Pakistan: Columnist Terms UN as United States` Global Shop; Wants it Shut Down
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article by Sheikh Manzar Alam: United Nations or the United States` Shop?
The basic character of progress or humility of nations is their attitude and as such the nations are identified by their attitudes only – not by their slogans, claims, and promises. Since I have been basically a student of history and philosophy, I always analyze the events taking place around me in a historical perspective. When I was elected as the member of the general body of Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry in 1990, one of my friends Shahid Omar Sheikh hosted a dinner in my honor at a local hotel in Karachi. In that dinner, I made a proposal that we should form an organization on the lines of Commonwealth by joining hands with Muslim countries in which the economy, trade, and education should be given top priority. This is because, history bears testimony to the fact that the Jews and Christians, after making a deep study of the Muslim world`s renaissance, great traditions, and governance on the lines of the Caliphs and the victories of Salahuddin Ayyubi, had chalked out a long-term plan to take revenge upon the Muslims. Under this program, first of all, by constituting an organization on the lines of East India Company, they penetrated into the (Indian) Subcontinent and by taking advantage of the shortcomings of the Mughals they occupied India and were engineering communal and sectarian tensions among the Muslims. However, the tragedy is that the Muslims did not understand this and were falling in the rut of degradation, whereas making a very good study of the history of the Muslims, the Hindus and the Jews had built an intimate bond of friendship against the Muslims which was mentioned by Mahatma Gandhi in1937 while addressing the Congress ministers when a Congress government was formed in a particular state in India. He had said: Today, I cannot give you lessons on governance and examples on humility and simplicity from Lord Ram or Krishnan (Hindu gods). However, today I am constrained to give you examples of humility and simplicity from the eras of Muslim caliphs Abu Bakr Siddique and Hazrat Omar. (Courtesy The Hindu Calcutta edition of 1937) Similarly, in 1945, Jewish and Christian philosophers held a conference in Washington wherein, they, in the light of their experience, devised a program to occupy the world through the weapons of economy and diplomacy rather than through the weapons made of iron. To achieve victory through the weapon economy, there are several global financial institutions, including the World Bank, the World Economic Fund, and other organizations of this sort.
The second method focusing on the diplomatic front was that an organization known as the United Nations was formed with several branches and subcommittees, through which a program was chalked out to control the world through diplomatic channels. When we look around us today, the apprehensions expressed by me from 1985 to 1990 and until this day have become a reality and are ominously posing before us today. The nature of the seriousness of this threat is that during the last Hajj sermons, the chief priest of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, advised the Muslims to constitute a strong and efficient organization of the Muslim countries on the lines of the Commonwealth. And now, the conference of G-8 member countries in Islamabad, too, has stressed the need for improving the economic and commercial ties to resolve the issues on the lines of the United Nations. Nevertheless, no one can deny the fact that problems cannot be resolved through mere slogans, announcements, and joint declarations, but these can be resolved by playing our roles in a practical manner alone. As the United States has allowed the global financial institutions to set up their central offices on its soil, it has entangled the world in an interest-based economy and thereby committed aggression on it. Similarly, whether it is the United Nations or the Security Council, they see everything in the United States prism only. This is because these entities are still not able to see their own resolutions passed on the Kashmir issue in 1948 and 1949; nor are they able to see the Israeli atrocities on Palestine committed at the behest of the United States. You do not have to go too far: in the recent past, these entities could neither see the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Burma, nor did these feel the need to take cognizance of the acts of terrorism committed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, if we really realize that if a large number of Muslims of the world comprising more than 50 countries create solidarity among them - this feeling was for the first time nurtured by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto martyr, the founder of the Pakistan People`s Party (PPP) in 1973-74 - there is a golden opportunity for the same PPP to translate into reality the dreams of their founder who was targeted by the global powers, especially the United States. Today, if we sincerely get rid of these organizations replete with perfidies and expediencies and give proof of our economic and political sovereignty as also work cohesively by using our own resources, I think that even today we can regain the position that we lost in the world. This is because the way the United Nations and its Security Council have disappointed the developing countries, especially the Muslim countries, due to their attitude have become crystal clear today. Whenever the United States wants to accomplish a task immediately - whether it is the question of liberating Indonesia`s East Timor province or the question of invasion on any country - a resolution is not only passed within a few hours, but also the United States and its allies pounce on that country with all their resources. In this process, they neither care for the declarations of Geneva Convention nor do they honor the international norms on wars. No organization in the world has the courage to stop them. In fact, currently, 70 percent valuable resources of the world are with the Muslim countries and this truth has been very well understood by the Jews, Christians, and the Hindus. In view of this, under a long-term strategy, they keep on triggering conflicts and generating differences among Muslim countries. And after getting their purpose served, they expose the truth, too, as was done by Colin Powell in his book which was published after his retirement. In that book, he revealed that: after the 9/11,we put forward seven conditions before Pervez Musharraf thinking that he would, at the maximum, give his nod for three or four conditions only; but, how did we know that this stupid guy was ready to accept more than seven conditions even. It will be better if those in the helm of affairs in our country, decision-making powers, intellectuals, NGO`s, and a specific group comprising a few traders and industrialists - who are supporting the United States - take a look at history; because, the United States was neither sincere to anyone in the past, nor is sincere today, and nor will it be sincere tomorrow, too. This is because it wants to establish its authority over the world through the organizations created by it and for this purpose, it uses certain people and throws them away like bits of tissue paper thereafter. Therefore, if the developing countries of the world, especially the Islamic block, close down this international shop owned by the United States, I think that it will be better for all of us. This is because the manner in which the United Nations has made its entire history obscure by using it for the benefit of the United States is not oblivious to anyone. Hence this shop should be definitely closed now.
