The United Nations is a Failure

The United Nations is a Failure

© David Burton 2014

Worthless United Nations

     The United Nations, U.N., was formed at the conclusion of World War II to maintain international security and peace, while developing friendly relations among nations. By and large, the United Nations has proven to be mostly ineffective, biased, and irrelevant in world affairs. It can be said that its ineffectiveness has resulted in millions of innocent civilian deaths.

     “Many experts agree that “modern” terrorism began with the 1968 hijacking of El Al Israel Flight 426 by a Palestinian terrorist organization. The United Nations condemned the action, but failed to take any further action. These terrorist acts continued throughout the remainder of the twentieth century, with no reaction from the UN; a simple condemnation was as far as they would go. With the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the UN finally took action, outlawing terrorism and punishing those responsible for the attacks. Unfortunately, this applied only to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. State-funded terrorist programs—such as Hamas {and} Hezbollah . . . were unaffected. Nations that support groups that are widely linked to terrorism, such as Iran, are not held accountable specifically for these actions. To this date, the UN still does not have a clear definition of terrorism, and they have no plans to pursue one.” (Ref. 1)

     “As legend has it, Groucho Marx sent the Friars Club a telegram that read, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.’
     “At least the Friars club had standards. What to make of the United nations? It has a single criterion for membership: existence.” (Ref. 2)

     What does membership in the United Nations mean? NOTHING! The most evil regimes in the world can belong – just look at North Korea, Syria, and numerous others. "One need only review the repugnant record of the U.N. Human Rights Council (formerly the U.N. Commission on Hyman Rights), which for decades has served as a magnet for the world’s most vicious regimes. It’s a global version of what economists call ‘regulatory capture.’ The worst offenders don’t want to be chastised by the agency, so they take it over. These Legion of Doom nations then spend most of their time condemning Israel as a way to pander to their domestic populations and take the focus off themselves. Since 2006, the UNHRC has condemned Israel nearly 50 times – far more than Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Congo, Myanmar, Somalia Libya and Iran combined. [emphasis mine] Feel free to criticize Israel, but if you think its human rights record is worse – than Syria’s or North Korea’s, you’re a fool.” (Ref. 2)

     Having the United States quit the United Nations would not offend me. But, because of the egg-heads, ultra-liberals, Utopian dreamers and the elitists of the world, “abolishing or quitting the U. N. is a lost cause. The idea of a world without a club that any nation can join is too horrifying for transnational elites and the pundits who hobnob with them. And the childish dream of Parliament of Man will never die, even though an institution that meaningfully lived up {to} that idea would spell the doom of the United States of America.
      - - -
     “{instead,} let us set about to create a new League of Democracies. The standards for entry wouldn’t have anything to do with race or geography or even wealth (although wealthy countries tend to be democratic countries so long as the wealth is derived from broad prosperity and not merely natural resources exploited by oligarchs). The standards would be simple: democracy, the rule of law and respect for individual liberty. A formal; consensus among such countries would actually have the moral authority the U.N. only pretends to have.
     “Such an organization might inspire nations to better themselves on the grounds that it would be an honor to be a member rather than an entitlement that comes with mere existence.” (Ref. 2)

     “Last week {w/o 27 July 2014}, the United nations Human Rights Council {UNHRC} adopted a resolution, S-21, creating a ‘commission of inquiry’ to investigate human rights violations in the Gaza war. Nowhere does the resolution mandate that the commission conduct a fair, impartial and balanced investigation. This was not a drafting error.
     “S-21 without any fact-finding, renders a verdict against Israel. It declares that the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip have constituted ‘widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms.’
     “It further states as fact that Israel engaged in ‘disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks’ on civilians. For good measure, S-21 also recites every grievance of Palestinians, even the ones unrelated to human rights violations in the current Gaza conflict, from Palestinian prisoners to the occupation of the West Bank to East Jerusalem. Conspicuously, it nowhere mentions Hamas and in just one sentence only indirectly mentions the rockets the militant group launched against Israel that provoked the conflict in the first place.” (Ref. 3)

     Where was the U.N. and its UNHRC during the decade or so when Hamas was firing rockets into civilian areas in Israel? Since 2005, more than 13,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel[4] What about “reports that rockets found at an UNRWA school were returned to Hamas”? [5] What is the U.N. doing to stop the slaughter in Syria?

