I spent last week — and will spend this week — at the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters in New York City, so the question about whether or not the U.N. is worth fixing is pretty timely for me. The official sessions of the 51st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) so far have consisted of effusive recitations of each country’s success at “mainstreaming gender equality.” The side events have been typically leftist recipes for “mainstreaming gender equality.” Do you recognize a theme here? Regardless of the theme of the session, discussion centers around mainstreaming gender equality.
Of course, important resolutions are being drafted at the 51st CSW. The negotiations occurred behind closed doors during the first week with lobbyists sending language revisions and talking with delegates as they came and went. These negotiating sessions laid the groundwork for the debates that will occur this week. The negotiations of the first week and the debates of the second week are the serious business of the CSW, and they have a major impact around the world.
Having been involved in these negotiation and debate sessions in several capacities, I can tell you that any interference or invasion by conservatives brings out hostile reactions and bullying behavior. Any discussion of “fixing” the U.N. has to begin by recognizing that the left views the U.N. as their exclusive club; their playground, if you will.
As an official U.S. delegate to the United Nations twice, I have personal experience with the dynamics of interactions and responses when conservatives invade that playground. It begins with ridiculous roadblocks in getting badges to enter the building and goes all the way through to final negotiating sessions that turn vicious and vindictive when things aren’t working out as the radical left planned. The conservatives then get blamed for not being willing to compromise, thus endangering consensus.
As a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representative for nearly a decade, I’ve seen the petty games that the left plays to elbow the conservatives aside. I’ve even seen hard-nosed efforts to get conservative groups kicked out of the U.N. Plus, I’ve seen the underhanded ways that marginal leftist groups get easily voted to NGO status and quickly moved into influential positions. In contrast, it took Concerned Women for America nearly three years to acquire its NGO status.
In spite of all that, I still think the U.N. is worth fixing.