(Description of Source: Rawalpindi Nawa-e Waqt in Urdu -- Privately owned, widely read, conservative Islamic daily, with circulation around 125,000. Harshly critical of the US and India.)
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Israeli Writer: UN `Inefficient Vehicle,` Needs `Fundamental Reform`
The Jerusalem Post Online
Friday, October 5, 2012
Commentary by Uri Savir, president of the Peres Center for Peace and Israel`s chief negotiator for the Oslo Accords: “A new United Nations is needed”
Watching the UN General Assembly this year made one wonder if the illustrious world organization should not be moved from the East River to Hollywood, as it is undoubtedly the “best show in town,” with almost 200 heads of state, prime ministers and foreign ministers mostly directing their bravado toward their domestic constituencies and the television cameras.
The Oscar for the Best Actor would probably go to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as his act was closest to the somewhat ridiculous and dangerous man he is, speaking about freedom, human rights and peace without masking his Muslim fanaticism or revealing his nuclear and terroristic ambitions and Iran`s abuse of human rights and basic freedoms. The Oscar for the Best Actor in an Animated Feature would probably go to our own Binyamin Netanyahu with his simplistic live presentation -- vintage Bibi. Barack Obama, the current and probably next president of the United States, was not convinced.
There seem to be very few candidates for Best Actress as there are far too few female heads of state and government, not to speak of within the UN itself. Best Director would probably have to go to Ban Ki-moon, as he orchestrated the charade at the General Assembly -- intelligent and polite, but yet he has done very little to reform this outdated organization.
While this parade of endless speeches took place at the General Assembly, the world witnessed hundreds of innocent Syrians killed every day by the brutal Bashar regime, al-Qaida terrorism in Afghanistan and Libya, tension between China and Japan, a dangerous stalemate in the Middle East, a series of humanitarian crises all over the African continent with, for instance, thousands of Eritrean refugees tortured or killed in the Sinai Desert, human sex-trafficking, violent demonstrations in the Muslim world, and a breakdown of the Greek and Spanish economies.
The world is numb listening to useless addresses in an organization that has become ineffective in dealing with today`s global challenges.
The United Nations was created after World War II to replace the League of Nations as a reflection of a new post-war reality and a post-colonial world. The UN Charter puts at the forefront of the organization`s mandate peace, security and friendly relations among countries based on equality, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of race, sex, language or religion. The UN has clearly failed as conflict and wars continue and human rights are violently violated in virtually every corner of the world.
This comes at a time when international collective action has become more important and urgent. Without collective multilateral efforts, there will be no solutions to most of the world`s conflicts and ailments, be they in Iran, Syria or Sudan, or in the reduction of poverty, hunger and disease so prevalent in Africa.
However, while there is a desire for the leading world power -- the United States under President Barack Obama -- to act diplomatically through collective efforts, the UN is an inefficient vehicle. At best it represents the powers of the middle of the last century, with the predominance of the nation state and the supposed omnipotence of government.
