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Let's Hear it for the U.N.......

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Balladeer
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0 posted 04-29-2003 10:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Today the U.N. reappointed Cuba to a seat on the Human Rights Commission. With Libya as the head of the committee, this creates a perfect panel.

Last week they decided to suspend monitoring activities in the Sudan, that little place where over two million non-Muslims have been murdered and another four million have been relocated to "Peace" camps or towns.
A resolution submitted by the European Union appealing to the Sudan government to respect human rights and basic freedoms was voted down by 26 of the 53 members of the UN Human Rights Commission, with 24 in favour, and three abstaining.

Let's have a big hand for such a fine organization
Brad
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1 posted 04-29-2003 11:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hmmmm, it seems that you and Fidel agree on the impotence of the UN:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2959917.stm

What do you think we should do about this?
Balladeer
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2 posted 04-29-2003 11:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Seems like Fidel learned the secret...

Human rights groups said this year's elections carried on a trend of increasing domination of the commission by noted human rights violators, many of whom, like Cuba, were proposed on a regional slate without opposition.


"You have a huge powerful and very well organized bloc that doesn't want any country criticized, opposes U.N. human rights monitoring and wants to weaken the office of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights," Joanna Weschler of Human Rights Watch told Reuters.


"It's almost a rule now. You get criticized by the commission or you might be, so you get a seat on the commission and you vote as a bloc against criticism," Weschler said.


What to do about it, Brad? Beats me...personally, I would turn the UN building into an apartment complex and tell them to take a hike but I'm just a hothead.

One thing I wouldn't do would be overly concerned about being criticized for ignoring or disregarding the U.N....as we have been for some time now.

Brad
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3 posted 04-29-2003 11:41 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

As far as the Sudan is concerned, do you want a list of the number of times they have been condemmed by the UN (which is all it can really do) for human right violations?

What do I think we should do about the current debacle in the Human Rights commission?

I think we should fight back, I think we should play politics, I see the UN, or rather the way many people see the UN, as an opportunity, not an obstacle, to furthering good things like human rights, rule of law, democratic governments etc.

While obviously I think we should tie ourselves to the UN more than either you or Local Rebel, I simply don't see any reason for an all or nothing approach.  

If we don't, then the UN will probably become an apartment complex.

But don't we need some kind of deliberative body like the UN?

Or maybe I can put it this way, even with all its faults, isn't the idea of a UN valid?


Aenimal
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4 posted 04-30-2003 12:22 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Well the UN has failed let's dissolve it. It's time for Bush to now fly over to Cuba and liberate the Cuban People from their oppressor because that's what he does the champion of freedom.
Local Rebel
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5 posted 04-30-2003 01:22 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

You're tying my name a little too closely to being anti-UN there Brad...  I'm not.  I merely continue to point out that it is a consular body -- not a governing one... and it's one that is needed.

But, due to the nature of the world -- it's always going to be a source of frustration -- just as it was all during the Cold War (which was it's formative years).

Aenimal -- I think you'll find some people who were hoping for diplomacy to work in Cuba chanting your jest in earnest after the execution of the latest three would be refugees.
Balladeer
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6 posted 04-30-2003 01:36 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, I think the idea of a U.N is perfectly valid. Of course the idea of a League of Nations was perfectly valid, too. In that ideal world we would like to see an organization made up of the world's most powerful countries in terms of military, economic and leadership roles would be ideal policemen to monitor the human rights situations of all countries and bring pressure to bear on all violators of those rights. The problem is that the countries who are the biggest violators are members of the U.N. Fight it, you say? How does one do that? In the example of the HUman Rights Commission, composed of Libya, Cuba and many other countries whose human rights policies are deplorable, how does one change them? They only have to band together and veto whatever change you are trying to make, which they do. They know they don't have to answer to anyone. The U.S. should fight them? Hell, they even voted us off of the human rights council two years ago. Fighting them or trying to change them is a losing battle...you would be asking them to turn on themselves which they're not going to do. In that perfect U.N. these countries would not even be allowed to be members unless inspections of their countries verified that their citizens had their civil rights honored. As you showed in your link, Cuba told them to shove it when they suggested it and so, two weeks later, they voted Cuba on to the commission! There is no way to fight that. You never beat people at their own game no matter how smart or how right you think you are. The other way is to ignore them and when you do the world condemns you for going against THE U.N! (spoken softly in reverent tones). For the life of me I cannot see how this change you - and I - would like to see could ever get off the ground.

