just three days later, the UN appointed none other than Iran to its
Commission for the Status of Women. In an added twist of bad timing, it did
so just four days before the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. The
presence of such uncivilized, authoritarian regimes on the UN's councils and
commissions is an insult to human dignity. What were they thinking? And who are
A Brief History of the United Nations
in 1945 in the wake of WWII, the United Nations' stated purposes
international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations
and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights." It
League of Nations, which had failed spectacularly in its mission "to promote
international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security."
Has the UN done a better job than its predecessor at keeping the peace?
Counterfactual thought experiments being what they are, needless to say,
opinions differ. Supporters argue that the UN's General Assembly provides a
forum for the countries of the world to discuss and resolve their differences
without having to resort to violence, and that tens of thousands of UN boots on
the ground do help maintain ceasefires around the world.
Critics counter that the
UN's meagre successes (Korea in 1950 and Kuwait in 1990) are far outweighed by
its failures. The Rwandan horror is only the most vivid example in recent memory,
with the ongoing mess in Darfur threatening to be just as bad if not worse. Then
there's the infamous debacle at Srebrenica, "a massacre the United Nations
actually facilitated by gathering the victims together, disarming them, and then
refusing pleas for the return of their arms as their predators closed in," as
Joshua Muravchik, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, puts it. And
with Security Council vetoes held by the governments of Russia and China,
themselves still authoritarian rogues, is it any wonder that the institution's
results over the years have been less than inspiring?
there any conceivable justification for Libya winning a seat on the United
Nations Human Rights Council in the first place? Not according to the 37 human
rights organizations that raised their voices in protest when
it happened last year. They described Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qadhafi's
regime as "one of the world's most brutal and longest-running tyrannies" and
said that he "belongs in jail, not on the world's highest human rights body."