The world of 2012 is not that of 1945. The world is in many ways borderless when it comes to the movement of people, trade, money and the important interconnectivity between value- and interest- based communities, not necessarily countries. The forces of evil have also fundamentally changed -- if after WWII, a country needed to be wealthy in resources, financial or natural, in today`s world the weaker and poorer parts of the chain of nations have become more dangerous. The acquisition or development of weapons of mass destruction is open to all including the poorest of states, such as North Korea and Iran, and in the near future probably to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida. Opportunity and destruction are easier to come by -- and both challenges can only be met by effective collective efforts.
This is especially true at this moment in history when governments have become less relevant and governance more difficult. Economies are mostly run by the private sector, societies are moved increasingly by civil society, information is passed on by new media vehicles and security is, more than before, in the hands of individual groups.
-- A fundamental reform of the international governing body, the UN, is therefore absolutely necessary. Such a reform, once attempted without success by Kofi Annan, should include the following elements:
-- The creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a “lower house” parallel to the General Assembly as an “upper house.” A Parliamentary Assembly constituted by nongovernmental and youth organizations dedicated to social progress and peace building from all member countries and observers -- this body to be selected by the existing and former secretary-general of the UN -- an assembly for the “United People of the World” convening once a year and communicating on a special UN website.
-- A stronger and bigger UN Secretariat that will have the authority to implement the necessary reform, including the modus operandi of the new Parliamentary Assembly, and its relationship to the General Assembly and to the specialized agencies. With the appointment of the next secretary-general, the person at the helm of the new United Nations should come with a background in the most pressing social and human rights issues, preferably a first-ever female secretary- general, such as Burma`s Aung San Suu Kyi.
-- Turning the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) into an important body parallel to the Security Council -- also with 15 members of whom at least eight are from the developing world, and all 15 without veto power. This body would deal with socioeconomic development, humanitarian intervention, education, environment and human rights -- all closely linked to world peace and development. The new ECOSOC should work closely with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Private sector groups and foundations willing to contribute to development would be included as observers.
-- The establishment of two new specialized agencies -- given that the central purpose of the United Nations is to promote peace, yet there are no specialized agencies which deal specifically with this:
(1) A peace-building and security agency with a rapid intervention force, peacekeeping and peace-building forces and the mandate to initiate peace-building and reconciliation programs in post-conflict areas, thus contributing to the prevention of relapse and future conflict. This agency should be headed preferably by the main contributor to its activities, i.e. the United States.
(2) A human rights agency charged with ongoing monitoring of human rights abuses in relation to the UN Charter, as fundamental human rights are at the basis of the principle of equality and therefore of peaceful coexistence -- equality between genders, religions, cultures, races, nations and countries. The basic rights include food security, a clean environment, education, labor, respect for human dignity and self-determination, as well as the rights of children, of women, and of minorities. This agency should have a special global education and training program with respect to building a culture of human rights. The agency should work in conjunction with NGOs such as Amnesty International and youth organizations (as these rights are at the top of the agenda of young people all over the world). It should be headed by a representative of a country with an impressive experience on human rights such as South Africa or Norway.
Reform along these lines is necessary if the UN is to represent the world of the 22nd century, with the growing power of civil society institutions. Change is necessary if the UN wants to become more effective in a collaborative effort to tackle today`s complex and deep global problems, such as dealing with Syrian genocide, Iran`s nuclear ambitions, regional peace and security, poverty and economic development, abuse of human rights and international justice.
As for Israel, we need to understand that the modern world will increasingly function through collective efforts, often led by the United States. We should be part of it, contribute to it, and isolate pariah states such as Iran and North Korea, rather than isolate ourselves.
(Description of Source: Jerusalem The Jerusalem Post Online in English -- Website of right-of-center, independent daily; URL: http://www.jpost.co.il)
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Indian Commentary: UN Stage for Many Epochal Battles, Still Significant
Daily News and Analysis Online
Monday, October 1, 2012
Commentary by Rajiv Dogra: Why the United Nations Is Still Significant on a Global Stage
There are many shades of gray in diplomacy too. They may not be fifty but they are numerous enough to confound, confuse and excite by turns. All this happens in relations between nations, for example the recent tensions between China and some South East Asian nations. However the variety and the number of such incidents isn`t always predictable, and sometimes there can be long periods of dull ennui in world affairs. But there is one time in the year that is bound to generate global interest. The media focus shifts in end September annually to New York when world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly session.
It could be argued that this session no longer attracts the most powerful leaders, and that UN itself dances largely in shadows these days. But to the observant there are still remarkable ironies to ponder over. For instance Obama and Zardari addressed the UNGA on its opening day this year; the former representing a country which spearheads the global war against terror while the latter heads a nation that is just one step short of being declared a state sponsor of terror.
