Move The UN

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Re: Trying to Exile Bolton to the United Nations

Comment posted on TPM Cafe on Jun 29, 2005

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Steve Clemons makes a comment

Steve Clemons is the author of the Blog known as The Washington Note. He is the expert on the entire John Bolton story of nomination to the United Nations as the US Ambassador.

In his posting today, he made two observations if Bolton was made as a recess appointment by Bush.

1. Bolton will hold one of America's highest profile diplomatic portfolios without the validation of American citizens behind him. He will not have the Senate stamp of legitimacy on his Ambassadorship and thus will be perceived at home and abroad as without "weight."

2. During this era of preaching "democracy" throughout the world -- which means not just "electocracies" or "ballot box democracies" but rather a system of checks and balances, respect for minority rights, and rule of law -- sending John Bolton to the U.N. is a lesson that legislatures can be ignored and minority rights in government trampled by the demands of the Executive Branch.

With Bush claiming a "mandate" with the stolen 2004 Presidential election, is this not exactly how one would expect Bush to behave?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Reforming the UN - World Tribunal on Iraq

The World Tribunal on Iraq which concluded today came to many conclusions.

Here is the final Press Release from the Conference:

27 Jun 2005

"The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all"’ -– The Jury of Conscience

Istanbul, 27 June, 2005 - With a Jury of Conscience from 10 different countries hearing the testimonies of 54 members of the Panel of Advocates who came from across the world, including Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom, this global civil initiative came to an end with a press conference at the Hotel Armada where the chair of the Jury of Conscience, Arundathi Roy, announced the Jury'’s conclusions.

The Jury defined this war as one of the most unjust in history: "‘The Bush and Blair administrations blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated."’

On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents, the jury has established the following charges against the Governments of the US and the UK:

*• Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.
*• Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure
*• Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems
*• Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter
*• Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors
*• Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment
*• Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment
*• Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied
*• Willfully devastating the environment
*• Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded
*• Failing to protect humanityÂ’s rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq
*• Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media
*• Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions

The Jury also established charges against the Security Council of United Nations for failing to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity among other failures, against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing for collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, against the Governments of Other Countries for allowing the use of military bases and air space and providing other logistical support, against Private Corporations for profiting from the war, against the Major Corporate Media for disseminating deliberate falsehoods and failing to report atrocities.

The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq.

The Istanbul session of the WTI lasted three days and presented testimony on the illegality and criminal violations in the U.S. pretexts for and conduct of this war. The expert opinion, witness testimony, video and image evidence addressed the impact of war on civilians, the torture of prisoners, the unlawful imprisonment of Iraqis without charges or legal defence, the use of depleted uranium weapons, the effects of the war on Iraq'’s infrastructure, the destruction of Iraqi cultural institutions and the liability of the invaders in international law for failing to protect these treasures of humanity.

The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain.

They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.

Tolga Temuge,
International Media Coordinator
+(90) 533 644 4687

One of the most important conclusions was:

"The Jury also established charges against the Security Council of United Nations for failing to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity among other failures, ..."

This in itself shows that the working of the UN as it is today, does not ensure fairness to all people around the world and that means the entire UN has to be reformed.

It is my contention that if the UN remains physically at its present location, it can never be reformed satisfactorily.

Hence, the very first step must be to MOVE THE UN and ensure it is NOT LOCATED in ANY Developed Country, as all of them belong to the Axis of Fascist Evil!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bolton thrown out by US Senate

The US Senate, yesterday evening, refused to accept the "up-down" vote to confirm John Bolton as the US Ambassador to the UN. Cloture on his nomination debate was rejected 38 against, 54 for. It requires a minimum of 60 votes for cloture to be accepted. Since the Republican Senate Leader, Bill Frist, did not vote against cloture, as he did last time round, he cannot call for another cloture vote without going through the process of a few days.

This means that the White House malAdministration is intending to go to a recess appointment of John Bolton to the UN.

The reason for those in the Senate not voting for cloture was that the Bush malAdministration "refused to be transparent" with regard to the documents requested by the Senate regarding John Bolton!!

It was interesting to read what Bush had to say about John Bolton and the reason for his nomination to this post:

"The U.N. is an important organization and the American people, I think, will understand how important it is when the U.N. is reformed and is held to account. And so we want more accountability and transparency and less bureaucracy. And John Bolton will help to achieve that mission," he added.

I think it is now time to start thinking seriously about moving the UN to a more acceptable setting. Since the US has decided to withold funding and reduce it by 50% till the UN is treformed, the UN has to be sited at a location where it can balance its budget. This means it has to be located in a lower cost economy where every Euro spent will give more value.

This would also ensure that the US intrusion into the privacy of UN diplomats is ejected from the equation, allowing all world politicians to work more freely rather than under the "Big Brother" scenario, as at present.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Japan says "NO" to US on UN Reform!!

