There are genocides that took place, genocides that are taking place and genocides waiting to happen. The UN is an organization that fails to address any of these calamities. Fails, as in, completely.
Normblog today has this to say:
...the right of humanitarian intervention by states cannot be made conditional on UN authorization though it is preferable if there is such authorization; and, second, that one should not continue to labour under the facile delusion that effective international arrangements for the prevention of genocide are already in place. They aren't. But if this doesn't mean seeking outright alternatives to existing arrangements, it has to mean trying to improve them - looking for ways of strengthening the existing Convention and/or better mechanisms for implementing it.
Eric Reeves has a couple of suggestions:
[I]f the primary purpose of the Genocide Convention is prevention, the UN and international community must act before there is juridical or historical certainty. We are obliged to act when there is compelling evidence of large-scale destruction of a "national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such."
...This requires substantial revision of the UN Charter, but fundamental changes at the UN are widely recognized as critical for the organization to remain relevant in the 21st century..
And David Frum has this to say:
At Durban, the UN had allowed an antiracism conference to be hijacked by anti-Semites. But what if it allowed anti-Semites to organize a conference from the very start? What if it made hatred of Jews and the annihilation of the Jewish state the very organizing principle of the conference? Now that truly would be a record low.
And so it happened. The UN has been at work organizing a "Durban II" to be held sometime in 2009. The organizing committee for the conference is chaired by Libya -- with seats offered to Iran and Cuba. Preparatory meetings have been scheduled for Jewish holidays, in an effort to prevent pro-Israel groups from participating.
...But let's also understand more clearly what is at stake at Durban II.
... "The defamation of Islam and discrimination against Muslims represent the most conspicuous demonstration of contemporary racism and intolerance.It is regrettable that the world media has allowed defamation and blasphemy in this form"
These are more than mere words. We have already witnessed attempts to put the UN bureaucracy to work as an international enforcer of Islamic definitions of blasphemy.
... UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, a Canadian, did take jurisdiction of the matter and did promise an investigation.
...Human rights? No, what we are witnessing here is a power grab, an attempt to seize crucial principles of Western individualism and reshape them as weapons of domination.
... an attempt to redefine "human rights" as a tool for the destruction of individual liberty.
And what could better exemplify this strange longing for the demise of our individual freedoms than this suggestion by the Archbishop of Canterbury:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called for new laws to protect religious sensibilities that would punish “thoughtless and cruel” styles of speaking.
Dr Williams, who has seen his own Anglican Communion riven by fierce invective over homosexuality, said the current blasphemy law was “unworkable” and he had no objection to its repeal.
But whatever replaces it should “send a signal” about what was acceptable.
And we know where the Archbiship's sympathies lie, don't we?
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008