions were killed in Iraq for no reason, it shows extraordinary interest in alleged war crimes in Israel and Sri Lanka which are minute compared to Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere have different levels of significance.

UN staff has been blamed in a number of instances trying to meddle in national affairs. There were other instances where UN staff members claiming firsthand information about conflicts in UN member states and making exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims. These claims are in turn used by their governments to pressurise independent nations.

How to remedy it

Instigated by the US, UK and EU, the UN General Secretary stated that he is going to look into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka even after the UN decided on the contrary. UN has no power whatsoever to look into these allegations without the consent of Sri Lanka and without the sanctioning of it by the UN or its five permanent members (and Germany).

In this context Sri Lanka, as a UN member, must insist that UN staff respects the sovereignty of member states. This must be put forward by way of a resolution. The resolution should disallow the UN and its agencies from interfering in member states in any way without consent from the state unless it is sanctioned by the UN or its five (plus Germany) permanent members. It should totally disallow any act to be taken without those formalities.

Given the overwhelming support in the UN for a non-interference approach, the majority of the 192 member states are likely to support it. Only about 30 nations would oppose it since it takes away extraordinary powers they enjoy now. Most Asian, African and Latin American countries will support such a resolution overwhelmingly. This will give protection to less powerful countries and put an end to misusing the UN by powerful countries to achieve own objectives. A number of totally unnecessary conflicts and millions of deaths could be avoided in the future by following such a non-interference approach. It will bring the UN back to its senses and stop its rapid degeneration.

UN should remain a collection of independent and sovereign member states, not states and their satellite states within a sham subservient organisation used by some states as a catƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s paw.

One Response to “How to Put the UN Back Where it Should Be”

  1. Dr.K Says:

    Dilrook,

    If UN moves off the road that built on UN’s spirit of the 1940s and commit unwarranted interference in member states, If UN act as a cat’s paw of western countries to harm specifically Asian and middle east countries don’t you think those countries that have been victimised by UN have to think of forming a new such International body that would be accountable all the member nations with equity.

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