The investigation into the Oil-For-Food scandal showed that, far from being an exception, corruption on a massive scale is the norm for the UN. From the Eye On The UN comes an editorial on the outcome of the UN Commission on the Status of Women that demonstrates the organisation's moral bankruptcy in spades:
Last Friday, March 9, 2007 the UN wrapped up its annual session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Guess where they found a violation of women's rights? Among the hundreds of thousands of women who are dead, dying, mutilated, displaced or raped in Sudan? Among the million female migrant workers cowering in the basements of Saudi Arabian villas from the taskmasters who stole their passports the minute they got off the plane? Among the women stoned and hanged for "adultery" in Iran? The millions of women forcibly aborted in China? The thousands murdered or forced to commit suicide for the crime of "dishonoring" their fathers and brothers across the Arab and Muslim world?So there you go; eliminate Israel and all of the world's women will live completely emancipated lives unfettered by religious or social norms.
If you guessed "none of the above," then you'll enjoy coming on down to the UN. The UN's lead body charged with promoting and protecting women's rights identifies only one state as violating the rights of women in the world today – Israel.(Violating the rights of Palestinian women.) The vote was 40 for and 2 against (the United States and Canada).
Germany, on behalf of the European Union, gave a one minute "explanation" excusing its affirmative vote. It said: "we express our deep concerns for the impact on all women in the region including the Israeli women" – although Germany did not insist such language be inserted in the resolution itself. For 60 seconds, the representative of the country where millions of Jewish women and girls were murdered en masse not so long ago took notice of the Jewish mothers and daughters who have fallen victim to terrorism in the Jewish state. This is the moral corruption that the UN breeds within democracies like Germany. In the United Nations, an institution owned and directed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Union grovels while the real abusers cheer.
The Chicago Tribune also gets stuck into the UN for its support of the Kim Jong Il regime.
First there was oil-for-food, the scandal-infested United Nations program that propped up Saddam Hussein's regime with hundreds of millions in kickbacks. Now there's a new scandal brewing with another UN aid program and another notorious dictator, North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Different countries, different UN programs. But remarkably the same result--millions funneled, no questions asked or answered, to the world's most notorious regimes.The amazing thing is how unaccountable the United Nations really is. Under the disgraceful Kofi Annan it allowed itself to become an activist organisation pushing an unashamedly socialist policy line while also providing a forum for the world's worst thugs and dictators to pick the public's pocket via various aid programs.
Here's how the United Nations Development Programme office in Pyongyang operated, as described in compelling detail by Tribune Washington bureau reporter Bay Fang:
A North Korean official would come to the door of the UNDP office in Pyongyang every business day. He would grab a manila envelope stuffed with cash--a large slice of the UN's disbursements for aid projects in the country--and leave. He never provided receipts. Nor did any of the UN's international staff know where the money went.
And those staffers couldn't easily find out: Those UN workers were not allowed to leave the compound without a government escort. They were not allowed to go travel outside Pyongyang without special permission from the military--permission they had to obtain at least a week in advance. They were not allowed to set foot in a bank. And under no circumstances were they allowed to make unrestricted visits to the projects they were supposed to be funding.
Even under preposterous conditions like these, the money flowed into Kim Jong Il's coffers. This didn't happen once or twice. It went on for years, with up to $150 million in hard foreign currency changing hands. "At the end, we were being used completely as an ATM machine for the regime," said one UN official with extensive knowledge of the program. "We were completely a cash cow, the only cash cow in town. The money was going to the regime whenever they wanted it."
What a disgrace.
And what was the North Korean regime doing with the money? Well, the cash was flowing in at the same time that the North Koreans were building nuclear weapons and, later, testing one. It flowed while the same United Nations--via the Security Council--was slapping sanctions on North Korea, trying to find ways to stop its nuclear program. It flowed while the U.S. worked feverishly to deny Kim Jong Il the hard currency he craved for his luxury lifestyle and to keep the fat cats happy. It flowed while the government watched, indifferently, as its own citizens starved by the thousands.
While the UN huffed and puffed, Kim Jong Il took the UN's money and laughed all the way to the bank.
Finally, earlier this month, the development program was quietly suspended. Why? After years of doling out the cash and asking nothing in return, did UN officials suddenly grow a spine? Nah. U.S. pressure persuaded the new UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, to launch a new audit of the program. By shutting the program preemptively, UN officials may hope to head off some embarrassment.
We hope that doesn't happen.
Earlier this year, Mark Wallace, U.S. ambassador to the UN for management and reform, wrote that at least since 1998 the program has been "systematically perverted for the benefit of the Kim Jong Il regime."
Now the UN promises a full audit, which is expected to be made public. Our guess: The embarrassment's only starting.
The sooner the UN is replaced by an organisation in which only democratic nations can participate the better off the world will be.