Given the politics of the U.N., in which countries often act in regional or interest-based voting blocks, censuring -- much less stopping -- genocidal activity becomes nearly impossible. Arab and Muslim nations constitute one of the largest and most powerful voting blocks within the U.N., and these countries are loath to criticize their co-ethnics and co-religionists, especially for crimes against non-Arabs or non-Muslims.
In November, the U.N. General Assembly rejected for the third time a resolution that would have condemned human rights violations in Sudan, with 91 of the 191 member nations voting against the resolution. Gerald Scott, a U.S. delegate to the General Assembly's committee on social, cultural and humanitarian affairs, said at the time that "three consecutive failures of member states of the United Nations to present a unified front against well-documented atrocities [represents] nothing less than the complete breakdown of the U.N.'s deliberative bodies related to human rights. If these bodies cannot speak with one voice on an issue as clear as Darfur, what can they do?"
Precisely. The U.N.'s response to the genocide in Darfur has been to claim it isn't taking place and for its African members to give Sudan a seat as their representative on the Human Rights Commission in 2004. But rather than acknowledge the U.N.'s hypocrisy, count on the largely left-leaning human rights organizations to react to this latest U.N. outrage by criticizing the United States. Already Human Rights Watch has condemned the U.S. for not being eager to turn over the prosecution of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, a quasi-U.N. body whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize. The problem is not the United States but the United Nations.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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