When it comes to being critical of the United Nations (UN) one is generally spoiled for choice as to which particular incidence of incompetence, corruption or idiocy should be focused upon. In that respect the UN is the gift that just keeps giving, as Helen Szamuely at Your Freedom and Ours demonstrated earlier this week. The expression ‘it defies belief’ is generally an over used descriptor when applied to ridiculous actions or decisions. But in this case it is entirely appropriate.
What other organisation could convene a Commission on the Status of Women and include representatives from Iran – a country where women can be raped by a violent male yet receive brutal corporal punishment for it, or be stoned to death for an adulterous sexual liaison; and the Democratic Republic of Congo – a country that doesn’t have even a fleeting idea of democracy and where women are systematically brutalised by lawless militias and even serving UN personnel stationed in the county. Women may be forgiven for feeling this breathtakingly stupid decision by the lavishly funded and utterly useless international talking shop sends a less than convincing signal about the seriousness attached to the protection of women.
No doubt we will soon see the UN and many media outlets performing contortionist acts to avoid stating the fact that under the watchful gaze of UN observers, Hezbollah in the Lebanon has been able to re-arm itself with ever more sophisticated weaponry from its sponsors in Tehran and Damascus, which it will again put to use attacking Israel under some imagined provocation. The UN response will be to urge Hezbollah to be nice, while condemning Israel for disproportionate response or investigating it for alleged war crimes for having the temerity to do no more than defend its population from a determined and premeditated assault.
Too many of the nations treated with kid gloves by the UN are not nations we want to be united with, in any way. The Security Council is hopelessly deadlocked on vital matters, such as Iran’s nuclear proliferation. What is the point of continuing to bang our heads against a wall and fund an organisation that serves the interests of the international community so poorly?