The U.S. pays 25% of the operating expenses of the U.N. and they play against a stacked deck. I cannot see any valid reason for continued membership in an organization that is basically as useless as they are. The U.N is a great idea in thought only - in reality they are a sham.

I would put up the eviction notice tomorrow...
Tim
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7 posted 04-30-2003 08:01 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Aenimal, I would be interested in your objective opinion as to points raised in the thread. For my own curiosity, just as another thread was to satisfy Brad's curiosity as to individual's thinking. Simple enough, just express your opinions and answer the questions Brad posed. How would you answer Balladeer's concerns?  Is there any need for concern?

[This message has been edited by Tim (04-30-2003 08:04 AM).]

morefiah
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8 posted 04-30-2003 11:13 AM       View Profile for morefiah   Email morefiah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for morefiah

(crossing myself over and over...!!) I agree with Balladeer on this issue, at least 90 percent. The UN is, for the most part, quite useless in policing the world. The 10 percent which I do not agree with has to with the issue of Cuba's human rights record. I won't get into that on this thread though. Maybe I will start a new topic related to that at some point.

Now about my views on the UN, I believe that there has never really been a serious collective will to give the UN the strength it needs. The powerful nations which were mentioned earlier, are only just now beginning to question the effectiveness of the UN when it was always THEY who had the power to strengthen it. Bear in mind that when the UN started out, most of the current members were not yet members.

Countries with proven bad Human Rights records should never even be considered for membership on certain commitees (certainly not the one related to Human Rights) In fact, if a certain country is proven to be blatantly anti-human rights, it's membership in the UN itself should be in question. I am not sure if the UN charter/constitution allows things like that, but if it doesn't, maybe it should.

Having said all that, an institution such as the UN is necessary. So maybe a lot of re-tooling and re-formulating is required. I will continue to maintain though, that the ineffectiveness of the UN should be no excuse for maverick behaviour. Rather, serious attempts, with as many of the members as possible, should be made to fix what was aways a very leaky pipe.

Balladeer, the UN Building would make a very ugly appartment building. So I disagree with you on that as well. Maybe I should have said 85 percent.

Garfield

Aenimal
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9 posted 04-30-2003 12:10 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Tim my views are as follows. The UN should not be dissolved but seriously overhauled. I think there's too many inconsistences, it has disillusioned many of its members and lead to as morefiah put it maverick behaviour. Because the system isn't working properly or justly doesn't mean it should be scrapped, otherwise you might as well tear down the all legal systems and governments.
And if your going to make condos or apartments then, I'd suggest the White House(for upper scale clients), Pentagon(cool courtyard), parliament Hill in Ottawa(for the rustic feel) as well as city hall in Toronto (very modern) there are a host of other really good looking buildings of this nature so call dibs.

[This message has been edited by Aenimal (04-30-2003 12:11 PM).]

Aenimal
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10 posted 04-30-2003 12:19 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Oh and local I know what's going on in Cuba and if it is truly about people and destroying evil regimes than by all means
Balladeer
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11 posted 04-30-2003 02:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Rather, serious attempts, with as many of the members as possible, should be made to fix what was aways a very leaky pipe.


I couldn't agree more, Morefiah. I just have no idea how those attempts can be brought to fruition against the veto power by which the U.N. exists. Stick three law-abiding citizens in a room with seven Al Capones and I don't think the good guys will win many consessions. Nor do I see the leaders of Libya, Cuba, the Sudan, Syria, Iran, China, North Korea - and the list goes on - giving up the power they have over their citizenry simply to make the world a nicer place to live or the U.N more valid. It would be nice but I don't see it as realistic. I would like to be wrong.

