Thursday, 7 July 2011

O Brave United World


The Pink News, Europe’s largest gay news service (it has to be, it says so), is in a celebratory mood, celebrating that the United Nations recently passed a ‘historic resolution’ calling for “universal rights for gay, lesbian and trans people.” A ‘trans person’, don’t you just love the jargon?

The UN is rather in the mood for grand gestures at the moment, gay rights one day, internet rights the next. Frank La Rue, the Special Rapporteur (excuse me?) from Guatemala, called for the governments of the world to protect citizens access to the internet as a key tool for enabling their human rights. I imagine the gay bloggers and trans people from places like North Korea and Iran will be absolutely delighted with this breakthrough on all fronts.

I’m expecting further advances by the day. Let’s see: we could have a resolution to the effect that it’s a human right not to die or, if we must, it’s a human right to go to heaven or Wisconsin, whichever is the closest.

Enough limp attempts at levity. I have nothing but contempt for the UN, as big a failure in its own way as the old League of Nations. The hypocrisy the place generates is stunning. Here we are, an empty statement on gay rights which will do nothing to stop judicial murders in Iran. Here we are, a statement on internet rights that will make not one bit of difference to the plight of the dirt-poor peasants of Guatemala.

Oh never mind the little stuff. Look, rather, at the big picture. Here we are, an organisation that sanctions aggressive action against Libya on the grounds that civilians had to be ‘protected’, presumably on the assumption that civilians are more important there than in Syria or Zimbabwe. Here we are, an organisation that created a safe haven in Srebrenica, only to stand back, impotent in the face of mass murder. Here we are, an organisation that stood back in the face of genocide in Rwanda. Here we are, an organisation that declared the war on civilians in Darfur was not genocide, a great comfort, I feel sure, to the dead.

Looking over the history of the UN there is only one point that it acted with any effectiveness, in 1950, when a common front was presented against the communist aggression in Korea, only possible, though, because the Soviet Union had absented itself from the Security Council. But ever after it was no more than the sum of its divergent parts, a forum for the likes of Communist Castro of Cuba or Islamist Amadinejad of Iran to launch verbal attacks on the United States from a safe haven within American soil.

Still, at least it keeps Rapporteurs gainfully employed. What on earth would we do without them, trans people and sanctimonious resolutions?

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!

18 comments:

  1. No conflict in which the UN has been involved has ever been resolved. In fact, UN involvement guarantees perpetual strife.

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  2. Ana, I think the UN had acted with effectiveness prior to 1950. On 29 November 1947 the UN voted on the partition of Palestine, leading to the birth of the State of Israel.
    :-)

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  3. Nothing is perfect in this world.

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  4. Well said, Ana. International organizations dealing with specific areas of interest are fine, but an overarching body like the UN would seem to be necessary only in the event of an alien visitation and subsequent interplanetary negotiations. And I suspect that in the 1950s many supporters of the UN fully expected something like this to happen - with all those flying saucers buzzing around.

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  5. Yes, things could be run in a better fashion, but the fact is that the third world is a burden on advanced civilization and that which can not sustain itself must perish.

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  6. CI, if that had come a few years later it might have run into difficulties. Stalin was in favour of the creation of a Jewish state because he thought it would be a useful Soviet ally!

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  7. Anthony, least of all the UN. I would not be displeased to see that perish.

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  8. Mark, that's an excellent point, something I hadn't considered!

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  9. It seems that the planet will undergo a major purge caused by a cosmic event by late September, October and November of this year 2011. All of those volcanos aren't firing up for no reason.

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  10. The UN now has the North Koreans chairing the Disarmament Committee. If the organization was an individual, they'd have long since been strait-jacketed & scheduled for their lobotomy.

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  11. Anthony, I shall await the outcome with interest.

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  12. Bob, you bet! I like your new avatar. :-)

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  13. I've often thought that the democratic states should form a council of their own and abandon the UN..that would of course create a situation of at least two competing blocs..one democratic, the other despotic..a good recipe for war. That's why I never pursue the thought to argument in its favour. The current arrangement is bad but it's not worthless and it keeps the peace to some degree. Perhaps we could just send the politically correct to another planet, as did the Golgafrinchans with their unwanted echelons. (See here for dem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_in_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Golgafrincham)

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  14. That's already been tried. We had to create the Australian National University to contain them. "Peace Studies" anyone?

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