Less talk, more action needed from Ban, U.N.

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first_img“I’m making a list, I’m checking it twice, I’m going to find out who’s naughty or nice,” the new secretary-general crooned to a highly predictable tune at the U.N. Correspondents dinner last December. “Ban Ki-moon is coming to town!” Besides demonstrating that the top post at the United Nations should come with a two-drink minimum, Ban’s song-and-dance was ostensibly meant to convey that he would be a man of action against naughty nations. But what comes after making that list? More of what we’ve come to expect from the U.N.? When Iran hit the deadline late last month for freezing its uranium enrichment, Ban saw the issue of a nuclear Iran as a “very serious concern.” By the next day, when the International Atomic Energy Agency issued its report stating that Iran had not only refused to cease enrichment but ramped it up, Ban was “deeply concerned.” Darfur is still a disaster. U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon sit idly by as Hezbollah blatantly rearms in violation of Security Council Resolution 1701. Renewed calls for independence by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian are angering China and weapons build-ups continue on both sides. Putin’s Russia slips into its Soviet past more with each passing day. The number of Venezuelans seeking asylum is surging as Hugo Chavez tightens his iron fist on the populace, and other Latin American countries are following his lead. Where will the United Nations stand? In making the comparison of wearing down North Korea – dirt-poor and isolated – to Iran, which is increasing its global connections and craftily attempting to build a heroic image as the antithesis to the villainous U.S. and Zionists, Ban misses a big point. Ahmadinejad, who laces his speeches with references to developing nuclear technology “with the grace of God,” won’t sacrifice anything that saps the power or image of the Islamic regime. To him, it’s as much a religious as a political quest. “We invite regional states to safeguard their interests and confront enemies’ satanic plots,” Ahmadinejad said recently in a press conference with Syria’s Bashar Assad. So the secretary-general can check his “naughty” list twice, but unless the U.N. starts paying more than lip service to key threats on their agenda we’re going to be singing the blues for a long time to come. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. Write to her by e-mail her at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Ban held up recent nuclear accords with North Korea as a beacon of shining light that should inspire Iran to come to the campfire and sing “Kumbaya”: “I hope this will also give some good lessons to the Iranian authorities that it is always better, always desirable, to resolve all of the issues through dialogue,” he said. Never mind that Kim Jong Il will probably renege on the deal before Ban can belt out his next Christmas carol. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, is singing a very different tune, something along the lines of “We Are the Champions.” Saying that the world was now looking to Iran as a model Islamic state and global problem-solver, he said, “Iran will not retreat one iota in its path to nuclear victory,” a statement that sounded a lot less like energy and a lot more like war. So what next out of the Security Council, poised to potentially adopt a resolution on Iran’s nuclear program this week? Will there be more sanctions even though veto-wielding members Russia and China forced the watering-down of the last round of sanctions? And how hard will Ahmadinejad laugh at those next sanctions before he begins feeding more hungry centrifuges? It still remains to be seen if Ahmadinejad actually has a foe in the United Nations, a body that isn’t shy about demonstrating clear institutional bias against his Enemy No. 1, Israel. The American Jewish Committee detailed this bias in their “A Diminished World Body” report, noting that 60 percent of all emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been conducted for the purpose of criticizing Israel. Ban, a master of the flowery sound bite and seemingly a proponent of pleasing all of the people all of the time, doesn’t seem to realize that he is at the helm of the U.N.’s last gasp. Under Kofi Annan, Turtle Bay was mired in scandal and unforgivable lapses in judgment such as not acting during the Rwandan genocide. If this body is going to maintain any slivers of relevance in today’s world, it must break from the appeasement status quo and stock sound bites, and come out from under the thumbs of special interests. last_img

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