     Not surprisingly, “Israel’s government called for the rejection of a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) inquiry into the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
       “In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office faulted the resolution for not singling out what it said was Hamas’ practice of endangering Palestinian civilians by placing its fighters and weapons among them. (Ref. 5)

       This not the first time the UNHRC has been found guilty of being anti-Israel. Then President George W. Bush instituted a policy of nonparticipation in the UNHRC “after its creation in 2006, because of its repeated focus on Israel while downplaying human rights abuses elsewhere. {The Obama administration has since reversed Bush’s policy of nonparticipation}
       “In 2007, for example. Even U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, hardly a defender of Israel, expressed disappointment that the council had singled out ‘only one specific regional item’ for its attention. . . . since 2006 the council has passed 50 anti-Israel resolutions, almost the same number of human rights resolutions as it passed against the rest of the world.” [emphasis mine] (Ref. 3)

     The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, is one more example of a dysfunctional, biased and anti-Israel U.N. organization. It was established in 1949 to aid Palestinian refugees. What it has done is to keep the Palestinian refugees and their descendants in what amounts to detention camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. UNRWA has facilitated keeping the Palestinian refugees as unwitting pawns of the anti-Israel lobby and the bleeding hearts of the world. Note that UNRWA is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict. It is separate from UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is dedicated to aiding all refugees in the world.

     UNRWA’s work has long crossed the lines of humanitarianism and relief, and for decades has been embroiled in the realm of anti-Israel politics. Indeed, the acceptance by UNRWA’s leadership of the mission to enhance the political rights of Palestinians at large, not only refugees, has gradually become a key trend, characterizing the Agency’s activity. UNRWA has expanded its activities to provide protection for refugees and non-refugees alike. This mandate to protect Palestinians, and the accompanying sense of being joined with the Palestinians against Israel, is today a part of UNRWA’s culture. The supposedly neutral UNRWA is engaged in the endorsement of Palestinian political views. The one-sided positions of UNRWA officials have been reflected in their focus on condemning Israeli counter­terrorism efforts in language that is associated with war crimes. On the other hand, their criticism of Palestinian-initiated attacks has been both mild and infrequent.[6]

     The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has raged for more than six decades. Besides failing to bring the conflict to a successful resolution, the U.N. has been spectacularly unsuccessful in bringing peace and security to a number of regions around the world.

     Sri Lanka experienced a bloody civil war lasting from 1983 to 2009, In the final months of the war, the opposing sides were fighting in the heavily populated northeast coastline, a designated safe zone. The fighting forced 196,000 people to flee, and trapped over 50,000 civilians. Independent experts urged the Human Rights Council of the UN to investigate claims of war crimes, but the United Nations made no attempts to intervene on behalf of the civilian population. From January to April of 2009, over 6,500 civilians were killed in this so-called “safe-zone”.[1]

     The U.N. Security Council attempted to invoke chapter VII sanctions from the United Nations Charter to intervene and prevent genocide in Syria. But vetoes by China and Russia prevented any action. Since the Syrian Civil War began, more than 100,000 civilians have been killed, with a million more displaced.[1]

     The Srebrenica 1995 Bosnian War massacre was the single worst act of mass murder on European soil since World War II. After an ethnic cleansing campaign led by the Serbs targeted the largely Muslim community, the U.N. designated Srebrenica a safe-zone in 1993. A peacekeeping force was put in place, consisting of six hundred Dutch soldiers. The Serbs then surrounded the safe-zone with tanks, soldiers, and artillery pieces. In July, Serbian forces invaded the area, forcing the small UN team back. Despite the UN peacekeeping force present, Serbian soldiers entered the camp, raping Muslim women and murdering freely while the Dutch peacekeepers did nothing. By July 18th, 7,800 Muslims were dead, due largely to the ill-equipped and unprepared UN force.[1]

     The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, practicing an extreme form of Communism. Suspected enemies were executed, including professionals and intellectuals. Ethnic Vietnamese, Ethnic Chinese, and Christians were executed en masse. In 1979, the Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia to oust the Khmer Rouge and end the massacre. A new government was put in place in Cambodia. Shockingly, the United Nations refused to recognize this new government because it was backed by Vietnam, which had recently ended a decade-long conflict with the United States. Until 1994, the United Nations recognized the Khmer Rouge as the true government of Cambodia, despite the fact that they had killed 2.5 million Cambodians, amounting to 33% of their total population.[1]

     In 2003, Sudan erupted in conflict, as various militia groups criticized and attacked the government for oppressing non-Arabs. Seeing that defeat was imminent, the government funded the Janjaweed, a group of Arab militants. By 2005, the Janjaweed were carrying out attacks on populated villages using artillery and helicopters, prompting condemnation by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Despite this condemnation, the UN did not enter Sudan. Reports emerged revealing that Sudanese military planes were painted white, to resemble UN humanitarian aircraft, only to drop bombs on villages. It was not until 2006 that 200 UN soldiers were dispatched to the area. Despite their limited presence, fighting continued until 2010. In seven years, an estimated 300,000 Sudanese civilians were killed.[1]

