Stephen Sefton, September 18, 2021
UN troops suppress protests in Haiti in 2010. (Image: Al Jazeerah)
This week sees the opening of the seventy seventh session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization in the most conflict ridden international environment since World War II. In effect, NATO is attacking the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the United States is provoking China over Taiwan. Many people are concerned about the potential for nuclear disaster. The root cause of these very high levels of insecurity and conflict is the refusal by the United States and its allies to accommodate themselves to the new reality of a multipolar world.
In fact, the elites who govern these countries reject the fundamental principles of the UN and have never respected them. On the contrary, they have undermined and abused international law on the pretext of promoting democracy and freedom. They have committed repeated assaults against legitimately elected governments through the use of illegal coercive measures and outright terrorism . Their primary interest in the UN is the extent to which it allows them to lend a thin layer of legitimacy to their crimes.
This week's talks at the UN General Assembly will no doubt be focused on this situation, with the United States and its allies increasingly isolated against the views of the majority world. For example, in his speech at the recent summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China commented “We must stand firm in defending the international system centered on the United Nations and the international order based on international law, practice the common values of humanity, and reject zero-sum games and the policies of blocs.”
At the same summit, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation stated, “The growing role of new centers of power is coming into sharp focus, and interaction among these new centers is not based on some rules, which are being forced on them by external forces and which nobody has seen, but on the universally recognised principles of the rule of international law and the UN Charter, namely, equal and indivisible security and respect for each other’s sovereignty, national values and interests..”
The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation has been more explicit, when its spokesperson declared On September 17th that "Russia is determined to emphasize the fight against attempts to undermine the reputation of the UN and submit it to the will of the collective West... We are fighting for a multipolar world, for the right of sovereign states to live and develop, without being subjected to permanent pressure and threats from the US and its Western allies.”
These statements are very forceful on the part of the two perhaps most important powers in the world, whom, for the moment, the United States has not dared to confront militarily directly. However, the process of co-opting the United Nations by the United States and its Western allies is very advanced and possibly irreversible. This is so to such an extent that, at least at this moment, it is very difficult to see how Russia and China can reverse the current situation without being able to promote, together with the majority world, a genuinely democratic re-founding of the UN.
The UN's mandate is to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid, promote economic development and guarantee international law. But the United States and its allies have dominated the UN since its founding in 1945. From the very beginning, the United States has sought to undermine international law and the principles of the UN and to use the organization to launder US crimes and those of its allies around the world. In 1947, two years after the founding of the UN, the United States established the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, precisely in order to actively intervene, on a global basis, in the internal affairs of the countries of the world contrary to the objectives of the Charter of the United Nations.
For example, a few years after its founding, the UN was used to legitimize the destruction of Korea between 1950 and 1953. General Curtis Le May, head of the Yankee military aviation, boasted of having completely destroyed all the cities and towns of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with the loss of millions of civilian lives. In another example, from 1946 to 1954, the CIA and its European allied agencies financed and armed the OUN, a genocidal Ukrainian paramilitary force composed of former collaborators with Nazi Germany, to unleash a terrorist war in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, which cost the lives of more than 400,000 people.
From those origins to date, the United States and its allies have routinely employed military and economic terrorism to destabilize legitimate governments that oppose their will. State terror and terrorism have been and continue to be central features of the foreign policy of the United States, from Vietnam to Chile, from Indonesia to Iraq, examples abound. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba has been the victim for more than sixty years of military aggression, a genocidal economic blockade and persistent terrorist attacks by the United States.
In 1986, the highest judicial instance of the United Nations system, the International Court of Justice, condemned the United States for its terrorism against Nicaragua. However, the United Nations system was incapable of enforcing the sentence. On the contrary, ever since the end of the Cold War, the different offices of the United Nations have been increasingly co-opted to whitewash the terrorist policies of the United States. This process has intensified with the emergence of China and Russia in recent years and what the United States sees as the growing threat of a more equitable and genuinely democratic world.
There are many abuses of the UN system by the Western powers, who do not want to accept that their world domination is over. The missions of the so-called blue helmets, the United Nations peacekeeping forces, have been a very clear example of this. In Haiti they have served as an occupation army to repress the population and impose completely anti-democratic electoral results, to the taste of the United States and its allies.
The same thing happened in Ivory Coast in 2010 when a UN representative, backed by a blue helmets mission composed of French military forces, discarded a ruling by that country's Supreme Court on an electoral dispute and imposed France's preferred presidential candidate. The role of the UN military mission in the Congo has also been highly questioned for failing to protect local populations from repeated massacres by aggressor forces from Rwanda and Uganda. Likewise, the UN has been unable to stop the suffering of the Palestinian people and their slow-motion genocide by Israel with the support of the United States and the European Union.
Bad faith and mendacity in favor of the United States characterize not only those overseas missions, but several other important UN organizations. Among many other countries, Nicaragua and Venezuela have been victims of the bad faith reporting by UN offices such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Likewise, it has been demonstrated convincingly that the leadership of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons altered the reports of its technical specialists on incidents in Syria in order to falsely blame the government of President Assad for the use of chemical weapons. Another more recent example is the International Atomic Energy Agency's report on the Zaparozhye nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which completely omitted that all attacks on the nuclear power plant originated from the Ukrainian armed forces, seeking in that way to cast blame for the situation on the Russian Federation.
In effect, these UN organizations are simply extensions of the US State Department, in much the same way as the Organization of American States. Thus, the United States and its allies manipulate, corrupt and deform the UN and its structures in order to achieve their foreign policy objectives and hide the truth of their extensive, multiple crimes around the world. They have done so since the founding of the United Nations Organization. It remains to be seen if it may indeed be possible to rescue the UN and ensure that it fulfills its original objectives, instead of being just one more instrument facilitating dispossession and global terrorism by the Western countries against the majority world.