AUGUST 30, 2012
Funded primarily with U.S. tax dollars, the famously corrupt United Nations has hit a new low, awarding a genocidal warlord indicted by an international court for crimes against humanity a seat on its laughable human rights council.
The worst part is that this madness is funded by Americans to the tune of 7-plus billion dollars a year. The American cash keeps pouring in even though the U.N. is pillar of corruption, fraud and mismanagement. Its so-called human rights council is a huge joke with members that are famous for oppressing their citizens and, in many cases, committing atrocious human rights violations. Cuba, Iran and Venezuela are among the offenders.
Now the U.N. is allowing Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir, the last person on earth you would go to for anything related to human rights, have a seat on its human rights council. Here is a little background on the ruthless African dictator; He has been charged by the International Criminal Court of war crimes in Darfur and is responsible for killing thousands of his own citizens.
A renowned international human rights organization reminds that the Sudanese government has violently dispersed youth-led protests and that security forces have arrested and detained scores of perceived opponents. The Al-Bashir regime mistreats and tortures detainees and censors the media, the group, Human Rights Watch, writes in its assessment of the north African country. Additionally, Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing in civilian-populated areas has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Letting Sudan’s genocidal dictator take a spot on the human rights panel is like putting “Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” according to a Geneva-based human rights advocate quoted by a national news outlet. The same story quotes a spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations saying that “Sudan, a consistent human rights violator, does not meet the Council’s own standards for membership.”
So why are Americans forced by their government to keep funding this pathetic world body? The U.S. gives the U.N. significantly more than any other nation—nearly $8 billion in 2010 alone—and there is no transparency, accountability or follow-up of any sort on how the cash is spent. U.S. tax dollars just keep pouring into the U.N. coffers, even though the world body is rife with fraud and corruption.
Who could forget the U.N.’s shameful oil-for-food program with Iraq? It was supposed to help the Iraqi people by allowing Saddam Hussein to sell oil on the world market in exchange for humanitarian goods, such as food and medicine. Instead, Hussein exploited the $64 billion program as thousands of companies paid the dictator illegal surcharges and kickbacks while the U.N. stood by. Read all about that from the independent committee assigned to investigate the oil-for-food scandal.
The U.N.’s fraud-infested contract division has also made headlines over the years for its shady deals. In fact, a few years ago the U.N. chief (Sanjaya Bahel of India) responsible for awarding billions of dollars in contracts to companies around the world, was sentenced to eight years in prison for accepting cash, real estate, wild parties and hookers as bribes.
At least one lawmaker, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is trying to set limits on the U.N’s cash cow. Last year Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced legislation (United Nations Transparency Accountability and Reform Act) that seems like a common-sense approach to the U.N. fiasco but has met powerful resistance from Democrats.
The measure calls for transparency and accountability relating to United States contributions to the United Nations and budget justification rather than automatically doling out billions. It also calls for independent and objective audits and investigations relating to the U.S. contributions and annual reports that reveal what the money is being used for. The U.N. would also have to provide annual financial disclosures if it wants to continue getting American dollars.
Rewarding Sudan with a seat on the human rights council is a new low that, once again, illustrates the need for reform, according to Ros-Lehtinen. “Allowing this genocidal dictatorship, which has killed thousands of its citizens, to serve on such a body is beyond hypocrisy, it is callous, dangerous, and tragic,” the congresswoman says in a written statement, adding that “it is beyond apparent that the UN is broken.”
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