     The Rwandan genocide of 1994 details the gross inability of the United Nations to carry out its sworn duty to maintain peace and security. Following the Rwandan Civil War in the early 1990s, tensions between two ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsis, were at a dangerous high. In 1993, UN peacekeeping forces entered the nation, attempted to secure the capital and enable humanitarian aid. But, the peacekeeping forces were not authorized to use military force to achieve these goals. In January of 1994, a cable was sent from the Canadian Force Commander to the UN headquarters detailing the imminent threat of genocide by Hutu mobs on Tutsi minorities. The Security Council never received the cable, and the notice was largely ignored. Following the loss of eighteen American servicemen in the Battle of Mogadishu, the United States was largely unwilling to help in any intervention. Most shocking in this series of events is the abandonment of a school by Belgian peacekeepers after ten soldiers were murdered. Thousands had flocked to the school for UN protection, and roaming gangs of Hutu supporters killed nearly all of them. Close to one million Rwandans were killed in the genocide, amounting to twenty percent of the population. [1]

     The hypocrisy, ineptitude, irrelevance, and failure of the United Nations has been recognized by many – but, the U.N. continues operation under the façade of serving the poor, the weak, and the abused of the world. In reality, however, the vast majority of the world’s worst abusers get to have a world forum despite their crimes and violations of human rights – the U.N. Human Rights Council being a prime example. “For example, in 2001 – the same year Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth compared the U.N. rights body to ‘a police force run in large part by suspected murderers and rapists’ [emphasis mine] – resolutions were passed on several countries, including Russia and Cuba.
     “Yet today, Moscow and Havana are untouchable, while no Council member even tries tabling resolutions to help human rights victims in countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Zimbabwe. These and other fellow perpetrators enjoy immunity, and impunity.
     “Most of the reviews {prepared by the HRC} amount to {nothing but} orchestrated mutual praise. Last week, for example, China used the UPR to praise Saudi Arabia – where 53 Ethiopian Christians were arrested this year for praying in a private home – for its ‘religious tolerance.’ The next day, Saudi Arabia praised China – which has trampled the people of Tibet – for ‘progress’ in ‘ethnic minority regions, at the political, cultural and educational levels.’” (Ref. 7)

     One of the main objectives of the United Nations is supposedly the resolution of issues between countries through diplomacy before countries resort to military force and before conflicts escalate. Unfortunately, the U.N. has consistently failed in obtaining this objective.

     One reason for this failure is that the United Nations is primarily a forum for debate. As a result, the U.N. is an international organization where countries send representatives to argue for or against issues. Furthermore, countries governed by dictators and repressive regimes typically use these debates to delay and obfuscate issues in their favor. Over the fifty years that the United Nations has existed, these debates have rarely resolved any dispute. Direct military actions, back room negotiations, and threats none of which were not sponsored by the United Nations - have had the only real positive affects for change.[8]

     For instance, Iraq was under U.N. backed economic trade sanctions for over a decade. The Iraqi people suffered greatly while Saddam Hussein continued playing games with the United Nations by only periodically allowing inspections for weapons of mass destruction, inconsistent disarmament of known weapons, and illegally finding ways around the oil for food agreements that the U.N. imposed. Economic sanctions were an abyssal failure! The Iraqi people were freed of Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule only when the United States removed the dictator from power. And yet, the U.N. has been trying this same failed “solution” against North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. Iran and its nuclear ambitions are another example of the U. N. repeating its failed policies.[8]

     A second reason why the United Nations has proved to be a failure is that it is unable to take direct and independent actions without support from its members. In other words, the U.N. is completely powerless. In the real world of religious fanatics, of power-hungry and brutal dictators, and unscrupulous government, all of whom know the U.N. lacks any real power, they are almost completely free to do whatever they want. For example, North Korea has tested nuclear weapons and boasts that it will to continue doing so. The U.N. response? The United Nations is considering sanctions. [8]

     A third reason why the United Nations has proved to be a failure is that the U.N. has five nations that can veto any resolution that the majority of the U.N. members agree upon. Unfortunately, not all of the five nations with veto power are unbiased, democratic and fair.[8]

     Another reason the United Nations has proved to be a failure is that it does not formally recognize any country as a terrorist state. As a result, the United Nations is completely blind to terrorist groups, has no plans to address terrorism, and has no intentions of changing. The fact that the United Nations, as the largest international organization that promotes peace, is completely unable to address terrorism is proof positive that the U.N. has been, is, and will continue to be an abject and very expensive failure. [8]


  1. Top 10 Failures of the United Nations, Andrew Fitzgerald,, 28 January 2013.
  2. World’s democracies deserve League of their own, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 21, 28 July 2014.
  3. United nations panel anti-Israel from the start, Gregory J. Wallace, Boston Herald, Page 15, 1 August 2014.
  4. Congress Approves Funding for Iron Dome, AIPAC, 3 August 2014.
  5. Israel calls for rejection of human rights council inquiry, The Jewish Press, Page 44, 1 August 2014.
  6. UNRWA: Blurring the Lines between Humanitarianism and Politics, Dr. Rephael Ben-Ari, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Accessed 29 July 2014.
  7. What's wrong with U.N.'s human rights council, Hillel Neuer, CNN World, 31 October 2013.
  8. Why The United Nations is a Useless Failure, Phil B., Phil for Humanity, Accessed 4 August 2014.

  4 August 2014 {Article 197; Whatever_36}    
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