The Sunday Leader

They Who Fund The UN Call The Tune

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the 69th Sessions of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, stressed the need for the United Nations to gain the confidence of the international community as a whole, to establish its credibility and pointed out that one of the essential requirements for this purpose was ‘consistency of standards across the board without any perception of selectivity or discrimination.’

“The currently functioning system needs fresh examination in order to enhance credibility of the UN,” he declared. Reflecting on the treatment of Sri Lanka he said: “Post-conflict Sri Lanka became an unfortunate victim of ill-conceived agencies as of some in the UNHRC, who had scant regard for the progress achieved within a short period of five years. This is an obvious lack of balance and proportion in the manner in which the country is targeted today in contrast of humanitarian emergencies elsewhere,” he added.

This discriminatory treatment of nations – particularly those former colonial countries – has been the subject of severe criticisms within the General Assembly itself  in its 70-year-old history but this  discrimination has continued regardless. Rajapaksa said that effective reform of institutions is an essential process that must be involved in depoliticization of UN systems and mechanisms. They must stop being hostage to different forms of funding, he had added.

This remark of the Sri Lankan president is very much pertinent to the functioning of the UN because it is largely funded by the United States (22 per cent) and 17 pro-western allies. Thus, although the membership of the UN is now at 193 nations, the contributions made by the vast majority of poor nations are negligible. It does appear that the UN works on age old principle of: He who pays the piper calls the tune. The only countervailing forces since its establishment have been the anti US and Western powers in the Security Council. However much the moralistic bombast of UN documents such as the UN Charter may sound, the basic principle on which it functions appear to be: Money and might are right.

The Palestinian and Kashmiri issues are two which have demonstrated the impotence of this global organisation since its founding. On the invasion of Iraq by the US and UK, the UN Security Council was not even consulted and in Egypt, its only democratic government ever to be elected, was overthrown by the Army and the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has not been able to do much except to mumble incoherently because the United States is standing by the military dictatorship that overthrew the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi.

In his address, President Rajapaksa has described human rights as a tool that is being used to implement motivated agendas with no understanding or appreciation of the complexities in the issues concerned. He has contended that human rights should be recognised by all as a moral and ethical concept rather than a political tool. External intervention without adequate consideration of the peculiarities of a society and cultural traditions leads to destabilization is evident in most parts of the world today.

What President Rajapaksa has declared is undeniably true – morally and is in accordance with international law but would his speech made to this ‘Talk Shop of the World’ have an impact on the forces that matter? Such sentiments have been made in this assembly of nations for seven decades by leaders from all continents only to be lost in its air-conditioned air.

The United States, motivated by satanic forces, is determined to bring to ‘justice’ those who defeated an unrelenting terrorist force after 30 long years. Their global cry now for international support to bomb terrorists of the ISIS from the air, although civilians may be killed, rings hollow, when considering that in the Sri Lankan terrorist war, Sri Lankan security forces had to fight with terrorists who were using Tamil civilians as human shields.

Sri Lankan arguments made against a UN probe against their wishes for five years have been like pouring water on a duck’s back. The challenge before the Rajapaksa government is to find a diplomatic strategy to prevent this illegal intrusion into the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.

1 Comment for “They Who Fund The UN Call The Tune”

  1. Malin

    I salute your editorial.

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