I’ve never been one to tout the benefits of the United Nations. One who looks closely at how the U.N. functions, who calls the shots, the amount of money spent on U.N. programs and, most importantly, the tangible impact those programs have usually have answers that leave one concerned or deeply depressed.
The recent United Nations declaration on climate change reminds me of the infamous Kyoto Protocol. Developed in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, this document was supposed to save the world from itself when it came to pollution/climate change, except for big polluters like the United States, China and India, who never signed onto the agreement in the first place. Or if they did, there were special “back doors” such as “carbon credits” the polluters like Russia could use to make money while doing absolutely nothing to cut climate change emissions.
Carbon credits work like this: you may be producing climate change emissions, but if you have a lot of natural resources, say forests, that “offset that pollution,” then you have “carbon credits.” If you have more carbon credits than you “need,” you can sell them to other, heavily polluting countries, say India. You can do all this while never reducing your own emissions, or the emissions of your “carbon credit” customers, either.
If you’re saying to yourself “That’s just a scam,” you’re 100 per cent correct. But that’s the 21st Century United Nations for you.
The fact is the developing world’s thirst for oil and gas is only increasing. OPEC knew that back in 2004, and here is a summary of Dr Maizar Rahman, Indonesian Governor for OPEC comments that year: “Global oil demand is projected to rise by 38 million barrels a day to 115 mb/d by 2025 — annual average growth of 1.6 mb/d, or 1.7 per cent, over the years 2002–25. … Asian countries will remain the key source of demand increase in the developing world, with China and India central to this growth.”
Another problem with the United Nations is certain members using the organization to settle old scores with religious enemies or former colonial powers. The Virtual Jewish Library has stated (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-u-n-israel-relationship), “Despite being the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel routinely faces more criticism and condemnation at the United Nations than any other country, including those that systematically kill their citizens or deny them the most basic of human rights. Even today, both the General Assembly and Security Council continue to pass one-sided resolutions that single out and condemn the Jewish State. Additionally, an overwhelmingly powerful bloc led by the Arab nations promotes a narrow and slanderous agenda meant to isolate Israel that has met little resistance.”
I thought the U.N. was created for loftier goals than “Let’s get even with those guys.” Pathetic.
Then there are questions about the late Kofi Anan, former secretary general, and the Rwandan genocide. There isn’t room here to go into as much detail as I would like, but I’m sure any of you who kept up with Central African events in 1994 know that between April and July of that year between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi people were butchered by the Hutu majority.
In 2014, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, in command of the U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda wrote, “[p]reventing this genocide was possible; it was our moral obligation. And it’s a failure that has haunted me every day for the last 20 years.”
It was stated in his 2006 obituary that Anan, who was head of peacekeeping at the U.N. during the genocide, and his staff knew about the tidal wave of horror about to strike central Africa, but “… they said the forces of ethnic hatred were too strong to temper.”
So what did they do to the bureaucrat who was in charge of peacekeeping when the genocide happened?
They made him secretary general of the whole show. That shows how much the U.N. has on the ball.
Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.