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Iraq in charge of disarmament for UN??

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Robert Harris, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 05:57 GMT
    US opposes Iraqi UN disarmament presidency

    The United States has warned it cannot accept Iraqi chairmanship of a United Nations disarmament body and is considering options to block such an appointment scheduled for May.

    The presidency of the 66-member Conference on Disarmament rotates alphabetically, and - by coincidence - Baghdad is to take up the position just as the US increases its pressure for the Iraqi disarmament.

    Iraq for more than 13 years has defied numerous UN Security Council resolutions demanding its disarmament," State Department spokeswoman Lynn Cassel said.

    "The United States believes it is unacceptable for Iraq to assume the presidency of the international community's main multilateral disarmament negotiating forum," Ms Cassel said.

    More: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2704105.stm
  2. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Why am I not surprised that the U.N. actually has a plan in place to let the inmates run the asylum?
  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I'm actually pretty shocked by it. What next? North Korea takes over the United Nations Council for Human Rights?

    Oh, wait. They have to wait until Libya is done. That's right.

    Actually, I think if I were to look at this through Kofi Anan's eyes, then it could be seen as a demonstration of the UN trying to be fair. But for this particular slot? It just comes across as stupid.

  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Come on guys. Put this in perspective. You guys just love to crap on the UN, whether warranted or not. Oh well.

    When you are prepared to open your minds, recall that the UN is a democratic organization of sorts. It has a set of rules to follow, rules adopted at some earlier time by a vote of the members. The alternative to running an organization of this sort by a set of rules is to have a vote on every single item, which means that there would be an enormous amount of time debating and politicking on everything, kincluding such things as whether to buy colored or white toilet paper for the rest rooms, etc -- or to let someone have arbitrary power to make decisions. Letting someone have arbitratry powers to make decisions is satisfactory for the choice of toilet papers and the like, but nor for such things as naming heads of committees and the like. Some appointments are made by vote and some by rules.

    Sometimes when following rules strange things happen, though -- at the UN, in the US Congress, at the Elks lodge, etc. Nobody at the UN made a conscious decision to make Iraq chair of this body -- Iraq just comes up next according to the rules adopted a long time ago.

    Now the problem is to keep Iraq out of the post, which calls for suspending the rules or finding some way around them. Only if a way cannot be found to keep this from happening should the UN or Kofi be blamed for anything.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A good analogy is like allowing Rhode Island having as much electoral votes as California. A small country has the same amount of votes as some country like China?

    Sorry, it may have been a good idea back in the forties, it doesn't make sense now.
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Not a good very analogy. The UN is not electing a president.

    But Rhode Island has the same number of votes in the Senate as California. And there is a reason for that -- keeps the Congress from being controlled by just a few big states.
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    You've missed my point.

    How many votes can a country vote on in the General Assembly?

    A country like US has the same number of votes as a country like Syria.

    Who pays more dues? Who exports and funds more aid to OTHER countries? Who endorses and finances OTHER countries misgivings?

    It's not fair and it should be either changed, or start from scratch.
  8. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Bob, I'm not crapping on the UN for the sake of crapping on it. But clearly, allowing Iraq to take this post at this particular time is ridiculous. I have no doubt it's a fluke of consequence, but to be sure, the council was not engineered with this consequence in mind. It goes without saying that allowing Iraq to chair the council at this point in time would not only undermine the council's charter, but would be politically deleterious to the UN as a whole.

    Do you disagree?

  9. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    I don't see why it's any worse, or any better, an idea now as it was in the forties. In fact, I think it was, and still is, a good idea to have rotating chairs. This gives all nations an unbiased opportunity to run the show.

    The problem is the unforseeable happenstance of a country taking the reign of a particular committee who's record reflects their unsuitability to do so. Clearly, that's the case here. It was also the case Libya -- but a vote (which is rare for these situations, and applied to this case because of US pressure) even went in large favor of Libya. This deserves a big "WTF". The UN needs to modify these procedures. Perhaps more conditions, and stricter criteria, needs to be placed on assessing the qualification of the country next in line. It would not be beyond reason for the UN to prohibit countries who even remotely fail to comply with UN disarmament conditions, to take that very power. However, my gut feeling is that by May Iraq will be in no condition to head a UN chair anyway.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    In theory, like Communism, it makes great sense. In practice, it has become a beacon for any rotating country to vote against Israel, US, and any country that votes FOR any of the aforementioned countries.