But that incongruity should not come as a surprise because UN has been the stage for many epochal battles, both inside and outside it. Once, the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was getting out of his car at the UN building when he was confronted by a group of pro-Israel protesters. They were carrying placards which read, `Arafat, go home.` Arafat stepped close to the protesters, smiled and said, `Thank you. That`s exactly what I am trying to do.` People also remember one of the finest speeches in UN by Chaim Herzog, the Israeli Permanent Representative in 1975 (later President of Israel).
The UN was considering a Resolution titled, “Zionism is racism.” Herzog gave an inspired impromptu speech against it saying inter alia; “For us, the Jewish people, this Resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance is devoid of any moral and legal value.” Following his speech the Resolution was dropped.
UN`s General Assembly session has also been the scene of theatrical gestures. This was specially so in the ideologically charged 1960s.
When a Filipino delegate was fuming in the 1960 session against the Soviet Union, Khrushchev got up and appealing to the President of the session he said, “Mr President, call that toady of American imperialism to order.” Then, to reinforce his point further, he removed his shoe and began to bang it against the table.
In the same year Fidel Castro of Cuba spoke for four hours and thirty minutes using that long harangue to blast US imperialism and denigrate Kennedy, “Were Kennedy not a millionaire, illiterate and ignorant, then he would have understood that you cannot revolt against the peasants!”
Such drama has been missing in recent years but there are still moments that are out of the ordinary. In 2006, Venezuela`s Hugo Chavez compared George W Bush (who had addressed the General Assembly the previous day) to Satan and said, “The devil came yesterday and it (General Assembly) smells of sulphur still!
Libya`s Muammar Gaddafi took a full forty years before coming to New York to address the annual session. He wanted to set up a Bedouin tent in the city to stay in, but when he was denied the permission by the city authorities he had to make do with a camp in Donald Trump`s backyard. But to the UN this protector of terrorists said, “It should not be called a Security Council, it should be called a terror council.”
In the Security Council itself the record for the longest speech is held by Krishna Menon. He spoke for eight hours, and in the course of his speech he had to be hospitalised for exhaustion. But he came back to speak for another hour while a doctor was checking his blood pressure constantly.
Menon`s speech of 1957 is remarkable not just for setting a record but also for its effectiveness in demolishing the Pakistani argument. More importantly that filibuster gave Indian forces precious hours to drive back the Pakistani aggressors from some areas. Those multiple benefits of one speech should be a pointer to the gains of effective diplomacy.
That`s why the uncalled for reference to Kashmir made by Zardari at the UN this year must be rebutted forcefully not only as a matter of record but also to inform the world opinion, because despite its reduced profile the UN is still the world`s ultimate staging post.
That was the reason why Menon thundered in 1957, “The Security Council regards this as a dispute. It is not a dispute for territory. There is only one problem before you and that is the problem of aggression.”
(Description of Source: Mumbai Daily News and Analysis (DNA) online in English -- Indias first “all-color page” English-language daily, owned by the Diligent Media Corporation, a joint venture between industry majors -- the Dainik Bhaskar (Indias number one Hindi daily) Group and Zee Group. Launched on 30 July 2005, DNA started with a subscribed circulation of 300,000. The daily targets a young readership; URL: www.dnaindia.com)
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Ahmadinejad Highlights Urgent Need To Restructure United Nations
Saturday, September 15, 2012
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday highlighted the urgent need to restructure United Nations on justice.
He made the remarks in a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.
Ahmadinejad said UNHCR is of rare international organizations which operates independent of policies of world arrogant system.
“No individual must be subject to displacement, because it is an imposed suffering on human being or human community by the regional and international policies of the arrogant powers. Therefore, the governance system of the international community must be reformed,” he said, a reference to restructuring the United Nations.
Ahmadinejad, is echoeing aspirations of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement after assuming leadership of the major international body, calling for the United Nations Security Council to include representatives of the international community.
NAM Leaders said in Tehran that the United Nations Security Council is the defunct relics of the World War II which lacks the legitimacy to govern the international community in exclusion of representatives of the international community.
Appreciating Iran for hosting Afghan refugees for more than 30 years, Guterres said Iran generously welcomed Afghans based on morality and Iranian religious teachings which will have divine reward from God.
(Description of Source: Tehran IRNA in English -- Official state-run online news agency, headed as of January 2010 by Ali Akbar Javanfekr, former media adviser to President Ahmadinezhad. URL:http://www.irna.ir)
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