Japan cannot back US proposal for UN reform: Koizumi 2005-06-17 16:24:30

TOKYO, June 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Friday that Japan cannot support a US proposal for UN Security Council reform as it clearly conflicts with a plan Japan, Brazil, Germany and India jointly compiled.

"Japan cannot go along with this plan," Koizumi told reporters." We must think of cooperation in the Group of Four as important and stay united," he said.

Koizumi said the fact that the United States, Japan's closest ally, made such a proposal has put Japan in a "difficult" situation.

But Koizumi said he would do his "utmost" to persuade the United States to at least understand Japan's position.

The United States backed only "two or so" countries, including Japan, to take new permanent UN Security Council seats without veto power and two or three more nonpermanent members in the proposal it revealed Thursday.

"This seems good to Japan but it's not to the other G-4 members," Koizumi said, adding it would not be a good idea for Japan just to think of its own interests.

The G-4 is preparing to submit to the UN General Assembly a draft resolution calling for expansion of the Security Council with six new permanent members, including the G-4 countries, and four new nonpermanent members.

Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said at a separate press conference that the G-4 nations plan to get together later this month to compare notes and try to decide how to deal with the US proposal.

"We don't see the issue as a simple matter of choosing one out of two," Machimura said.

Machimura indicated it will be difficult for the US proposal to clear the requirement for implementation of support by two-thirds of the 191 UN member states.

"But we should take it as a constructive proposal," Machimura said.

The United States and the G-4 may be able to come up with something which both sides can accept through the process of deepening discussions, he said.

Machimura indicated the US proposal puts Japan into a dilemma of choosing between the United States and its G-4 partners.

Machimura said he told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it is difficult to immediately break the G-4's framework, as the four countries are lobbying other UN member states to back their reform plan.

The "G-4" should call for the UN to be MOVED from the US if they want it to become a really powerful organisation with TEETH!!

Time to tell some people to go fishing

Yesterday, the US House of Represenatives passed International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde's, (Republican from Illinois), bill, H.R. 2745 to slash funds to the UN.

Details of the Bill can be found at

The vote was 221-184.

This is now the ideal opportunity to tell the US to go fishing.

Jobs can be given to deserving people other than incompetent US Nationals. The UN can work with some individual authority. If the US Secret Service operatives thinks it can bug the members of the UN, they can be told to go to hell.

This is the first solid step to move the UN out of the US, as who wants to run an International Organisation with money borrowed from China and Switzerland by the US!

The reform programme can now be done without the interference of busy-bodies from the US!!


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Great observation in "Financial Times"

In my view this Comment by the Observer in today's Financial Times sums up the entire sitaution of the UN (emphasis MINE):

Comment & analysis
Bolton block
Published: June 15 2005 03:00

Senator Bill Frist, the US Senate Republican majority leader, yesterday held a press conference to urge Democrats to stop blocking the nomination of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations. Appearing with John McCain, the maverick Republican, Frist emphasised that it was crucial to fill quickly the UN position, which he said had remained vacant for 200 days since the resignation of John Danforth, the previous US ambassador.

In an attempt to reinforce the urgency of the UN position, Frist listed a series of significant events that had occurred in those 200 days.

"We have seen the orange revolution in Ukraine, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the vote in Iraq, the vote in Palestine, the hope of opening the presidential elections in Egypt."

That just leads Observer to wonder whether the US should even bother sending an ambassador to the UN. Democracy seems to have fared better when the US chair has been empty.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Comment seen on Steve Clemons Blog

"Put me firmly in the camp that believes that the UN would be better off in a truly neutral country. For more than twenty years now powerful political elements in this country have used the fact that it is located here and that we pay a disproportionate amount of its operating expenses to attempt to strong-arm the institution. This dynamic feeds into this sense of exceptionalism that is at the heart of some of our worst foreign policy instincts. Reforms are definitely needed. But those reforms should be done in conjunction with a move to a truly neutral location and leveling of the funding mechanism. I'd also like to see either a large expansion or elimination of the security council, which is yet another reinforcer of exceptionalism.
Posted by SW at June 10, 2005 01:46 PM"

Fully agree with this, SW. Any idea of the possible location?

I am plumbing for one of the most beautiful spots on this globe - Kashmir!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Ideal time for action

Just today, the US Congress Moves to Cut U.N. Funding.

The information reported by Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service makes it the ideal opportunity to MOVE THE UN to more economic and friendly surroundings.

"WASHINGTON - In a move virtually certain to add to strains between the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, the International Relations Committee (HIRC) of the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a sweeping bill that, if passed into law, will require Washington to withhold up to half of assessed U.S. contributions to the world body unless it implements specific reforms."

If the UN is moved from the US, the balance of power in decisions will certainly become more democratic as the US can stop claiming, quite falsely, that it is supporting the UN!!

The biggest loser, sadly, will be the good city of New York, but there are lots of great places around the world where the UN will be very very welcome.

Please support the Move The UN Movement.