    It reminds me of Naked Gun scene where Frank is impersonating an empire and the first pitch of the game, he doesn't make a call on whether it's a ball or a strike. The crowd goes silent, and Frank, slowly, questions, "strike?" The crowd goes wild, and the second pitch he calls a strike, to a roaring ovation. The third pitch doesn't even reach the glove when Frank screams out "STRIKE!"

    That's what UN assembly is now, before even US puts anything on the plate, it's voted against.
  11. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    What do you propose then? How could these effects be averted by adopting a completely different system? Unless I'm completely missing your point, would not a vote (instead of a rotation) simply result in the majority interest overriding the minority interests each and every time? You'd have the same 4 or 5 countries with the most global, economic and military, influence getting the chairs. It is too easy to abuse power this way.
  12. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    If all who had a seat in the United Nations actually came there with the spirit of what the organization was originally set to, I wouldn't have a problem with the U.N. Unfortunately, many countries go there just to further their tirades. Case in point, a recent U.N. get together where it was blatently obvious the point of the conference was to bash Israel. There was nothing in the tone of the conference indicating they wanted to settle anything. It was nothing more than a hate fest.
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    I suspect that you are basing this conclusion (and some others expressed) on some specific actions taken by the General Assembly that you do not like -- e.g., resolutions on Israel. What about other things?

    We come back to my usual refrain. Any facts? How often does this happen? On what kinds of issues? I don't know -- but neither do you, I suspect.
  14. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    I wrote about this in another thread.
    They come up due to rotation and hold the position, I believe for a couple of months starting in May. It's a normal part of the rotation. From the article I read, the committee or whatever you call it doesn't even have any articles for procedure and have done nothing that effects anything, and really can't. After reading the article, I wondered why they even have the damned thing.
    The point will probably be moot in May anyway. He'll be gone.
    If not, then Bush has spouted a lot of empty promises and have made us look like idiots.
  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    I haven't missed your point. I just think it is wrong and irrelevant, and based on emotional reactions to some actions of the UN.

    Yes, each country in the GA has one vote. And yes, we give more aid and we pay more dues.

    Why is that not fair if that is the way we set up the organization?

    And we have set up our government the same way -- Rhode Island contributes a tiny amount of tax revenue to the Fed government compared to California, but has the same voting power in the Senate.

    Is that kind of system fair? There is not an absolute "right" answer. It depends on how you think the US government or the UN should operate, and how much voice should be given to smaller members.

    Also remember that offsetting the equal voice for all in the GA the Security Council is quite different. A small number of countries are members and a few -- basically the larger ones -- have veto power. Is that fair? Again, it depends.

    So you do not like each country having an equal voice in the GA -- the weaker body. Do you like most of them having no voice at all on the SC -- the more powerful body? And some of the members of the SC having less voice than the 5 with veto power? I sus[pect you think that is OK.
    Damn. I hate being put in the position of defending the UN and being its spokesman here because I also can be quite critical of some if its actions, probably many of the same ones you don't like. But it is the subject of too many diatribes and attacks here based on very partial information and raw emotion. Seems like whenever someone finds one thing or kind of thing that it does that he does not like he tends to post diatribes about what a crappy organization it is, that we should leave it, that we should throw it out of the US, that maybe we should hang Kofi Annan, and... other horseshit.

    [I say he in the above because the women here do not seem to have fallen into this pattern.]
  16. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Here's the article that I was reading:

    Haq insisted that Iraq's upcoming position with the conference is not an issue because the group has not managed to establish an agenda.

    "I think the main public relations concern is, What does it do substantively?" Haq said. "Since it's not exactly a body that has been meeting to deal with issues substantively for several years, the main worry is not about a procedural issue such as who is the chair; it's about what it can do."

    U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan, however, recently gave the conference a pep talk on the 25th anniversary of its establishment.

