BY LINDA BENTLEY | OCTOBER 31, 2012
Another United Nations Day has come and gone
Falk, as part of UN fact-finding mission, determined suicide bombings were a valid method of struggle
WASHINGTON – Oct. 24 is United Nations Day. The United Nations (UN) got its name from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who first used it in January 1942 during World War II in the “Declaration by United Nations” when representatives from 26 nations pledged their governments would continue fighting together against the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan.
The UN was officially formed in San Francisco in 1945 when representatives of 50 countries met at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the “United Nations Charter.”
Poland, which was not one of 50 countries represented at the conference, signed the charter later and became the one of the original 51 countries.
Prior to the UN, we had the League of Nations, formed during similar circumstances during World War I. The League was established in 1919 under the “Treaty of Versailles” for the purpose of promoting “international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.”
The League of Nations was essentially dissolved after it failed to prevent the Second World War.
The UN is currently made up of 192 countries and has its headquarters in New York City.
However, the land and buildings are considered international territory. The UN also has its own flag, it’s own post office and its own postage stamps.
The six official languages used at the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The “Aims of the UN,” are as follows:
• To keep peace throughout the world.
• To develop friendly relations between nations.
• To work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms.
• To be the center for helping nations achieve these aims.
The principles of the UN are stated as follows:
• All Member States have sovereign equality.
• All Member States must obey the Charter.
• Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means.
• Countries must avoid using force or threatening to use force.
• The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country.
• Countries should try to assist the UN.
While the United States has been by far the largest contributor to the UN’s core budget at 22 percent and closer to 25 percent of its total spending, now estimated at around $25 billion per year, last year the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a session to address UN Budget and Policy, grilling UN Ambassador Susan Rice on the UN’s culture of being despot-friendly, anti-American, anti-Semitic and its lack of financial transparency.
According to a Sept. 14, 2012 National Review Online article by Brett D. Schaefer, Congress only began requiring the State Department to compile a detailed tally of U.S. contributions to the UN beginning in 2006. Prior to that time, estimates were based on incomplete State Department data.
The Office of Budget Management (OMB) calculated U.S. contributions totaled $4.115 billion in 2004 and $5.327 billion in 2005.
For FY 2006 and FY 2007 the Department of State only reported the U.S. reduced its contributions.
The OMB report for FY 2010 indicated U.S. contributions reached a record high, exceeding $7.691 billion, which was $1.3 million more than FY 2009.
Schaefer then states, “If you’re wondering how much we contributed last year, good luck.
Congress neglected to renew the reporting requirement. I’ve spoken to Obama-administration officials, and they say they’ve prepared the data in anticipation of producing the report, but OMB will not issue the report without a congressional mandate.”
Looking at what is happening around the world today, especially in the Middle East, it doesn’t appear the UN is achieving any of its aims nor is it abiding by its principles.
As the money provided to the UN by United States taxpayers has skyrocketed along with UN’s spending, there are increased calls for the United States to revoke its membership in the UN.
And, on Sept. 19 2012, during the UN General Assemby’s 67th session, it issued a 54-page “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk.”
In summary, Falk states, “The report addresses Israel's compliance with its obligations under international law in relation to its occupation of Palestinian territory. The Special Rapporteur focuses particular attention on the legal responsibility of business enterprises, corporations and non-state actors involved in activities relating to Israel's settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
In conclusion he states, “The failure to bring the occupation to an end after 45 years creates an augmented international responsibility to uphold the human rights of the Palestinian people, who in practice live without the protection of the rule of law. In this context, the Special Rapporteur recalls that the General Assembly, as early as 1982, called on Member States to apply economic sanctions against the State of Israel for its unlawful settlement activities.”
Falk then calls for a boycott of various companies that conduct business in Israel, including U.S. companies, Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola along with Cemex, a Mexican company that produces cement products and owns Readymix Industries, an Israeli company that owns plants in the West Bank and has provided elements for the construction of settlements as well as construction of Israel’s wall and military checkpoints in the West Bank.
The report also singles out European companies, including Volvo, whose equipment and products Falk claims are used in the demolition of Palestinian homes, the construction of the wall and Israeli settlements.
According to Falk, Volvo holds a 27 percent share in the Israeli company Merkavim, which “manufactures buses that are used to transport Palestinian prisoners from the occupied Palestinian territory to prisons in Israel.”
Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, has stated it is not “an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with the criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity” and, as part of UN fact-finding mission, determined suicide bombings were a valid method of struggle.
Falk has charged Israel with “genocidal tendencies,” said Israeli policies in Jerusalem amounted to “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinian people, and claims it is trying to achieve security through “state terrorism.”
Falk also is a 9/11 “truther” who endorses the theory that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 were an “inside job” by the U.S. government.