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Passions in Poetry

Human Rights and the U.N.

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Senior Member
since 06-08-99
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0 posted 02-07-2005 10:11 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

The U.N. is continuing in its strong commitment towards human rights.

The Human Rights Commission has appointed the five members of an elite subcommittee whose function will be to determine the alleged human rights violations the commission will investigate.

Three members stand out for their strong records in support of human rights and will have the majority voting block, Cuba, China and Zimbabwe.

It is fully expected that the five year run of Cuba on the bad boy list of the world's human rights violators will end this year and its policy of refusing to allow U.N. inspectors into the country to investigate human rights violations will no longer be necessary as you do not have to refuse investigators if you are not being investigated but are the investigator.
Huan Yi
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1 posted 02-07-2005 10:17 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


I don’t see how this diminishes the proposition
that the United States is the worst affliction
to blight the face of Mother Earth.
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
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2 posted 02-07-2005 10:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Tim, it's time...actually long overdue.


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3 posted 02-07-2005 11:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Doesn't really matter...there are no human rights violations in Cuba anyway....there are no human rights!
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea

4 posted 02-08-2005 11:39 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

What does anyone propose as an alternative?

Member Elite
since 09-18-99
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5 posted 02-09-2005 10:05 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder


Can't come up with five off the fly, but I might suggest Sweden, Kenya, and maybe France.

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6 posted 02-09-2005 01:52 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Certainly the change in countries on the committee would be a start.  The inherent problem put as simply as possible is that the inmates run the asylum.

With veto powers set up the way they are in the U.N. (necessary to get members), the U.N. has not the power to effecuate its aims and goals.  Solution?  

Brad mentioned some time ago the positive nature of the entreaties the President has made towards the U.N.

The converse is also happening because Kofi has realized he is not in a position of strength personally, and organizationally, the U.N. needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs the U.N.

If the U.S. were leave the U.N. as Denise suggests as well as a great many others in the U.S., the U.N., if it were able to survive at all, would be in extremely dire straights.

Therefore, if anything is to be done, it will be the realization from within the U.N. that the present system is not functioning and basic changes in structure need to be made.

Reform must occur prior to the U.N. imploding.  Obviously if an internationalist were elected President in four years, the U.N. gets a stay no matter what happens internally.
since 09-14-2002
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7 posted 02-09-2005 02:40 PM       View Profile for Capricious   Email Capricious   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Capricious

Given the number of nations it represents, I find it curious that given the state of disrepair present in its current headquarters building, the UN would choose to stay in New York rather than relocate.

Since the US is such a blight on the face of the earth and all (and I'd like to see some conclusive evidence to support that statement, Huan).  

Maybe they should move to China, Cuba or Zimbabwe.  Certainly the real estate would be cheaper.
Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 02-09-2005 06:55 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Hey, why not San Francisco?

After all, that's where the United Nations was founded almost sixty years ago, on October 24, 1945, where the first meeting "The Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy" came about.

Most already are aware where I stand on the U.N, and I remain supportive of them with caveat for increased attention and focus on Israel-Palestine, Kashmir and Sudan, three areas I believe they could be doing more.

The organization is strong and effective. The leadership is the main problem here that has room for improvement. I think when you have something that involves the governments and representatives of almost every nation on earth, you can always expect it to be largely bureaucratic. I don't believe it necessarily has to be that way, and there should be room for more individuality and less corporate lobbying or what not.

And to those U.N bashers (they've been around for over a decade now here, long before 9/11) insist to lambaste the organization for everything they do, or take the oil-for-food scandal as an indication that everything they do is corrupt, I insist you take the time to look at the big picture and recognize all the many bridges that have formed between communities worldwide, which all find dependence and trust in this great organization. The UN is simply a forum where the world's problems can be discussed, and a means to solve those problems, but only if all of our countries can cooperate, and cooperation is the key element in seeing to it vicious crimes on humanity like the Holocaust don't repeat themselves, never again. And I believe that’s an outstanding form of patriotism in not just loving your country, but loving the world community.

It was our President John F. Kennedy who said in 1961, “The United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace...”

Those who insist to keep bashing the U.N, either because they believe it's outdated and has become League of Nations II, ineffective, or are just judging it by the oil-for-food scandal or by their stance on Iraq that challenges their own, can do as they wish. But I for one still believe in this "last best hope", as does a large majority of the world, and believe we shouldn't go about our problems by kicking them out or around the curb like an old soda can. We should talk them out and say exactly where the improvements can be made, to ensure the reconstruction or rehabilitation of the fullest potential of something as relevant as a world community.

As an aside, I would love to recommend "Hotel Rwanda" to those critical of this organization too. It's quite a poignant film!

I agree in part with what Tim had to say here. Perhaps we draw out the conclusions differently, but some degree of reform needs to be set in place.

What I'm about to recite may sound like I'm a high school nerd reciting, but I still believe it in my heart. It's a dream. A dream not for just a nation, not for just a culture, but for the world. A dream recited as follows in Page 58, The Miracle, Joy and Art of Living: My Testament to Life, Volume 1:

”I dream that all governments will join their minds and hearts
to manage this beautiful Earth and its precious humanity
in peace, justice and happiness,
That all religions will join
in a global spirituality,
That all people will become
a caring family,
That all scientists will join
in a united, ethical science,
That all corporations will unite
in a global cooperative
to preserve nature and all humanity.
I believe that once and for ever,
we will eliminate all wars,
violence and armaments
from this miraculous planet.
I dream that the incredible and
growing distance between rich and poor,
between and inside nations
will be eliminated as a blemish
to the miracle of life.
I dream that we will stop the destruction
of our miraculous, so richly endowed planetary home.
I dream that we will eliminate all lies, corruption and
immoral advertisements
for purely monetary purposes.
I dream that we will all live
simple, frugal lives in order
not to waste unduly the precious
resources of our planet.
I dream that each decade and centennial
will be celebrated as a great
world wide thanksgiving for our successes.
I dream that we will succeed in making our planet
the ultimate success of God,
of the mysterious forces of the
universe of which each of us
is a miraculous, cosmic unit.
I dream that the United Nations will
declare a yearly World Thanksgiving Day
Dear brothers and sisters,
dear children, youth, adults and elderly,
dear spirits of all the departed
let us join forces in fulfilling
God's loving destiny intended
for all of humanity.”