As far as the rest, I am prepared to agree with the consensus...the U.N. building WOULD make an ugly apartment complex.....although Hillary may find it appealing

85%? I accept it gratefully
Aenimal
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12 posted 04-30-2003 04:17 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

I just have no idea how those attempts can be brought to fruition against the veto power by which the U.N. exists

That's the biggest change needed, no veto power. How does France get veto power anyway..oh well
Jason Lyle
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13 posted 04-30-2003 04:32 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

I agree, the best change that could be made...........is no veto power.
Jason
Balladeer
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14 posted 04-30-2003 04:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

After the news came out that France had secretly provided information to Hussein about coalition plans all the way up to the beginning of the conflict, I'd like to know why France is even allowed in the front door...
Aenimal
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15 posted 04-30-2003 05:28 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

It's the bread..they make great bread for the luncheons
Midnitesun
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16 posted 04-30-2003 08:26 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

(no,it's really the wine, Raph, )

And of course art, history, revered writers and thinkers such as Rousseau, Voltaire, Hugo etc etc and the fact they are humans with as much right to their opinions on this planet as Americans
Personally, I think every single autonomous (and striving-to-be-autonomous) country on the planet should have a rep in the UN, and perhaps a world-oriented dialogue could begin. Even if it has to be done using babbelfish talk (don't laugh!).
No single country should be allowed to hold the rest of the world 'hostage' to its views.
Unless we all are willing to communicate in good faith and try non-violent problem solving solutions, we are doomed as a species.
I still support the UN, though it really does need an attitude adjustment on some issues.
Crazy Eddie
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17 posted 04-30-2003 08:53 PM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie


quote:
Personally, I think every single autonomous (and striving-to-be-autonomous) country on the planet should have a rep in the UN, and perhaps a world-oriented dialogue could begin.

Just a point for reference:

There are 191 members of the UN and only two non-members The Vatican and Taiwan (replaced in 1971 by the Peoples Republic of China)
Balladeer
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18 posted 04-30-2003 09:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I agree, midnitesun...

Would you happen to have an extra copy of a  babblefish dictionary?
Tim
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19 posted 04-30-2003 09:37 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I truly have to apologize because I cannot differentiate the serious comments from the humor from the sarcasm in the thread.

The Human Rights Commission has no veto powers given to any of its members.  The U.S. is not a member. (it is, my error) The power is maintained by third world blocks.

As to the Security Council, where veto power does exist, if that power was removed, the United Nations would cease to exist as a body.

The U.N. can operate with some degree of effectiveness when dealing with humanitarian issues.  The U.N.'s problem is the inability to deal with non-humanitarian issues.

For starters, they lack necessary enforcement powers and more importantly, the majority of its member nations do not adhere to the principles the U.N. should be aspiring towards.

To mediate or arbritate, you need a neutral third party with the power to enforce its decisions. Or in the alternative, those involved in attempting to arrive at solutions have to be seeking an end result which may not be particularly agreed upon, but at least acceptable enough to stomach.

Ain't gonna happen in the present situation.

Does the U.N. have worth? Yes, at least it puts everyone into the same arena and speaking to each other.

[This message has been edited by Tim (05-01-2003 12:57 AM).]

Balladeer
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20 posted 04-30-2003 09:53 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

With all due respect, Tim, I understand that the US is part of the Human Rights Commission. They were voted off in 2002 but re-elected for a 2003-2005 term..
Tim
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21 posted 04-30-2003 10:09 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I appreciate the correction Balladeer, I knew they had been voted off and recalled reading somewhere that they were not going to seek re-election.  
That is what you get for relying on your memory and not staying up to date.

I do comprehend your position and on an emotional level concur.  My view is you at least have to hold out the hope of the U.N. achieving its objectives and probably just as importantly, if someone is going to stab me, I would just as soon they would have to do it face to face rather than in the back.

BTW...Please do not feel I am entitled to any due respect with my biased, rhetorical and disingenuous nature.  I think it has something to do with the water here in the central U.S.  

[This message has been edited by Tim (04-30-2003 11:52 PM).]

Jamie
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22 posted 04-30-2003 11:34 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

The UN is a trojan horse we are not only allowing on our soil, but are feeding as well.
Local Rebel
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23 posted 05-01-2003 12:13 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Part of the problem with the UN is a marketing one.

The name is a misnomer from the get go -- United Nations... makes it sound like something it's not.

if they would have just called it

The International Pissing Forum

we wouldn't be so confused about it's purpose.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (05-01-2003 12:14 AM).]

Tim
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24 posted 05-01-2003 12:20 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

News Flash!
They have located Baghdad Bob.  He has been hired by the U.N. as information officer for the Human Rights Commission.

"Human Rights? Of course there are human rights in this commission. The infidels attempted to destroy them, but after the mother of all battles won with the assistance of peace loving and democratic Cuban dictators and Libyian Colonels, and a few assorted third world despots, we have been victorious in securing human rights for all oppressors."
 
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