    "The U.N. general secretary has tried to draw attention to the idea that if it does its work in the way it was intended, this committee should be able to deal with all the major issues of disarmament," Haq said.


    they didn't do anything for 25 years, now we're gonna start making a fuss?
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    As I saaid above:

    "...the problem is to keep Iraq out of the post, which calls for suspending the rules or finding some way around them. Only if a way cannot be found to keep this from happening should the UN or Kofi be blamed for anything."
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Oh, emotion is a big part of my dismay, after all, I *am* human.

    Israel is a good example because I follow the politics of this Democratic little country, surrounded by enemies, very closely, and when I purge the bullshit from the UN's statistics, here's what I found:

    Security Council:
    175 Total Resolutions
    74 Neutral
    4 Against the perceived interests of an Arab state or body
    97 Against Israel

    General Assembly:
    Cumulative Number of Votes cast with/for Israel: 7,938.
    Cumulative Number of Votes cast against Israel: 55,642.

    If you want some of the specifics, I can find the time to get in to that. But I think you will be less than happy if I do get down and dirty on this issue. I've been in this quagmire of an issue for years and while I do not get deeply involved in the politics of the UN or the debates thereof, I took a pretty good exception in the wording of your post directed to me.

    While Israel is a good example let's go beyond that and go to a continent called Africa. Let's take a good look in to what UN has done for that continent, shall we?

    In the space of just 100 days in 1994, around 800,000 people were murdered in a systematic and vicious genocide. he rivers of Rwanda clogged with mutilated bodies and churches and schools filled with thousands of corpses.

    At the same time, the United Nations troops were pulling out of Rwanda. And please don't tell me that UN didn't know what was about to happen since more than three months before the genocide, they were able to look in on the preparations for the genocide themselves. That's right, UN saw the preparations for the Genocide a term it took over TEN years for the UN to even adopt in to their own legal documents.

    What is that, Bob? Can you please tell me why the UN pulled out of Rwanda?

    But wait, let's go to Sudan. Sudan, as we all are aware, is the only country in the world that still practices slavery and forced conversians of Christians to Muslims. On top of that, any aid that Sudan receives goes directly to the scum that perpetrate the war, even after more than a decade of war. Why is that, Bob? Can you please tell me why the UN not only NOT FOCUSES on Sudan--Hey, it's much more PC to pick on Israel and their "massacres") but wanted to give Sudan a seat in the Security Council. I recall Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lobbying U.N. members to deny Sudan a seat on the Security Council.

    Let's climb out of Sudan and go to Congo, or otherwise known as Zaire. Know what UN did when they saw the aforementioned Rwanda victims flooding the borders in to Zaire? The famed United Nations, the keeper and protector of the victims through out the world, evacuated 48 aid workers trapped by fighting between Zaire's army and ethnic Tutsi guerrillas, known as the Banyamulenge.

    The U.N. refugee agency also said it had unconfirmed but "alarming reports" from Zaire's military of fighting around the three biggest camps in the Goma region, which have a total population of 400,000 Rwandan Hutus. Know that results and what UN did NOT do of that, Bob?

    No, of course you don't, you are too busy making excuses as to why this massive, impotent organization needs to exist.

    But hey, why not leave Africa and go over to the Baltics. Shall I remind you of massacres in Bosnia and specifically the UN "safe haven" in Srebrenica? You want to tell the families of more than 3,000 dead, "oops, sorry guys, we gave you a false sense of security when we said this was SAFE haven and that UN will protect you." I sure don't, that's if there are still families to say anything.

    Hey, Bob, here's some trivia, who doctored the Dayton Accords that resulted in a massive cease fire and finally got Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbians committing genocide against each other? Here's a friggin hint, it wasn't the fucking UN.

    Where was UN in Pol Pot Genocide, Bob? Oh boy, did they save millions, eh? Where was UN in 1948? That's right creating Israel, and then spent the entire 50 years afterwards trying to destroy it with pathetic and silly attempts of SIDING with terrorists organizations like the PLO and the militants that assasinated pro-peace Arabs like Anwar Sadat.

    Shall I go on, Bob, or are you finally getting my picture why everything this organization was built for not only fails but builds false hope for those in dire need?

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