Sorry if I made this lengthy. Guess I just have a lot to get off my chest, hehe!

Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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9 posted 02-09-2005 07:06 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Noah, that's really nice, but we have got to be realistic here. The UN has a lot of problems, and this one addressed here is one of the most blaring, and most rediculous. I think the UN is a good idea, but we need to get these problems taken care of.

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

since 09-14-2002
Posts 89
California, USA

10 posted 02-09-2005 07:28 PM       View Profile for Capricious   Email Capricious   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Capricious

I think most people approve of the *idea* of the United Nations.  What's not to like about the countries of the world coming together to solve the world's problems?

However, today's UN has fallen far from that ideal, and certainly hasn't admitted the fact nor volunteered to reform itself.  There's really not much use in having a "forum for the discussion of the world's problems" if at the conclusion of the discussion, absolutely nothing meaningful is done to change them because it would be too politically incorrect, too expensive, or too inconvenient to powerful special interests.

Downplay it as you will, but the Oil for Food scandal is evidence that the UN cannot be trusted to police its own actions.  In light of this, how can we trust it to police the actions of the entire planet?
Mistletoe Angel
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11 posted 02-09-2005 08:34 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

The answer is simple, really.

Because America has trusted the United Nations for almost sixty years now. The U.S has been like a mother to this organization. And though others may argue, much of the world believes it has done more good for the world than wrong. Look at Africa for instance. Leaders of all 54 nations support and thank the United Nations for what they've accomplished, even appreciate their valiant efforts in times they regret haven't done more like in Rwanda, and leaders of all 54 nations even voiced their support of Kofi Annan during this time of the investigated scandal. That should be considered and count for something in though we may have our criticism of their progress, the world feels comfortably at large.

I never denied myself the U.N is imperfect and still has some kinks to work out. Every single other large organization or entity with their hands full has their problems. I just believe the concern here is critics of the U.N just aren't giving them enough credit.

The entire U.N yearly budget runs on about $10 billion, which two-thirds of the funds are voluntary contributions. You've got the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN's Children's FUND (UNICEF). Plenty of others. And when you sum it all up, you would feel overwhelmed that to keep all this network afloat would require trillions.

But look. In 1999, for example, Vermont and South Dakota had the two smallest budgets that year, which were still each at about $2 billion. The entire U.N budget is about equal to that of the New York police department, the budget for UN worldwide human rights activities is smaller than that of the Zürich Opera House, and the cost of UN peacekeeping, below $1 billion in 1998, is less than two-tenth of one percent of world military spending (probably much lower than that now)

I can't imagine how no one could be impressed by that. In real terms, $10 billion isn't a lot at all to fund all these programs. And when you see the progress made on a soft budget, it's there. Smallpox is virtually eradicated from the planet, basically only existing now in laboratories. Under the goals established by the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" in 1989, child mortality was reduced by one-third, child malnutrition was reduced by almost 20%, access to safe drinking water improved, and the gender gap in schools was cut in half. And then, you have those moments of peacekeeping success and international community building efforts stories like in Indonesia, Cyprus, and, most recently, East Timor, that have paid off.

I'm impressed with what they do on a soft budget. But moreover, it's not the money that drives dedicated individuals to devote themselves in changing the world for the greater good, it's the simple acts and gestures of human compassion. And I have nothing but respect for the many U.N peacekeepers in what they do in lesser-advantaged communities worldwide.

I recommended "Hotel Rwanda" just now as a viewing because though, of course, the film focuses primarily on Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu who managed the upscale Hotel des Milles Collines in Kigali and saved over 1,200 lives during the genocide, it's about more than just his actions of compassion and love, multiple scenes show Colonel Oliver's frustration, played by Nick Nolte, who is based on a real life U.N peacekeeper character in Rwanda, who sees all the tragedy before his very eyes, informs his superiors of the need for help and intervention, but just can't get through. Some may see that as negligence in part of the U.N, right?

See, I don't believe that. Nick Nolte, who played Col. North, did an excellent job in pointing out under such spontaneous conditions as this, the ideal thing to do is ignore your orders and do what you can do, right now, right here, to save lives. And that's exactly the moral fiber the U.N believes in and stands up for. Do what you can do in hoping to stabilize conditions, but you must also expect the struggles or worst-case scenarios and then on the spot you just have to save what you can save.

Those acts of compassion are exactly why the U.N are as relevant as ever and why we and the world need the U.N. It's a community network, and it most often works to me.

Some suggest also that the U.N should still be embraced, but as a humanitarian agency rather than a political global research group. That's not necessarily a bad idea, as long as the network remains as intricate and relevant. Then maybe rather some won't think of an organization "policing" the world anymore but more "monitoring" it and noting the issues that surface for each world government to then take note of.

If I ever have the opportunity, I personally would love to volunteer for UNICEF. That's the organization I admire the most and would love to work to help children in third-world countries.

Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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