by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 8, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1444)
Last month (September), the United Nations General Assembly opened another session, its 77th, as rulers from around the world converged on New York. This is a ritual the UN has indulged in since its headquarters were moved to New York.
Rulers of countries big and small love to attend the General Assembly session because it affords them an opportunity to be seen in the company of other rulers. Every ruler comes with his/her own television crew to project them back home that they are important. In a world dominated by image rather than substance, it is important to be important!
The UN Charter contains such high-sounding principles as upholding peace, preventing wars and promoting amicable relations between nations (sic). Its record, however, is dismal. This is not the fault of the UN. After all, it is an aggregate of its members.
The UN agenda is set by the major military powers, primarily the US and its NATO war-mongering allies. The two other major powers—Russia and China—are largely kept out of the loop. This is how the UN structure was designed. This year, the presidents of Russia and China—Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping respectively—did not attend the General Assembly session. They were represented by their foreign ministers.
There are two major organs of the UN: the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Security Council comprises 15 members of whom five are permanent and have veto power over any resolution. Thus, if any of the five veto-wielding members—the US, Britain France, Russia and China—do not like a resolution, they veto it. The US is the worst offender; it has used its veto the largest number of times. This is because it acts illegally against other countries but prevents opprobrium of its atrocious conduct by using its veto. The US also resorts to using the veto to prevent condemnation of zionist Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.
Russia, and its predecessor, the Soviet Union, comes a close second although in recent years, Russia has acted much more responsibly. Despite many pressing issues facing the world such as environmental disasters (Pakistan is a ready example), economic crises borne of inbuilt inequalities in trade, food and fuel shortages as well as major health crises, the General Assembly agenda is largely determined by the western powers.
This year’s agenda, as last year’s, was dominated by the conflict in Ukraine. It is a proxy war between the US and Russia but is framed as Russia’s aggression. US President Joe Biden thundered against Moscow and directly targeted Putin for his “aggression” against Ukraine as if it occurred in a vacuum. What is deliberately papered over is the inexorable eastward expansion of NATO, an aggressive military alliance, that has arrived at Russia’s doorstep, posing an existential threat to its security and well-being.
America’s own record is quite atrocious. Over the last 20 years alone, its war machine has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The rulers of some of the countries were murdered (Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, for instance). The US has also targeted the leaders of other countries such as Venezuela and Cuba because they refuse to surrender to US diktats.
And of course, Islamic Iran has been subjected to cruel sanctions inflicting immense harm on its people because Tehran wants to pursue an independent foreign policy. Its peaceful nuclear program is mischievously projected as being a threat to world peace while zionist Israel’s massive program with hundreds of nuclear weapons is not discussed. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons and is a threat to the entire region.
The UN’s role in preventing conflicts also does not give much hope for optimism. Soon after its establishment, the UN, at the behest of western powers, implanted the zionist monstrosity in the heart of the Muslim world. This was in direct violation of the UN Charter. The majority indigenous Palestinian population was not even consulted when 56% of their territory was given to the illegal zionist intruders from Europe (East and West).
Even before Israel came into formal existence in May 1948, armed gangs of zionist terrorists went about perpetrating horrific crimes against the hapless Palestinians. Thousands were murdered in cold blood and at least 750,000 ethnically cleansed from their homes and villages. Today, the zionist marauders occupy 78% of historic Palestine.
Equally dismal is the UN record in resolving the Kashmir dispute that India has illegally occupied since October 1947. At least a dozen Security Council resolutions call for a plebiscite in Kashmir to determine the wishes of the people. India has stubbornly refused to abide by its pledges. Instead, it has dug its claws deeper into Kashmir and subjected its people to horrific crimes including indiscriminate killings, torture, rape and disappearances.
The UN remains paralysed because the major powers do not care about the Kashmiri people. For them, India is more important as a trading partner as well as a bulwark against a rising China. Both Palestine and Kashmir show that personal interests trump principles.
Nor has the UN done, or allowed to do, anything about the disasters inflicted by the US and its allies on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. If there were any justice, American, Israeli and Indian rulers would be put on trial for war crimes. This unfortunately will not happen because the world is not governed by the rule of law. Instead, the law of the jungle prevails.
In an ironic twist, the UN is located in New York. The city is a jungle. Crime is rampant. Murders, rapes, and financial fraud characterize life in the city. The UN has been taken hostage by gangsters and murderers. It does not serve any useful purpose except as a talking shop in which much hot air is expended without achieving anything.
The worst crisis facing humanity today is environmental degradation. The biggest polluters are the major industrial powers—the US, Britain, France etc. The consequences have to be borne by countries like Pakistan that have no capacity to deal with such disasters.
Even as the latest General Assembly session started and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an impassioned plea to address the climate disaster, more than 35 million people in Pakistan were living without shelter, food or water as a result of the devastating floods.
Appeals for help have fallen on deaf ears. Pakistan is simply not capable of tackling the calamity that has befallen its people. Water borne diseases have spread. There is fear of many more children dying of such diseases than those caused by the floods.
The UN has failed to achieve anything worthwhile because the major military powers do not allow it to do so. Is there any need for such a body?