Outrage flared after Iran was declared the chair of the UN human rights meeting in Geneva earlier this month. Human rights organizations worldwide complained, citing numerous atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lambasted the Biden administration for not pushing back. To be fair to the international body, Iran was chosen because no other nation’s envoy was nominated. To be fair to America and the rest of the world, however, the UN Human Rights Council is little more than an expensive international joke – and nobody is laughing.
The 2023 Social Forum on Nov. 2-3 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva focused on “the contribution of science, technology and innovation to the promotion of human rights, including in the context of post-pandemic recovery.” Sounds like the affair didn’t have much to do with ending human rights abuse around the world in any real way.
The UN Is a Joke – Just Not a Very Funny One
The Human Rights Council splits the world into five categories and fills seats in each by rotating through member countries in each region. So eventually positions will be allocated to nations notorious for human rights abuse. The 47 states in the council are elected by the majority of the General Assembly through a secret ballot – meaning that a great many members think some tyrannical governments could be trusted to ensure the human rights of the world’s people – described by America’s Founding Fathers as inalienable and allegedly protected by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Such countries as Afghanistan, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, and Syria belong to the United Nations. Russia is perpetrating a war of conquest against neighbor and fellow UN member Ukraine; China has its eyes on doing the same to Taiwan and has vocally supported Russia as well as Hamas. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria are all designated State Sponsors of Terrorism by the US Department of State. Afghanistan is run by the Taliban. Iran and Lebanon are complicit in materially assisting the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists currently fighting to eradicate Israel; since the notorious Wagner Group arrived in Lebanon, it seems Russia is as well.
The Security Council Presidency is held by each member nation in turn for one month, following alphabetical order. This includes Russia and China (the current president). The council includes committees such as Counter-Terrorism, 1540 (nonproliferation of nuclear weapons), and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. The International Court of Justice consists of judges sent by Russia, China, and Lebanon.
It’s a Bad Investment, Too
Every member is required to contribute to the UN budget, but few nations give generously. Since the international body was created in 1945, the United States has, without interruption, been the largest donor. The 2021 contributions report shows 27.89% – $830 million – came from the United States. The next largest contributor was China at 15.21%, followed by Japan at 8.56%. Other Western nations – such as Germany (6.09%), the United Kingdom (5.79%), France (5.61%), Italy (3.3%), and Canada (2.73%) — barely contribute.
The annual monetary gift to the UN budget isn’t the only way the United States offers support. In 2021, UN groups got about a quarter of American foreign aid, a whopping $12.5 billion in taxpayer money. Despite the fact that our country’s money and authority constitute the backbone of the organization, the UN agenda frequently opposes American interests.
The United Nations can be counted on to give state sponsors of terror, would-be tyrannical empires, and flagrant human rights abusers a seat at the table – often at the head – but that’s hardly the extent of it. Whenever US foreign policy doesn’t match the globalist agenda or the odd devotion to dictatorships around the world, the organization lashes out. In 2017, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly (123-9, with 33 countries abstaining) to declare then-President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “null and void.” As Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble wrote at the time, the UN vote meant very little to the United States or Israel, as it lacked any enforceable power.
But anti-UN voices called louder for America to cut funding down to the level of other Western nations or even withdraw from the body entirely. Indeed, that outcome is precisely why the popular but powerless resolution didn’t include economic sanctions or a removal from leadership. The globalist elites of the General Assembly may be unable to see a human rights abuser in their midst, but they certainly know better than to bite the hand that feeds them.