North Korea to Head UN Conference…on Disarmament?

Townhall.com Staff
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Posted: Jun 30, 2011 12:31 PM
North Korea to Head UN Conference…on Disarmament?
Just when you thought the U.N. couldn’t disgrace itself any further or become any less relevant to serious world citizens — it tops itself again.

This time around, the U.N has appointed North Korea, with its nuclear ambitions, to chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. You read that correctly. A conference on disarmament is being chaired by a country bent on developing its own nuclear weapons arsenal. Given the U.N.’s history of dubious appointments, however, this may not come as a suprise.

The Weekly Standard reports:

On Tuesday, the United Nations again made itself an international laughing stock – except perhaps to the American taxpayers who continue to foot 22 percent of the bill – by appointing North Korea chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. That would be the same North Korea that, according to an article this week by Senator John Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has “twice tested nuclear weapons…is developing missiles to carry them…has built facilities capable of producing highly enriched uranium for more nuclear weapons” and has defied a U.N. arms embargo by exporting weapons and sensitive technologies to rogue regimes.

Alas, Senator Kerry is also one of the lead champion of the United Nations in the Senate. According to the U.N., “The Conference is funded from the UN regular budget, reports to the General Assembly and receives guidance from it.”

North Korea’s representative of the conference So Se Pyongof, vowed to do “everything in his capacity to move the Conference on Disarmament forward.”

Not surprisingly, the chairmanship was praised by an Iranian delegate who assured Pyongof the Iranian delegation would give North Korea its “full support and cooperation.”

Weekly Standard went on to describe other delegates reaction:

Congratulations also poured in from such upstanding world citizens and U.N. fans as China. China’s Wang Qun “welcomed the presidency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

It was left to the Canadian delegate to speak plainly. Canada’s Marius Grinius said: “[I]n the last 13 years the Conference has failed to move forward on its core disarmament responsibilities, including the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty…[T]he Conference on Disarmament is on life support because it no longer is the sole multilateral negotiating forum for disarmament. Indeed, it is not negotiating anything and has not been for a very long time.”